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Chilliwack Teen Keira McKenzie’s Journey with Serious Burns, BC Children’s Hospital and the Importance of Choices Lottery Funds (INTERVIEW)

Fraser Valley – You are about to meet a very tough young lady and her supportive parents.

BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Choices Lottery tickets are on sale now until April 13, or until tickets sell out, and Chilliwack’s fourteen-year-old Keira McKenzie and her family have first-hand knowledge of how the funds raised by the Choices Lottery impact the lives of BC children. The Choices Lottery supports world-leading research initiatives that lead to innovative discoveries and treatments, which in turn directly help experts at BC Children’s Hospital advance their quest to conquer childhood illnesses and heal injuries.

Keira’s parents, Terresa and David McKenzie, also know the emotional and physical toll having an injured and sick child has on the entire family and how important the innovative, world class care, treatments and equipment at BC Children’s Hospital are to the recovery of sick and injured BC kids.

In 2017, when Keira was nine-years old she suffered from a major burn to her mid-body region when a tray of hot drinks she was carrying spilled on her lap causing a severe burn. Terresa and David, Keira’s parents, drove her to the nearby Chilliwack General Hospital emergency department, where her burn was treated but her condition worsened, as strep throat, which she had at the time, was causing complications. 

Keira was eventually transferred to BC Children’s Hospital, where she went under the care of the pediatric specialists at the burn unit. When she arrived at the hospital, she had a dangerously high fever and was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where she stayed for five days. Keira had developed sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection.

Once stabilized, Keira moved to the burn unit where she spent 10 days undergoing daily burn bath treatments. With her infection gone and the first leg of her journey with BCCH complete, Keira was able to return home to Chilliwack as an outpatient. She made tri-weekly, then weekly, then monthly trips to the BC Children’s Hospital burn clinic for burn baths and dressing treatments.  Today, she attends the burn clinic every six months for check-ups.

Although at the beginning it was a traumatic and scary time for Keira and her parents, they know there is no better place to achieve the very best outcomes for Keira, than BC Children’s Hospital.  She continues to benefit from the incredibly committed care teams and innovative, world-class research, leading edge equipment and treatments.

Thanks to the buyers of Choices Lottery tickets and the invaluable funding it provides for the specialized care, innovative therapies, and pediatric expertise available at the BC Children’s Hospital, and the experts in the burn unit at the hospital, Keira will get the very best, personalized care possible at BCCH.

Keira McKenzie

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