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Ethan’s Dream – April 20, 2014

by: Jenna Thistle

Ethan Hunt was born with Down Syndrome and diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a heart condition, at only one week old. For first-time parents, Lori and Rick, the excitement of having their first child evolved into worry. At two months old, Ethan underwent open-heart surgery to repair two holes that were in his heart. After a rough two weeks spent in the hospital with his devoted parents, Ethan recovered like a trooper.

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The years following Ethan’s open heart surgery consisted of many trips back and forth to the hospital for checkups on his heart. He was also visiting the Down Syndrome clinic annually for specialist appointments. Despite the hectic schedule, Ethan grew up as any other child would. He loved to play video games and watch hockey. Ethan also took part in some of the local activities in Marystown. Beginning at the young age of 6, Ethan competed with the Burin Peninsula North Special Olympics doing the 50 metre, 100 metre and 200-metre races as well as standing long jump and shot put. He also began playing the cymbals in the band for the 121 Mary Rose Sea Cadets. He excelled at both the Special Olympics and the Sea Cadets, later winning impressive medals within both organizations.

A few years later Ethan was sent for another surgery. This time, he was receiving a cardiac catheterization to enlarge the valve going to his heart. Unfortunately, the surgery was unsuccessful, and Ethan was put on a list for another surgery to attempt to fix the valve. Ethan is still waiting for this surgery.

Due to the financial strain of a constant supply of medication for Ethan, Lori and Rick were not always able to buy him all the things he had wanted. Ethan was dreaming of having one thing in particular: his very own gaming system; and, despite asking the Easter Bunny for one, he didn’t get one. Little did he know, his mother had been in contact with The Dream Fund to make Ethan’s dream come true. Lori knew about The Dream Fund before, having been a resident of the town where the charity had been founded, and called after a friend had phoned and made the suggestion that they try to apply for Ethan. Once the ball got rolling it was no time until the dream day was upon them.

On April 20th, 2014, Ethan and his family attended the Ice Crystals Figure Skating Club Spring Ice Show at the Marystown Arena. It was a big day for the local folks as Kaetlyn Osmond, Canadian Figure Skater and Olympic Silver Medalist returned to her hometown to be a guest skater at the show. Ethan had no idea he was about to be centre stage with the two-time Canadian National Champion.

With 800 people watching from the stands, unsuspecting Ethan was called to the stage. Although he was unsure of what exactly was going on, he saw presents and eagerly stepped up. Kaetlyn presented Ethan with the one thing he had been dreaming about: an Xbox One, as well as a 3D TV, a sound system and several games! His excitement was through the roof! To this day Ethan is still using and loving his gaming system, thanks to The Dream Fund and Kaetlyn Osmond.