The strain of loving a critically ill child . . . Bedard scores twice in WHL debut, but Pats lose . . . BCHL prepping to play games

Ferris2
That’s Elmo from Sesame Street keeping Ferris company in her hospital bed in Vancouver. Ferris’s mother, Lindsey, says her daughter often crosses her legs in this fashion. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

If you’re a parent with a young child, you will have known the helpless feeling that takes over when your youngster is ill. Still, you know that the illness will be gone in a day or two and your child will be back to running and playing and generally creating havoc.

But what if your child was four years of age and had been ill, seriously ill, for most of that time? What does that do to your emotional state and to that of others in your family? What about your family’s financial status when there have been numerous trips to Vancouver, along with a number of lengthy stays?

That is the situation in which Lindsey and Pat Backmeyer find themselves. Ferris, their four-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino Syndrome shortly after birth and has been on dialysis — peritoneal dialysis (PD) or hemo-dialysis — for most of her life. She now is in B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after having undergone a kidney transplant a week ago. Unfortunately, the kidney began bleeding into Ferris’s abdomen and had to be removed a few hours later.

Ferris was moved from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on Thursday but still has a long road ahead of her.

Lindsey is a respiratory therapist at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and hasn’t been shy about telling Ferris’s story, even if it means baring her own soul. It’s hard to read Lindsey’s writings without your gut tightening, your heart breaking and your eyes tearing up.

“We have felt an overwhelming cocoon of support by my work family . . since the beginning,” Lindsey wrote earlier this week after Alexa McMillan, a co-worker, issued a plea for financial help to the Kamloops business community. “They protect me, provide for me and my family and have provided endless emotional support.”

As someone who works in the healthcare field, Lindsey has “a pretty solid understanding of critical care medicine and the reality is Ferris has been critically ill for a huge part of her life.

“I’ve spent four years assessing her and caring for her and very few people actually know what it’s taking to keep our ship afloat. My immediate family, closest friends, home nurses and then my work people probably understand best.

“I’ve worked on the other side of what I witnessed Saturday. It was like the hardest night shift ever, where you just did all the things working on your patient for hours except I so rarely see people survive that. I’ve been scared for Ferris’s life before and every time I’ve had a work person by my side . . . through the night. Saturday night was no exception.”

Her training and understanding of all that she and her family — including daughters Tavia, 9, and Ksenia, 7 — have been through has Lindsey knowing full well what’s happening to them from an emotional standpoint, but also financially.

“I have ridiculous trauma to overcome,” Lindsey explained. “My work family would also attest that I’ve worked really hard to keep it all going. If we aren’t here or she’s not admitted, I’ve been at work. Lots of times it’s the very next day. The reality is Ferris’s life has been financially devastating and I really just want to be able to maintain the quality of life we’ve had. For my big girls and for Ferris.

“Even if we get to make our way home . . . I know now this will never be over.”

While the Backmeyers do have a home in Kamloops, they have been in a rental in Vancouver since the last week of December. Pat has been doing a lot of commuting as he attends Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, with plans to become a registered nurse.

The whole family, including Lindsey’s mother, Leslie, thought they were on their way back to Kamloops last weekend, but then the call came saying that a kidney was available and transplant surgery had been scheduled.

“Living in limbo is pretty accurate,” Lindsey wrote, “or like a marathon that you never get to finish but always have to run. Feels like we are on a runaway train. It’s bumpy and scary and makes you nauseous and every once in awhile we get allowed off and create life and memories and then the train comes and we have no choice but to get back on.

“If and when we get to go home I need to give myself a bit of time before coming back. I never have done that before. Ever.”

In her plea to local businesses, McMillan asked that they contact her or donate to a GoFundMe page that has been set up to benefit the Backmeyers. That page is right here.



The WHL’s Regina hub swung into game action with two games on Friday. The Pats dropped a 6-3 decision to the Prince Albert Raiders in the second game, with highly touted Regina F Connor Bedard, 15, scoring his first two goals at 5:01 and 5:49 of the second period. . . . In the earlier game, the Moose Jaw Warriors got past the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3, in OT. . . .

Meanwhile, the Portland Winterhawks announced that their final 11 home games of this developmental season will be played at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. Their first home game, on March 21, is to be played at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash. . . .

As first reported by Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post earlier this week, Shaun and Gavin Semple of the Brandt Group of Companies now own all of the Regina Pats. They had owned 50 per cent and now have purchased the other half from Todd Lumbard and Anthony Marquart. The move was unanimously approved by the WHL’s board of governors on Friday. Shaun Semple has replaced Marquart as the franchise’s governor. Lumbard, a former goaltender with the Pats and Brandon Wheat Kings, had been the team president; he remains with the organization as an advisor.


Menu


The BCHL has received the all-clear for the return of game play from provincial government and health officials. The league plans to set up pods in five league centres — Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Penticton, Port Alberni and Vernon — with three or four teams in each place. The abbreviated season will begin the first week of April and the hope is that each team will play 18 or 20 games before it ends. . . . The Wenatchee, Wash., Wild opted out of this season because the U.S.-Canada border is closed to non-essential travel. That leaves the BCHL with 17 teams that could being play in April, although the league has given teams a couple of days to make that decision. . . .

