Five years ago, Kaley Biggar fell instantly in love with Canadian singer Shawn Mendes' hit single Stitches. Like any teenager, she fell head over heels for the adorable artist and became arguably his number one fan this side of the globe.
"It just progressed over time. She memorized the video and then she was mimicking the video," said Kaley's mother, Vicki Biggar. "She just continued watching him and different songs that he played and whatnot."
And when her mother found out that the pop sensation would be playing at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, it seemed only fitting that she buy tickets for the whole family, especially for 14-year-old Kaley to see him on July 4.
"Unfortunately, my girls and I, we lost my husband in March, suddenly. My plan was to purchase the tickets for the girls, basically, for Kaley. She has been having a lot of sad days with her dad not here. My plan was to purchase the tickets and help bring a little bit of joy and happiness back into her life, considering I knew that he was coming."
However, when Kaley developed a life-threatening blood infection nearly eight weeks ago, the momentous plans of Kaley going to her first-ever concert of her hero were dashed.
"This type of blood infection that she has is actually a yeast infection. She had to go on some strong antibiotics, and she's also been on antifungal medication for six weeks," Biggar said. "She has a pacemaker which she got when she was four months old from the heart disease she has and because she actually has those foreign devices inside of her body; the only way to clear the infection from her blood was these foreign objects have to be removed."
Kaley was born with multiple heart defects and is also immunocompromised. She is not able to produce T and B cells, which help fight infection. She has been receiving monthly blood transfusions since 2011. This latest infection meant that she would not be able to leave the hospital because any sort of strain on her already compromised immune system would delay her heart surgery for six weeks.
Her mother, however, was determined that her daughter in one way or another would see Shawn Mendes. Biggar said she had been trying for years to connect with Shawn over social media but got no response.
"It was actually my cousin's wife who wrote the story on Facebook and got the attention of everybody around the world," she said. "But what I guess caught his [Shawn's] attention was a doctor in the hospital. His or her mom who was from Ontario was able to connect with somebody in the band. So, I'm so happy and so pleased with everybody's help."
Instead of going to see the concert live, Kaley got a one-on-one video call from none other than Shawn Mendes yesterday.
"She was so excited. The way he actually started the conversation was, he said, 'Hi, Kaylee, my love,' and she just said, 'Shawn, I love you,'" Biggar said. "It was just a real love connection. She still keeps thinking that that's her boyfriend. So it was special. It was really special."
Kaley was also able to sign a rather touching message to Shawn: I love you Shawn Boy.
Next week, Kaley will travel to Edmonton for heart surgery.
"I'm definitely worried and a little bit nervous going into this. But, she's proven me to be the strongest person out of all of this. Honestly, I don't know how she still continues every day to show me the biggest smile that she has and the love that she has for music, and also the love that she has for Shawn Mendes. Like it's just amazing."
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