Two-year-old Talia Ruttan of Courtenay

Talia defying the odds, daily

Born 11 weeks premature, Courtenay toddler learning to walk and talk

  • Jan. 19, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record Staff

Talia Ruttan wasn’t supposed to live past one hour.

She then wasn’t supposed to live a day. One week. One month.

Now, the two-year-old Courtenay toddler is crawling, and learning how to walk. She can blow kisses and knows how to say ‘mom.’

For her parents Kelsey and James Ruttan, whose weeks are filled with medical appointments, every small progress by Talia is taken in stride.

“She’s doing really well, all things considered,” said Kelsey.

Just before New Year’s Day two years ago, Kelsey went into labour at 29 weeks, and was rushed to Victoria General Hospital on New Year’s Eve for an emergency C-section.

When she woke up from surgery, she found out her daughter was stillborn.

“I don’t remember the first few days, but my husband said it looked like I was broken. I tried to cry out, but I couldn’t speak.”

Her doctor worked on Talia for five minutes, and finally managed to resuscitate her, but told the Ruttans she would most likely live in a vegetative state.

Kelsey said she and her husband were originally told they may be faced with the decision when to take their daughter off life support.

Talia defied odds, and three months after she was born, was able to finally come home with her parents to Courtenay.

Kelsey noted doctors believe it was an early uterine infection which may have caused the early labour, and following the initial MRI on Talia’s head, they determined she suffered a level four brain bleed in her left ventricle.

“Strangely, having her born premature may have actually helped. Doctors said some of her nerves weren’t fully developed and the blood didn’t cause as much damage as it could have,” added Kelsey.

Talia’s first month was spent at Victoria General Hospital, and with the help of local charity You Are Not Alone, Kelsey and her family was able to stay at Jeneece Place while she was in the hospital.

They were then transferred to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for another month, and thanks to Variety – The Children’s Charity, were able to stay in a hotel nearby.

Following what Kelsey described as “a waiting game” with a three-month hospital stay, the family came home.

Talia visits physiotherapists, speech pathologists, audiologists, neuroradiologists and eye doctors on a regular basis, but Kelsey said she is “beyond ecstatic” with her progress.

She is currently being fed with a G-tube, needs oral therapy to help her learn to swallow, and struggles with tight muscles and ligaments in her legs.

In September, Talia was able to make a huge step in her development by pulling herself along the floor; “she’s understanding the concept of feet,” added Kelsey.

Shortly before Christmas, she received Botox injections in her legs which helps loosen the tight muscles, enabling her to sit up straight and stand.

Therapy has helped significantly, noted Kelsey, as Talia’s hand used to be clenched tightly but now is open and is able to grab and touch.

“She’s definitely going to be left handed,” she added with a laugh.

While medial appointments will continue, Variety has pledged to assist the family with additional costs not covered by the medical system.

The annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon is scheduled this year for Feb. 14 and 15, with all funds raised in the province staying in B.C.

For more information, visit www.variety.bc.ca.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Swiss juniors train in Comox Valley

The Swiss national junior hockey team is training at the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Most Read