Meanwhile, the AJHL had 13 of its 15 teams back playing games on Friday for the first time since Nov. 21. The final all-clear came earlier in the day when it announced that its third round of testing featured 389 players and staff, and no positives. . . . The Canmore Eagles and Lloydminster Bobcats are the only two teams not playing, both having opted out. . . . On Friday, five games were played in five different venues with all teams playing in their home arenas.


Deadspin has put together a brief slideshow that provides some first-person information on a handful of high-profile athletes who have contracted COVID-19 and their experiences. It’s right here and well worth a look.

One slide features Demi Washington, a Vanderbilt basketball player. Washington, 19, had a mild case, but wasn’t allowed to return to play until she had a cardiac MRI. That test uncovered acute myocarditis.

“It’s horrifying to think that, without that MRI, I would have gone back out there and played and something could have gone wrong,” she wrote for The Athletic. “I could have passed out on the court. I could have died. I saw what happened to Keyontae Johnson and it terrified me. After he collapsed, he was ultimately diagnosed with acute myocarditis — just like me. I wonder how many other athletes are playing with it right now and have no idea.”


Quarantine


The Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team had its season come to an end on Thursday with the news that one player tested positive. That knocked the Blue Devils (13-11) out of the ACC tournament and may have taken away any chance they had of qualifying for March Madness. The last time Duke was in the NCAA tournament was 1995. . . . “If they do get an invitation, it will be a basketball equivalent of a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,’ Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, wrote on Friday. “This year’s Duke squad is not nearly as powerful as the ones that fans have come to expect for most of the Mike Krzyzewski Era in Durham.” . . . On Friday came word that No. 16 Virginia had to pull out of the ACC tournament because of a positive test, thus forfeiting a semi-final game to Georgia Tech. Virginia no doubt will get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Virginia won the title in 2019; there was no tournament a year ago. . . . Also on Friday, No. 11 Kansas withdrew from the Big 12 tournament after a positive test. The Jayhawks were to play No. 13 Texas in a semifinal game, so the Longhorns now are into the final. . . . Florida International and North Carolina A&T are among smaller schools that have had to withdraw from tournaments. . . . The 2021 tournament is scheduled to begin on Friday in Indianapolis. . . . The Sports Curmudgeon has more on the tournament right here.


You will recall that Clarkson shut down its men’s hockey program for this season earlier in the week and there was speculation that the move was virus-related. College Hockey News reported via Twitter on Thursday that it “was a school decision based not on positive COVID tests — but on a party attended by most of the team that broke the school’s COVID safety protocols.”

——

College Hockey News also reported that the Bentley Falcons (5-11-0) had withdrawn from the Atlantic hockey tournament. One week earlier, Holy Cross pulled out before the first round began. . . . Bentley had beaten Air Force to move into a second-round best-of-three series against American International, which now gets a bye into the semifinals. . . . From CHN: “For its part, AIC hasn’t played since January, due to its own COVID-19 issues and that of other league teams. By the team of the semifinals, the Yellowjackets will have gone almost seven weeks without a game. Bentley missed most of January with COVID issues, though played most of February.”


Once again, thanks for asking how things are going in B.C., as government and health officials work on loosening some restrictions . . .

Robyn Crawford, CKNW/Global BC — 648 new cases; no new deaths; 255 in hosp, 67 in ICU; 5,070 active; 9,155 in isolation; 79 new variant cases (total at 717).

CBC News — Alberta is reporting 425 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 additional deaths. And 365 more people have recovered from coronavirus.

CBC News — Number of new COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan climbs again with 176. That pushes the province’s 7-day average up to 134; 3 additional deaths have also been recorded.

CBC News — Manitoba announces 104 new cases of COVID-19, the 1st time the number has been above 100 since February 18. The province’s 7-day average now rises to 74. Health authorities also say there has been 1 additional death.


——

If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.



JUST NOTES: Former WHL F Ryan Hollweg is the new head coach of the U18 AAA Vancouver North West Hawks. Hollweg, 37, played 233 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers over five seasons (1999-2004) before going on to a pro career that included 228 NHL games. He finished up playing (2012-18) with HC Plzen in the Czech Extraliga. Hollweg was the North West Hawks’ associate coach for two seasons (2018-20) under Chris Shaw.


Wreath

Semples on verge of buying out partners in Pats; WHL governors poised to vote on deal . . . MJHL’s Freeze has new GM/coach

Ferris Backmeyer remained in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver on Wednesday, four days after a kidney transplant went awry. The four-year-old from Kamloops was extubated on Tuesday, and late, late that night her mother, Lindsey, wrote:

“At the moment she has an HD line on the right side of her neck, a central line on the left, a JP drain, an 8-inch wound on her abdomen, a femoral artline and a foot IV that has like 6 inches of plastic stopcocks with IV tubings running from it that get tangled in feet and really looks pretty uncomfortable.”

