South Surrey toddler Kate Bishop has undergone three open-heart surgeries in her short life. Below

South Surrey toddler has an amazing spirit

Four-year-old Kate Bishop has undergone three open-heart surgeries in her short life.

Focused on the cartoon playing on the iPad propped up on the kitchen counter, four-year-old Kate Bishop giggles and squeals as the characters jump around on screen.

The sound is turned down, but Kate doesn’t mind.

To someone who had just met the carefree South Surrey toddler, it would be hard to believe that in her short life she has endured three open-heart surgeries – with two more expected in the future – after being born with a rare defect called truncus arteriosus.

“We went into survival mode,” Kate’s mother, Alexandria, recalled of finding out about the cardiovascular anomaly. “We went numb and just dealt with the situation.”

Kate’s first open-heart surgery was scheduled when she was just six weeks old.

Instead of having a separate pulmonary artery and aorta, each with their own three-leafed valves, Kate only had one great blood vessel – or trunk – leaving the heart, which then branches into blood vessels that go to the lungs and body. Doctors created a connection between the right ventricle and the pulmonary arteries using a valved conduit.

As her heart grows, she will need to go for surgery to replace the conduit.

“It’s unbelievable, though. She’s so incredible, strong-willed and resilient,” Alexandria said, with husband David noting that after her second surgery, she only spent five days at the hospital recovering.

Kate’s resilience has not only helped her with her surgeries but with a side effect of her treatment. As a result of an infection in the days leading up to her first surgery, Kate was given an antibiotic that sometimes results in hearing loss.

Alexandria and David say they were unaware of this risk, but the South Surrey mother remembers vividly the day she knew there was something awry.

“We were living in a home with hardwood floors, and the keys fell from the counter right beside her, and there was no reaction,” she said. “She didn’t flinch, she didn’t get startled.”

In February 2010, Kate was diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss. As she has grown, the hearing loss has progressed.

Last week, the family appealed to the City of Surrey to place signs alerting drivers of a deaf child in the area.

The busy family, which includes Kate’s three-year-old brother Luke, has also been raising funds each summer for B.C. Children’s hospital with their Kuz of Kate event, which features a one- or five-kilometre run through Queen Elizabeth Park, followed by a carnival celebration.

At the fourth annual fundraiser in June, the family brought in more than $10,000, bringing their total contribution to nearly $40,000.

Despite the tumultuous four years, Kate shows no signs of slowing down, Alexandria said.

“Her spirit is amazing. She’s loving and affectionate and she’s always smiling and laughing,” she said.

 

 

Just Posted

Delta mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

White Rock dog poop conspiracy picks up steam

Opponent says theory is a ‘load of crap’

Surrey MLA slams NDP poverty reduction strategy plan

Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt says the NDP’s poverty reduction plan is ‘underwhelming’

Father thanks Surrey Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

Surrey Memorial is first in B.C. with POEM machine used for endoscopic treatment

Surgeon says equipment is ‘next-level, futuristic-type’

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Most Read

l -->