Hamiltons Transplant Journey

Melanie's youngest daughter Erin has a rare medical liver disorder in which she cannot digest protein.  Erin has had this condition since infancy, resulting in numerous hospital stays over the last 10 years, which have increased in frequency and duration over the last 5 years. Unfortunately, the last year has been extremely stressful and challenging for Erin. She has spent over 160 days in the hospital since the beginning of 2020 and has spent the majority of 2021 in the hospital, having only been home for a total of 18 days to date.

Last week, Erin's medical team made the decision that the only treatment is a liver transplant. Melanie and Erin are currently up in Calgary at the Alberta Children's Hospital where they have spent the last 6 weeks, only being transferred to Edmonton for one week for transplant work up. At this point, there are no plans for Erin to be discharged and she will remain in the hospital until a donor's liver becomes available as she has officially been listed as a Status 2. Melanie was told the wait could be anywhere between 12-18 months but they are hopeful the transplant will occur in the next 1-2 months.

This last hospital admission has been extremely hard for the family. Erin's health has become extremely unstable requiring a liver transplant. This in and of itself would be hard enough for any family but is compounded by the current pandemic and the inability of the Hamilton's family and friends to support them in the usual manner.  The family is also currently split, with Melanie staying with Erin in Calgary (and then Edmonton for the surgery and 3 months post care) and her husband Cliff attending to their other two daughters here in Lethbridge.

The funds raised from this campaign will be used to assist the family with some of the costs incurred by the current situation such as food and other necessities for Melanie who is currently residing at the Ronald McDonald House in Calgary and will have to relocate to Edmonton once a liver is found for Erin and for a minimum of 3 months post surgery. Travel expenses such as gas, food, and lodging for the immediate family to stay connected  and visit over this lengthy journey. Supplies for Erin while she awaits and then recuperates in hospital to keep abreast of school work and other household expenses that may arise as a result of time off work.

Thank you for taking the time to read the Hamilton's story and Erin's brave journey no child should have to go through. We hope any funds raised will help alleviate some of the financial stress so the family can focus on each other and supporting Erin though this experience.

Please check back regularly as we will post updates on Erin's journey.

For more information on utilizing crowdfunding to help cover the costs associated with organ transplant please see the following article:
Pol, S. J., Snyder, J., & Anthony, S. J. (2020). "Tremendous financial burden": Crowdfunding for organ transplantation costs in Canada. PLOS ONE, 14(12). https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226686

Organizer and beneficiary

Karla Wolsky 
Lethbridge, AB
Melanie Hamilton 
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