The HD line is for hemodialysis — she has been on 24 hours a day but hopefully will transition to once a day at some point today (Thursday). The JP drain is used to remove excess fluid after surgery.

This, folks, is a gritty four-year-old who has been through oh, so much.

But, hey, this girl’s got some spunk.

In the wee hours of Wednesday, Lindsey wrote: “She’s awake and asking for water and her soother and iPad! She hates that she doesn’t have an ‘outfit’ on. Unfortunately she has no idea it’s 12:30 a.m. She really wanted to sit up tonight and that’s just not a thing quite yet.”

There is a GoFundMe page that will benefit Ferris and her family right here.


Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reported Wednesday night that the PatsWHL’s board of governors could vote today (Thursday) on a deal involving 50 per cent of the Regina Pats. . . . The sale involves four existing partners, with Gavin Semple and his son, Shaun, having tentatively agreed to buy out Todd Lumbard and Anthony Marquart. . . . As Harder reported, “Marquart is the founder and president of Queen City Sports and Entertainment Group, which purchased the Pats from the Parker family in the spring of 2014 for approximately $7.5 million.” . . . At the moment, the Semples own 50 per cent, with Lumbard, who is the team president, and Marquart holding the other 50 per cent. . . . Gavin and Shaun Semple own the Regina-based Brandt Group of Companies. . . . Harder’s complete story is right here.


You may recall that the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights were to have played the Colorado Eagles in Loveland, Colo., on Monday, only to have the game postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. It turns out that the Silver Knights experienced a false positive, so things are back to normal there.


Twain


The NBA had 465 players tested since March 3 and experienced only two positive tests, both of which came prior to the all-star break. . . . Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors, who missed two games prior to the break because of COVID-19 protocols, is expected to return to the bench tonight against the Atlanta Hawks in Orlando, Fla. However, the Raptors remain without five players — OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, Pat McCaw, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. . . . With the U.S.-Canada border closed to non-essential travel, the Raptors are playing their home games in Orlando.


Joey Votto, the Cincinnati Reds’ veteran first baseman who is from Toronto, has tested positive. Votto, 36, will be away from spring training for an indefinite period. He was 4-for-9 in four exhibition games.



Clarkson’s men’s hockey team had its season halted on Wednesday. Although the school didn’t offer an explanation in a two-sentence news release, the speculation is that COVID-19 protocols are to blame. . . . Clarkson was to have played in an ECAC semifinal, but the withdrawal means that Quinnipiac will get a bye into the final, with Colgate visiting St. Lawrence in the lone semifinal. . . . Meanwhile, in the WCHA, Denver is going into the playoffs in Grand Forks, N.D., with only 16 skaters because it left eight players at home in quarantine. . . . College Hockey News reports that Colorado College also will have a short roster after having left an “unspecified” number of players in quarantine. . . . CHN has more on the situation right here.


How are things going in B.C.? Glad you asked . . .

CBC News — B.C. records 531 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 more death. There are 244 people in hospital with the disease, 66 of whom are in intensive care.

CBC News — Alberta reports 399 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths. 47 new variant cases identified, for a total of 734 to date.

CBC News — 111 new COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, below the province’s 7-day average of 140. One additional death is also being reported.

CBC News — 77 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, highest daily total since February 27. Province’s 7-day average rises slightly to 61. 1 additional death is also being attributed to the virus.


Directions


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


JUST NOTES: Harry Mahesh is the new general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Freeze. He replaces Josh Green, who now is an assistant coach with the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice. Last season, Mahesh was an assistant coach with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers. The Ice, Freeze and the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues all are owned by 50 Below Sports + Entertainment.


Sneezy

Two B.C. junior B leagues cancel seasons . . . WHL continues to get good news from tests . . . Can you take time for this GoFundMe page?


Two of B.C.’s junior B leagues pulled the plug on their 2020-21 seasons on Tuesday. . . . The 12-team Pacific Junior Hockey League, which is based on the Lower Mainland, had been shut down since November, with teams only allowed to practice. Ronnie Patterson, the owner of the White Rock Whalers, told the Peace Arch News: “We battled through some issues . . . but we just felt in fairness to the athletes and all the programs, we would show some leadership in the hockey community and shut it down, and then hopefully we can start our spring and summer programs at some point, and just focus on having a successful 2021-22 season.” . . . The nine-team Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League also cancelled its season. “The current Public Health Authority discussions show it is unlikely there will be any changes in their current direction . . . and with the added pressures from facilities comparing the teams’ need for ice usage against the need for the removal of the ice for other sport- or health-related events, it seems that this is the time to make this decision,” Simon Morgan, the league president, said in statement from the league. . . . The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, another B.C.-based junior B league, cancelled its season on Feb. 6.


The WHL announced on Tuesday that there weren’t any positive tests among 455 tests administered to the five U.S. Division teams from Feb. 27 through WHL2March 5. From a WHL news release: “The WHL’s U.S. Division clubs are utilizing a private antigen testing strategy and will be conducting testing three times per week. Testing will be administered to all members of the team delegations of players and staff.” . . . All five teams were cleared to begin practices on March 5. . . . From Feb. 12 through March 5, the WHL has gone through 1,554 tests without even one positive. . . .

