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He pedals to Boston to thank the doctors who saved his daughter

Born with a serious heart defect, little Olivia escaped death thanks to the know-how of doctors based in Quebec and Boston. Seven years later, her father undertook to cycle the 600 kilometers that separate the two cities to thank them and celebrate the life of his daughter.

Leaving from the Center hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL), where his daughter is receiving her treatment, Lévis’ father set off Friday morning for the Boston Children’s Hospital, in the capital of Massachusetts, with 10 cycling friends who support his cause.


The father of a sick child pedals from Quebec to Boston

Photo Dominique Lelievre

The objective is to raise funds for the Fondation en cœur, which helps families like his, but also to pay tribute to the exceptional courage of his daughter and to the medical teams, on both sides of the border, who saved their lives.

“There are going to be big mountains on the second day. We will surely be exhausted […]but it is nothing compared to the mountains that these children [malades] have to overcome,” says Pierre Nadeau, from Lévis, about his three-day trip.


The father of a sick child pedals from Quebec to Boston

Photo Dominique Lelievre

Last resort

Olivia Suzor-Nadeau was only a few weeks old when her troubles began. “We realized the extent of the damage to his heart. She had two holes in her heart, plus a leaky valve,” her father said.

The first surgeries were inconclusive. “There were no options left,” he says, except for an experimental procedure developed in Boston – the use of the Melody valve to replace a child’s mitral valve – which had never been tried in Canada. .

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By a happy coincidence, the doctor who followed Olivia at the CHUL, the cardiac surgeon Frédéric Jacques, had become familiar with this procedure during a previous stay at Harvard.


The father of a sick child pedals from Quebec to Boston

Photo Dominique Lelievre

An example

The operation of several hours was a success on the child, who was then eight months old. In total, she will undergo 15 operations in her first year of life. Now 7 years old, her joie de vivre is contagious, despite her difficulties.

“It is sure that it is a disabled child who has special needs [en matière] language, nutrition, [avec des] still giving birth at 7 years old, but she is happy, she is full of life, she makes us happy. We know that we have other challenges ahead of us, but during the time that we have this happiness, we take the opportunity to give back to the next one, ”says Pierre Nadeau.


The father of a sick child pedals from Quebec to Boston

Photo Dominique Lelievre

“Olivia is exceptional in many ways, adds the Dr Jacques. Even if she remained with sequelae from the first surgeries, she always continued to evolve. We are surprised up to a certain point by its evolution. […] This is an example of a fighter. She’s a child who wants to live.”

So far, Mr. Nadeau’s group has raised $32,000 for the Heart Foundation.

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