Makayla Heavyrunner, 10, from Duncan has been diagnosed with heart failure. (Submitted photo)

Family of Cowichan Valley 10 year-old with heart failure seeks help

Makayla Heavyrunner diagnosed with heart failure

The family of a 10 year-old from Duncan who is a patient at Vancouver’s BC Children’s Hospital is seeking help from the public.

Makayla Heavyrunner was taken to her family doctor in Duncan on Jan. 10 due to vomiting, and was immediately sent to Cowichan District Hospital for more testing.

She was transferred to Vancouver General Hospital for further tests and was then sent to the BC Children’s Hospital on Jan. 13, where she was diagnosed with heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

Carlita Heavyrunner, Makayla’s mother, a health care worker at Shawnigan Lake’s Acacia Ty Mawr who hasn’t left her daughter’s side since the ordeal began, said doctors are still working to determine the cause of Makayla’s condition.

In the meantime, Carlita said Makayla had to have surgery over the weekend due to fluid building up on her right hip joint and is now recovering.

She said it’s unknown at this stage whether there is any connection between that medical condition and her heart failure.

“Once she recovers from this surgery, doctors intend to insert a small tube in a main artery on her leg that will reach to her heart so more tests can be conducted,” Carlita said.

“We still have no answers and no idea when we can take Makayla home.”

Carlita said the family’s life has been severely disrupted and she has not worked since Jan. 10.

She said that while she’s been permitted to sleep on a cot by Makayla’s hospital bed, the rest of the family has been travelling back and forth between Vancouver Island and Vancouver to be close to Makayla and the bills are piling up.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up and the family and their supporters are hoping to raise $5,000 to help the Heavyrunners out.

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