Interestingly, the Alberta-based teams, who began play on Feb. 26, move into playing three-in-three this weekend. This weekend, the Lethbridge Hurricanes will visit the Red Deer Rebels on Friday night, then they’ll play in Lethbridge on Saturday, and then it’s back to Red Deer for a Sunday game. The Medicine Hat Tigers and Calgary Hitmen will go Calgary-Medicine Hat-Calgary. The Edmonton Oil Kings will sit out this weekend, and then will play a triple header the following weekend. . . .

Games are scheduled to begin in the Regina hub on Friday. The five Saskatchewan-based teams and the two from Manitoba are playing in the Brandt Centre. A Friday doubleheader will have the Brandon Wheat Kings meet the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Prince Albert Raiders playing the Regina Pats. . . . There will be at least one game played in Regina on every day from Friday through April 28. . . .

The U.S. Division teams are scheduled to begin playing games on March 19. They’ll play in Kent, Everett, Spokane and Kennewick, Wash. . . . The five B.C. Division teams, whose schedule was released on Tuesday, are to start up on March 26 with games only in Kamloops and Kelowna.


Lindsey
Ferris Backmeyer remains in a Vancouver hospital with her mother, Lindsey, by her side.

Please allow me to remind you of an active GoFundMe page that will benefit the Backmeyer family of Kamloops. That page is right here. . . . Ferris, who recently turned four, underwent a kidney transplant in Vancouver on Saturday night. Unfortunately, there were complications shortly afterwards and the kidney had to be removed. . . . Ferris remains in hospital, and this means that her mother, Lindsey, and two older sisters are going to have to stay in Vancouver for the foreseeable future. Father Pat will be there, too, although he also is attending school in Kamloops as he works to become a registered nurse. . . . All money raised from this GoFundMe page will be used to help the Backmeyers meet expenses pertaining to their stay in Vancouver and to keep their home in Kamloops.


The 2021 RBC Canadian Open, a PGA Tour stop that was scheduled for St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto, June 7-13, has been cancelled for a second straight season. . . . The CP Women’s Open, an LPGA Tour event, is still on the schedule for Aug. 26-29 at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver.



Dang! I just love it when Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, does things up right. Here he is from Monday, writing about the NIT, which was held at Madison Square Garden in its glory days but this year has been shuffled off to, uhh, Texas:

“Your junior varsity post-season men’s basketball tournament now has the potential to be a highly visible pandemic super-spreader event. If you think that it is a good thing to have attached to ‘the NCAA Brand,’ may I suggest that linking ‘the NCAA Brand’ to Typhoid Mary is not a good thing?”

His complete rant is right here.

——

Here’s Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot on the same subject: “Now that the college basketball anachronism called the NIT has been moved from New York to wide-open Texas, expect some teams to take a pass. Not to mention that the three-week-long NCAA women’s tournament must deal with mask-less Texans. Good luck, ladies.”


Pig


CP24 — Ontario reports nearly 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 as ICU doctor warns third wave is ‘upon us.’


The AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights were to have played the Colorado Eagles in Loveland, Colo., on Monday night. That didn’t happen, though, as the game was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols involving the Silver Knights.


We can only hope that G Taran Kozun has some kind of clause in his contract that calls for him to be paid some mileage this season. In a Monday ECHL trade, Kozun moved from the Allen Americans to the Wheeling Nailers for cash considerations. (BTW, what does cash considerations mean? Is it the same as cash?) . . . Kozun, 26, was the WHL’s top goaltender in 2014-15 (Seattle Thunderbirds), and the top goaltender in Canadian university hockey for 2018-19 and 2019-20 while with the U of Saskatchewan Huskies. . . . The Nailers will be his seventh team this season, following the Kansas Mavericks, Pensacola Ice Flyers, Indy Fuel, Rapid City Rush, Orlando Solar Bears and the Americans. Those all are ECHL teams with the exception of the Ice Flyers, who play in the SPHL. Through all of this, Kozun, according to eliteprospects.com, has played in only five games this season — one each with the Mavericks, Ice Flyers, Fuel, Rush and Solar Bears.


——

If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


JUST NOTES: The BCHL’s Coquitlam Express has named Adam Nugent-Hopkins as its interim head coach, at least for whatever might be left of this season. He takes over from Dan Cioffi, the assistant general manager and head coach who left the club to, according to a news release, “focus on his family and pursue a new opportunity.” Cioffi took over during the pandemic and went 8-3 in the BCHL’s exhibition season. Nugent-Hopkins, 32, was the head coach of the U15 AAA Greater Vancouver Canadians in 2019-20. Yes, he is the older brother of Edmonton Oilers F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.


Portal

What’s next for Ferris? . . . The road back begins with new hemo line and a GoFundMe page . . .

So . . . what’s next for Ferris Backmeyer, the four-year-old from Kamloops who on Saturday underwent a kidney transplant that had to be reversed later that night.

First things first . . .

There is a GoFundMe page for the Backmeyers right here.

