June 22, 2016
At 18, Amy Xie has had more medical trauma than most people four times her age. While her peers worried about crushes and weekend plans, Amy endured dangerously low oxygen levels, strokes in her brain and a life-saving double lung transplant. It’s a journey she couldn’t have made it through without the steadfast support of her family.
Amy’s health first took a turn in 2011 when she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. For the next four years, Amy’s doctors tried numerous treatments with varying degrees of success. Despite their efforts, her lung function continued to decline.
Much of Amy’s treatment took place in Toronto, hours away from her family’s Ottawa home. During her multiple hospitalizations of up to seven months, Amy’s parents stayed at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto.
“RMHC Toronto became our second home,” says Amy’s mom, Yi Yin. Amy’s older brother, Simon, lives nearby and visited often.
Amy had a double lung transplant in November 2014. Her recovery has had complications, but she’s now doing extremely well. As she finishes up her grade 12 courses, Amy has her eye on the future. Eventually she would like to go to college for office administration, but for now she’s focused on being strong enough to take a spin class with her friend.
Reflecting on her time in the hospital and at the House, Amy is grateful to have had her family so close when she needed them.
“RMHC Toronto is a place where we could be together and still feel like a family,” she says. “Even when I was in the hospital, it was nice to know that my family was close by, always believing I would make it.”