February is Heart & Stroke month and for one Okotoks family it hits close to home.

The Irvin family and their three year old daughter Ivanna is battling a rare and serious congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, with Pulmonary Atresia, ASD, VSD + MACPCA’s.

Evanna's mother Kierra says there have been moments early on since Evanna was diagnosed that she may not come home from the hospital.

Ivannas heart 2017 (1)Evanna Irvin

"Most of them are minor, it can be a little PDA that all newborns are born with that doesn't close properly," she says. "It can be a little VSD or the more minor heart defects obviously there's more severe heart defects like the one Ivanna has but they're a little bit more on the rarer side."

Since she was born Evanna has had nine different surgeries including two open heart procedures and Kierra says despite the calmness that Evanna is showing right now doesn't mean that her condition is gone.

"A lot of people think that kids that end going and having open heart surgery people think that's a cure. It's not a cure it's considered a palliative measure."

Kierra is hoping to reach out to all of those dealing with situations to help families out by supporting the Ronald McDonald House, Stollery Children's Hospital & STARS Air Ambulance.

"Like many other syndromes there's a whole spectrum and not every kid with 22Q end up with heart defects, there's immune issues, mental health issues, there's a whole spectrum  of issues that are associated with 22Q and again it just affects every kid differently."

For more into Evanna's story visit their blog page.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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