Ferris’s mother, Lindsey, is a registered respiratory therapist at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Ferris’s father, Patrick, attends Thompson Rivers U in Kamloops as he works towards become a registered nurse. Ferris also has two sisters — Tavia, 9, and Ksenia, 7. While Patrick has been doing some commuting while going to school, Lindsey and the three girls, along with Lindsey’s mother, Leslie, have been living in Vancouver since the last week of December. And they now are looking at being there for a while yet.

Any funds raised through this GoFundMe page will go directly to living expenses, allowing them to keep their home in Kamloops and to remain in the rental unit they have in Vancouver.

——

Ferris
Here’s hoping Ferris will be reunited with her friends from Sesame Street sooner rather than later. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

Meanwhile, Ferris was back in surgery on Monday at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver as a hemo-dialysis line was put in place.

To go back a bit, Ferris had been doing peritoneal dialysis (PD) at home before this latest chapter began. But she was having some issues with it, so was to travel to Vancouver in late December to be transitioned to hemo-dialysis. Before leaving for Vancouver, they got a call telling them that a kidney had become available for transplant.

The family headed to Vancouver, only to have the surgery cancelled at the last minute. Still, Ferris made the move to hemo-dialysis and then recently was being transitioned back to PD in order to allow a return home. The gang was coming back to Kamloops last weekend, but got another call on Friday just before the move was to start. Yes, a kidney was available and surgery was scheduled for Saturday.

The surgery took place, but there were immediate complications and the kidney had to be removed.

So now it’s a matter of getting Ferris back to where she had been so that, in time, she might undergo another transplant.

That brings us to Monday . . .

As Ferris was having the line put in, Lindsey noted that her youngest daughter “will have CRRT (continuous dialysis) for the next 24-48 hours to try and get a head start on some fluid removal.”

That is to lead to daily hemo starting Wednesday, with a plan to start spreading it out as soon as possible.

Of course, Ferris remained intubated as of Monday night, something that hopefully will come to an end sometime Tuesday.

With the amount of time, Ferris and Lindsey have spent at B.C. Children’s Hospital, they really have become familiar faces.

“We have seen so many of our hospital family (super sad reality, I know),” Lindsey wrote on Monday. “Her dialysis team all have come to see us and they look as rough as I do! They cried with us. One of our favourite ward nurses brought us lunch.

“These are nurses and doctors who have cared for her since she was weeks old. We feel loved by them and feel like they genuinely care about Ferris and our whole family. It’s so incredibly nice to see familiar faces in an ICU where I know no one.”

On Sunday, Lindsey had provided some insight into what had happened after the transplant surgery.

“Urology basically said the donor kidney was perfect but it was challenging to anastamose to Ferris because of the size of her vessels. He basically said he wouldn’t consider another transplant again until she’s bigger, which terrifies me because she isn’t growing well on dialysis at all.

“He worried they underestimated her heart health and it might not have been strong enough to perfuse the organ. This is big scary stuff.”

The Backmeyers didn’t get the OK to search for a living donor until about a year ago because the medical team didn’t feel that Ferris was big enough to undergo a transplant. The growth process has been slow for her, but she finally got to a point where they put her name on the transplant list.

“I am at this point going to canvass like hell for living donors . . . I think it’s Ferris’s best shot,” Lindsey said. “I felt like there was no way people could make it through the process before she got an offer of a deceased kidney but now know we have time . . . as long as Ferris gives us that time.”

Lindsey Backmeyer: We got the callllll!!! . . . Ferris, 4, being prepped for Saturday morning kidney transplant

Ferris1
Ferris Backmeyer, 4, is scheduled to have a kidney transplant on Saturday morning in Vancouver. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

If all goes according to plan, Ferris Backmeyer, 4, of Kamloops, will receive a new kidney on Saturday morning in Vancouver.

Her mother, Lindsey, posted the good news on Facebook on Friday morning:

“Oh my goodness I don’t have words. I knew this would happen . . . or was hoping so badly that this would happen!! We got the callllll!!! Mom had already left about 30 minutes before with a car loaded up with our stuff! She’s coming back!!! Ferris will be admitted this afternoon with plans to be transplanted early tomorrow morning. Kidney transplant . . . take 2!!!”

The Backmeyers have been in Vancouver since late December after getting a phone call advising them that a kidney had been found for Ferris. However, after getting settled in Vancouver and preparing for the big day, the surgery was called off.

As Lindsey put it at the time, the medical team “came in about an hour ago now and told us that the retrieval surgeon contacted him with not-so-great news about the kidney.”

She added: “The surgeon said he always asks himself if he would put the kidney in his own daughter and he said absolutely not to this one. That’s good enough for me.”

That brings us to the present. . . .

Ferris was diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome shortly after birth. Kidney failure quickly followed, meaning she has been on dialysis — either peritoneal (PD) or hemo — for pretty much all of her short life.

Ferris had been having issues with doing PD in December when the call came about a potential transplant. Because of those issues, she had been scheduled to return to B.C. Children’s Hospital in January to be transitioned to hemo.

