The northwestern B.C. city of Terrace has nearly everything a family could want. But when newborn Soren Hollman was diagnosed with a heart defect, doctors advised his parents Chrissy and Travis that the required surgery was beyond the level of care available in Terrace. Soren would need heart surgery in Vancouver, over 1,300 kilometres away from home.
With Chrissy on maternity leave, the family was financially unprepared for a long trip of uncertain duration. Chrissy turned to Hope Air, a Canadian charity that arranges medical flights for people who face financial and distance barriers. Three months after his diagnosis, Soren traveled with his parents to Vancouver for the open heart surgery.
“Hope Air assisted our stress-free surgery by supplying Soren and myself a flight to and from Vancouver,” says Chrissy. “It was truly the only thing I did not have to worry about.”
TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission projects have been proud supporters of Hope Air since 2013. Our joint $15,000 in donations this year has allowed Hope Air to arrange 45 flights for northern B.C. residents like the Hollman family. “These donations have cleared away some of the worry, distress and extra cost of travelling long distances for medical treatment that many people who live in remote communities face. This is a program that changes lives, and we are proud to be involved with them,” says Greg Cano, Coastal GasLink’s director of project planning and execution.
As for Soren, we’re thrilled to share that after his successful surgery, he no longer requires medication. “He had more energy than we could have imagined in such a short amount of time,” says Chrissy. “He started to thrive and grow before our eyes. He truly started to flourish.”