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National Scotties a sweet reprieve for Silvernagle after her son’s year in intensive care

Robyn Silvernagle will be making her third appearance at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts next week in Kamloops, BC, just weeks after her team was put together.

The 35-year-old says she had curled in just five games in the fall before getting together with lead Kara Thevenot, second Sherry Just and third Kelly Schafer.

After just one practice ahead of the last chance qualifier, the foursome won their way to the provincial Scotties and ended up hoisting the trophy after an 8-4 win over Nancy Martin in the final.

“This one is sweet just with everything that myself and my husband had been through in this last year, not even knowing if I was going to get to curl at all,” Silvernagle said.

She says she and her husband Chad spent 304 days in the hospital—most of them in intensive care—after her son Kolt was born without his esophagus attached.

“They had to do surgery at 10-days-old to attach his esophagus and then it was dilations after that, and he ended up getting pneumonia quite a few times,” she said.

“Then he had open heart surgery in May and that was a pretty rough road to get out of that, and then he had a couple more surgeries after that.”

She says there’s still another surgery to come, but Kolt is now doing well.

“He's growing and progressing,” she said. “He's a strong little fighter.”

Silvernagle was able to sub on a few teams in the fall, and the decision to form another team happened quickly.

“We started talking more and more about it and who we wanted to play with and we just asked the right people and it all came together,” said Thevenot, who added there’s nobody else she’d want throwing skip stones.

“I was definitely a little bit of a driver behind it and made it happen I would say, it's just we had talked about it lots and then just put it into action and here we are today.”

Silvernagle says the experience has put curling and her life in perspective, and is looking forward to having her family in the crowd at the national championship.

“It’s been quite the year, like 2023 has to be better than 2022 was because that was a shaky year,” she said.

“It's been a journey and looking back at the times in the hospital and you're like, “Will my life ever be back to what we think of as normal” which is just getting to go play and have grandparents watch your child and those sorts of things. So it feels like a real blessing to be able to get to be where we are today, and get to go to another Scotties. We'll definitely cherish I think every moment of it.” 

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