That early January transplant didn’t happen, but Ferris stayed in Vancouver and made the move to hemo. It was just last week when she was transitioned back to PD. And, seemingly without a new kidney in sight, the family — Ferris’s older sisters, Tavia, 9, and Ksenia, 7, also have been in Vancouver — was readying to return to their Kamloops home. Ferris’s father, Pat, is attending school in Kamloops, so has been putting on the miles as he spends time in both cities.

And, as you will have noted by Lindsey’s post, her mother, Leslie, was already en route to Kamloops when the call came on Friday. Grandma turned around and headed back, of course.

And now the excitement will be palpable as everyone awaits Saturday morning.









If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Do good, feel good! Register to be an organ donor and get that warm fuzzy feeling. 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives. Taketwominutes.ca #TakeTwoMinutes 

What a kid! Smiling Ferris turns 4 . . . Scully looking for living donors . . . Nova Scotia opt-out program looking good

Ferris1
Despite a medical procedure earlier Friday, Ferris Backmeyer was able to have a great sucker-sucking time at her fourth birthday bash. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

Ferris Backmeyer celebrated her fourth birthday on Friday in Vancouver.

Ferris, who is from Kamloops, underwent a medical procedure earlier in the day — she also had one on Wednesday — before being able to take part in the birthday party mostly planned by older sisters Tavia, 9, and Ksenia, 7.

Ferris2
When Ferris got back from the hospital, her big sisters had their Vancouver residence all decked out and it was time to party. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

Ferris is an amazing young lady, having already gone through what would seem to be a lifetime worth of medical situations. If you aren’t aware, she has been in kidney failure for most of her life, meaning that she has been doing dialysis — either hemo or peritoneal — for most of that time.

“Being in kidney failure is all she knows and I can’t wait for her to be free of dialysis,” her mother, Lindsey, wrote on Facebook. “I can’t wait to see how she’s gonna soar!”

Having gained the necessary weight, Ferris has been on the transplant list for almost a year now and, after one false alarm earlier this month, her family can only continue to wait and hope.

So how is Ferris at 4?

According to Lindsey, “Three was such a big year for her. She had very few words a year ago and now has sooooo much to say. . . . She has endured a lot of medical procedures and I’m always so amazed at how well she does. She’s showing all the nurses and doctors her sassy personality and, aside from being ridiculously cute, she’s pretty funny too!”

It’s never a fun time when your child is on the receiving end of a medical procedure, and that was the case for the Backmeyers on Wednesday and Friday.

But after Friday’s latest adventure was over . . .

“The ship must sail on so to speak,” Lindsey wrote, “and we had a birthday to get ready for. Being true to myself I was up until 2 a.m. finishing the piñata . . . she ‘lubbed’ it!

“She’s really where one would expect if not better for being post op. Lots of sitting and playing (Friday) and standing only to brush her teeth before bedtime. Regular Tylenol and pretty sore at times needing to lay down. We got to bring her home after dialysis and the girls were soooo excited! They had the place all set up. It was perfect.”

Now about that kidney . . .


You may recall hearing or reading about Scully White, the gentleman who operates a hot dog stand at a Canadian Tire in Abbotsford, B.C., and donated a kidney to a customer before Christmas. . . . Well, White now has launched a campaign — It’s For The People — aimed at finding live kidney donors. As Vikki Hopes reports, White “has about 10 people looking for kidneys and about 12 donors who have started the process of blood and tissue sampling.” . . . Hopes has a whole lot more on this story right here.


The head of Nova Scotia’s organ donation program is cautiously optimistic the new presumed consent law is being embraced after seeing the latest numbers on the province’s opt-out registry,” writes Carolyn Ray of CBC News. “Nova Scotia became the first place in North America to switch to an opt-out organ and tissue donation law on Jan. 18. It presumes all adults consent to be donors, unless they say otherwise. Just 10 days after the law was implemented, the Department of Health and Wellness says 11,800 Nova Scotians have registered to opt out. That’s about one per cent of the province’s population.” . . . Ray’s complete story is right here.








If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Want to feel awesome in less than 2 minutes? Register as an organ donor today. 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives. Taketwominutes.ca #TakeTwoMinutes. 

Ferris update 2: Transplant won’t happen right now . . . Undisclosed problem with donor kidney . . . It’s back to waiting game . . .

It turns out that Ferris won’t be getting that kidney this morning.

Lindsey Backmeyer, Ferris’s mother, posted on Facebook just after 12:30 a.m., that the medical team “came in about an hour ago now and told us that the retrieval surgeon contacted him with not-so-great news about the kidney.”

As Lindsey wrote, “Knowing this could happen actually isn’t enough to prepare oneself for the actual disappointment. It was a ‘I need to sit down’ moment.”

She added: “I knew this could happen. It’s apparently quite rare . . . but I hear that all the time with Ferris so am not surprised that we would be living this right now. Doctors around here never come in groups unexpectedly unless they have big or bad news. Even with masks, I knew right when they walked in the room.”

Yes, Lindsey admitted to feeling “all kinds of crushed,” but at the same time wrote that she was “at peace with it.”

