Online fundraiser underway for Abbotsford girl who needs double-lung transplant

Online fundraiser underway for Abbotsford girl who needs double-lung transplant

Autumn Carlson, 11, soon to be on waiting list for surgery in Toronto

Autumn Carlson of Abbotsford was just four and half years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia and monosomy 7, which results in bone marrow insufficiency or failure.

A bone marrow transplant cured her of the disease, but left her with a whole other set of issues that, now, at the age of 11, require her to undergo a double-lung transplant.

Earlier this week, an online fundraising campaign was started to help her and her family with the costs they will face after Autumn and her mom, Sabrina, resettle in Toronto to await her surgery.

Autumn’s procedure will be performed at Toronto General Hospital because it’s the only one in Canada that performs lung transplants on children.

Meanwhile, the rest of her family – dad Randy, sister Alyssa, 8, and brothers Nicholas, 17, and Anthony, 22 – will remain behind in Abbotsford.

RELATED: B.C. breaks record for number of transplant donations

RELATED: B.C. toddler with ‘allergy’ to sun waiting for bone marrow transplant

Randy is a truck driver and Sabrina is unable to work, due to Autumn’s ongoing health issues.

Sabrina says they simply do not have the money for Autumn’s dad and siblings to travel to Toronto for visits, but they are close and the contact is crucial for their emotional health, especially in the wake of everything they have already faced.

After Autumn’s bone marrow transplant in December 2012, her body rejected the transplant – a condition known as graft-versus-host disease.

This caused a hole in her bowels, which healed after 10 days.

Autumn also had a huge blood clot removed from her bladder, developed a “sticky” kidney valve, and lost her toenails and fingernails.

She then developed an infection that attacked her lungs, and she spent over three months in medical isolation as she recovered.

Sabrina says the aftermath is that Autumn was diagnosed with “severe lung disease.” Four years ago, an MRI showed she had three holes in her lungs. Now, she has six. Her lung function is currently at 21 per cent.

Her oxygen levels are so low that it has placed stress on her heart. She requires oxygen all the time, especially when she’s moving, and sleeps with a BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machine.

Over the weekend, she developed a collapsed lung and was hospitalized, but has since been released.

Doctors told the family that Autumn, who is going into Grade 7 at Abbotsford Middle School, will require a double-lung transplant. In June, she was assessed in Toronto.

Sabrina said a few final procedural steps need to be completed, and then Autumn will be placed on the waiting list for a transplant. She needs to be in Toronto at the time, but Sabrina said she has been told that the wait could take up to 1.5 years.

Once the surgery is performed, they will remain in Toronto for a few more months to ensure Autumn is healthy before they can return to Abbotsford.

Sabrina said it has been difficult to watch Autumn go through so many challenges, but she said her daughter is resilient and has a positive outlook.

“She’s shy, but I call her my feisty little firecracker,” Sabrina said.

The GoFundMe online fundraiser will assist the family with travel costs, as well as upgrades to their home – such as removing carpeting and installing hardwood – that are required to help diminish Autumn’s breathing issues.

“There are a lot of costs that will arise with this journey and, not only can this family use the help, they deserve it,” the GoFundMe page states.

The account can be accessed by searching “Support For Autumn” at gofundme.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Online fundraiser underway for Abbotsford girl who needs double-lung transplant

Just Posted

The Fraser Valley Bandits 2021 regular season schedule has been released. (File photo)
Fraser Valley Bandits release 2021 regular season schedule

Professional basketball team hopes to have fans inside Abbotsford Centre in 2021

Snowfall warnings Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 for parts of the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Chilliwack Progress)
Winter storm warnings Thursday for Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon

Snow is expected to become heavier as day progresses with snowfall amounts of up to 30 centimetres

A team with Ann Davis Transition Society takes part in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser as they walk along Young Road on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
‘Coldest Night’ walk raises nearly $60,000 for new outreach office in Chilliwack

Ann Davis Transition Society thrift shop will be transformed into much needed outreach centre

Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford has partnered with the online platform REES (Respect, Educate Empower Survivors) for the reporting of sexual violence.
Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford partners with website to report sexual violence

Platform offers increased options for staff and students to report misconduct

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Police stopped car riddled with bullets in Whalley Monday night. (Photo: CFSEU)
Police seize two pounds of pot, $25K from Surrey car riddled with bullet holes

This was in the neighbourhood of 104th Avenue and Whalley Boulevard on Monday night

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Most Read