We moved to Collingwood to be close to CGMH

Three-year old Jax Davenport has been rushed to the emergency department over 115 times. Born with a heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT), Jax has an irregularly fast/erratic heartbeat (arrhythmia) that affects the heart’s upper chambers. When Jax starts to feel unwell, her parents have to rush her to the Emergency Department so that they can “reset the heart” through medication and even defibrillation.

“It’s pretty startling, the number of times Jax has had SVT in her life and how disruptive that is for Jax and her family. It is not easy seeing a paediatric patient with a heart rhythm issue. 99.9 % of patients we see with this type of problem are adults. Paediatric arrhythmia is uncommon.”

Dr. Greg Devet, CGMH Chief of Emergency.

Born in Guelph, Jax spent a lot of time at McMaster Hospital dealing with multiple SVT episodes. Thought to be through the worst, they decided to move to a new town. However, the week their house closed, Jax suffered a really bad episode. She was rushed to a small hospital and had to be defibrillated. The incident caused the family to lose confidence in moving to the area, so they found themselves temporarily without a home. As opportunity would have it, their tenant had just moved out of their one-bedroom rental property in Cranberry Resort and they were able to stay in Collingwood while they figured out their next move.

The first time Jax was rushed to the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital, the team found the right IV site, administered her meds, and got her heart reset…all within 40 mins (vs a typical timeline of 3 hours). The Davenports looked at each other in relief and said “We are moving here”.

Jax is known as a “frequent flyer”. From the paramedics, to the staff at emergency, everyone knows Jax. Trained and prepared with protocols from McMaster Hospital, the Davenports have a file prepared whenever they are in a new city or town and can notify any hospital to be prepared for the situation. Now full-time residents, the Davenports have great confidence in the team at CGMH and are constantly impressed by their diligence, compassion, and support.

CGMH trains for these (hopefully) unlikely events. Led by Dr. Guscott, Dr. Bolton, nursing staff and a Respiratory Therapist, CGMH runs numerous scenarios and drills around taking care of critically ill patients. Paediatric patients add an additional layer of complexity and stress so the more the team improves their real-world skills, the more prepared they are to take care of these situations.

The Davenports have been so grateful for the care that they have received that they have launched an annual family-fun fundraising event, “Jax Pays it Forward” supporting CGMH and Ronald McDonald House. “We believe that If you cannot pay it back, pay it forward and we want to help other families in need.” – Shawtelle Davenport

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