As she explained, “The surgeon said he always asks himself if he would put the kidney in his own daughter and he said absolutely not to this one. That’s good enough for me.”

After pausing and thinking about everything that went down on Tuesday, Lindsey wrote: “Everything about today sucked but I actually thought it went pretty smooth. We can do this again. Ferris is doing well; she’s safe and thriving.”

So . . . what’s next for Ferris?

Lindsey said they will stay in Vancouver for now, what with Ferris expected to be switched from peritoneal dialysis to hemodialysis on Jan. 7.

“Not to sound overly optimistic,” she added, “but it gives us eight more days for a kidney to come up before putting in the hemo line.

“(Bleep) . . . another chapter for the book I don’t have time to write!”

At the end of a long, long day, she closed with:

“We really have felt so much love from so many people today . . . sending love right back!”

Ferris update: Kidney transplant scheduled for this morning (Dec. 30) . . . Mom says Ferris has been “chatting up a storm” and “winning hearts” . . .

Ferris-122920
Ferris Backmeyer looks rather content on the evening before she is scheduled to have a long-awaited kidney transplant. (PHOTO: Lindsey Backmeyer)

Ferris Backmeyer, the young girl from Kamloops who is in need of a kidney transplant, is scheduled for exactly that at some point this morning.

Her mother, Lindsey, revealed that on Facebook late Tuesday night.

“She’s slated for first thing (Wednesday) morning,” Lindsey wrote, “and for once I don’t think she’s gonna get bumped!! Feelin all the feels.

“I’d be lying if I said I’m not terribly anxious about how things might go (Wednesday). There is a huge team of people behind her right now. They have told us she’s not straight forward and there’s so many possibilities of what might happen. . . . Anesthesia plans on leaving her intubated and taking her to the PICU. I’m confident she’s gonna show them how well she can do and the tube will be short-lived!!”

Ferris, who is almost four, has been doing dialysis for almost all of her life. The phone call saying a kidney was available came on Tuesday at 1 a.m. Ferris and her parents, Lindsey and Pat, drove to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver later in the day.

Late Tuesday night, Lindsey posted on Facebook that it had been a long day.

“Still awake! Running on fumes,” she wrote. “Overall I have to say today went way better than how I had envisioned it when I got the call at 1 a.m.

“Ferris just rolls with the punches. Lives in the now. Tolerates all the things so well I can’t help but be proud of her. She rocked the IV start . . . not so much the lab draw that came shortly after. She had multiple ultrasounds, X-rays, Covid swab, ECG, the IV, labs and another poke for her Darbepoetin. It was a solid 4 hours of back to back things.

“She’s been chatting up a storm and winning the hearts of anyone that comes to do the things!! Showing her tummy off to anyone who asks!! Haha.”

According to Lindsey, Ferris is “just in such a sweet spot right now and I don’t think there’s gonna be a better time! I’m super optimistic and mostly really excited!! I’m praying that tonight is our last night of PD for a very long time!!

“You got this girl!!”

The Backmeyers “got the call!!!!” . . . Transplant may be next for Ferris . . . Kamloops parents continue search for kidney for son

LindsFerris
Mother and sleeping daughter, Lindsey and Ferris Backmeyer, before leaving for Vancouver and, hopefully, a new chapter. (PHOTO: Lindsey Backmeyer)

The phone call came and Ferris Backmeyer, her mother, Lindsey, and father, Pat, left their home in Kamloops for B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver on Tuesday morning.

In the wee hours of that morning, Lindsey, below a photo of her and a sleeping Ferris, who is soon to turn four, posted on Facebook:

“We got the call!!! In a few short hours I will be waking this sweet girl up and packing her into the truck and driving her to BCCH . . . where hopefully she will get a beautifully healthy kidney!!!!”

Later on Tuesday morning, Lindsey’s father, Ken Maydaniuk, posted:

“This girl is on her way to the BCCH with mom and dad. A call came during the night that a they have a kidney for Ferris. Grandma and the bigs will follow. Fingers crossed for Ferris and family that the surgery will all workout. That’s a great Christmas gift. . . . We’re all very grateful for the massive support the family has received.”

Grandma is Lindsey’s mother, Leslie, while the “bigs” are Ferris’s older sisters Ksenia and Tavia.

Ferris, of course, is hardly a stranger to BCCH, having first been there when she was three weeks old. She was diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome and it wasn’t long before she experienced kidney failure.

For the vast majority of her young life, then, Ferris has been on dialysis, mostly peritoneal dialysis (PD), something that can be done while at home and is done on a daily basis. On the occasions when there have been issues with PD, she has had to return to BCCH and transition to hemodialysis, at least until the PD situation was straightened out.

Of late, Ferris has been experiencing problems with PD, especially when it comes to draining, which means she has been retaining fluid. She was scheduled to return to BCCH early in January to be transitioned to hemo in an attempt to quell those issues. In time, and without a kidney available. it was hoped that she would be able to go back to PD and return home.

Now, however, it seems that there is a living donor who has passed all the tests and things just may be ready to go. It was almost a year and a half ago that the Backmeyers were given the OK to begin a public search for a donor, and that’s when Lindsey turned to Facebook in an attempt to find someone willing to offer up a kidney for her donor.

Now it seems as though the search may be over.

Ferris, you got this little girl!







If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.

Kidney disease doesn’t care that it’s Christmas . . . Want free hotdogs for life? Donate a kidney . . .

Sisters
The Backmeyer sisters — Ksenia (left), Ferris and Tavia. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

There are a couple of things that you should know about kidney disease.

For starters, there isn’t a cure. Dialysis, hemo or peritoneal, isn’t a cure. A transplant isn’t a cure.

Second, well, I’ll let Lindsey Backmeyer fill you in . . .

“Kidney disease does not give a crap that it’s Christmas time,” she wrote in a Facebook post this week.

Ferris, Lindsey and Pat’s soon-to-be four-year-old daughter, has been on dialysis, almost always peritoneal (PD), most of her young life. There have been issues of late, though, and a trip to B.C. Children’s Hospital is scheduled for early January.

In the meantime . . .

“Dialysis has been not great the past few nights and there’s this lingering feeling of ‘Oh crap! It’s Christmas . . . This is not at all how things are supposed to go.”

With Ferris having a tough go of it with PD, the spectre of an earlier than planned trip to BCCH hangs over the Backmeyers.

“We will know in the next couple of days whether we can relax or prepare to get to (BDDH) sooner than planned,” Lindsey wrote. “Things need to correct like they did in November.”

Through it all, Ferris forges on like the little trouper she is.

As Lindsey explained: “Thankfully she’s still her sassy little self. . . . Her tummy is a bit bigger, she’s not draining as well, not pulling fluid as well. She is scheduled for the hemodialysis line to be placed on Jan. 7.

“I so desperately want that time here with my family, unless of course a kidney was to come along! I want ski days and sledding and skating with my girls. However, I’m totally preparing myself for Plan B . . . or C . . .”

The Backmeyers don’t have any idea how long their Vancouver residency will last this time, and they continue to look for a rental large enough for five and with a price point that fits.

The BC Family Residency Program “will cover us to stay at the same suite we had this summer for the first month,” Lindsey explained. “After that it’s a bit outta our price range but I’m going to remain optimistic we could get transplanted . . . and be home in the spring!”

FerrisLook
Ferris Backmeyer, a girl with 1,000 expressions. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

While all of this is going on, Lindsey says the family has been marvelling at the reaction from the community.

“We’ve had like this outrageous amount of support from our family and friends,” she wrote, adding that it really is helping her through a tough time.

“I tell ya . . . it’s hitting me hard this year,” she wrote. “Things feel so completely beyond my control right now and it’s not the most comforting feeling. Plus it’s friggin Christmas-time and it’s supposed to be magical and relaxing but there’s so many people calling and sooo many emails.”

Always remember, too, that Ferris has two older sisters — Ksenia and Tavia. They are a big deal, too, and can’t be forgotten in all of this.

“The last day of school was clouded with huge feelings of missing out in the new year,” Lindsey wrote. “Tavia’s teacher was away the last couple days so she was upset about not being able to present a science project, she didn’t get to give her teacher her gift, her class is tubing at Harper (Mountain) in February . . . big things in her world.”

At the end of the day, though, the Backmeyers are feeling the love, especially at this special time of year.

“I really just want to thank everyone for all of the love. I feel it so deeply I really can’t put it into words” is how Lindsey put it. “I’ve had so many moments of pure exhaustion and feelings of failure the past few weeks and someone comes in to save our day. Like, seriously, this is happening every single day around here.

“The season feels magical to my kids and they are soooo excited for Christmas. So much of it has been because of random acts of kindness for them. It’s like so ridiculously heartwarming . . . particularly this year! There still is so much good in this world!!!”

Now if only the Backmeyers would get that kidney-is-ready phone call!


How would you like it if someone offered you free footlong hotdogs for life?

Would you donate a kidney in order to take advantage of such an offer?

Well . . . here’s the deal:

Skully White operates Lullys Food Experience out of a Canadian Tire parking lot in Abbotsford, B.C. On Dec. 14, he donated a kidney to Tim Hiscock, a regular customer.

The surgery took place at Vancouver General Hospital. White was discharged two days after surgery; Hiscock went home on Friday.

One day after surgery, the two visited in Hiscock’s hospital room.

White told Scott Brown of the Vancouver Sun: “He was weak but we chatted for a little bit and eventually I just said, ‘Okay, so apart from the pain that we’re both feeling from being cut open, and the grogginess and everything. How does not being on dialysis and having the kidney feel?’ And he looked at me with a smile . . . and he had tears coming down his face. It was the most amazing feeling in the world that I could do this for him.”

White has since posted on his Facebook page, stating that “Lullys is starting a campaign to find others willing to step forward and become live kidney donors.”

The post adds: “Skully from lulls became a live kidney donor and saved somebody’s life. You can too and you’ll also get FREE footlong hotdogs for life from lullys.

“Save a life and get free hotdogs, need I say more?”

Brown’s complete story is right here.






If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.