Sask. parents of sick boy grateful for support amid long hospital stay
SASKATOON -- Anyone wishing to donate can contact hope4braxton(at)hotmail.com."It's probably the toughest thing we've had to go through," Darren McIntyre said.
Braxton, 17-months-old, and his twin sister, Bryer, were born premature.
Braxton was delivered by caesarian section at 28 weeks, weighing in at 1.5 pounds.
He has struggled with medical complications since birth and has only been out of hospital for one month.
"This has been a rough, rough go. At points during this admission, it might sound dark and terrible, but I've sat at his bedside crying wondering if we should make him an organ donor, because we can help other kids," Raeanne McIntyre said.
Lately, the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital has become more familiar than their home, with Braxton spending time in the pediatric ward and the pediatric intensive care unit.
The couple spent their 10-year anniversary and most holidays in hospital.
"When we kind of feel like we're back on an upward swing something seems to just sweep underneath us," she said.
Braxton has suffered several infections and endured a number of surgeries.
His mom's maternity benefits have ended and his dad has taken time off work to provide support at home, making the lack of income a burden.
"Darren and I will get a bagel in the morning and you know, share half a bagel," she said.
"You know my sister just said, 'you really need to try and let us help.’"
Raeanne's sister, Whitney Inkster, and friends started a fundraiser on Facebook called "Online Benefit Auction for McIntyre Family..Your Community Cares!!"
The women hope money from the auction will help lessen the financial burden on the family.
"I know for Raeanne and Darren it's been super overwhelming. They were in tears knowing how much support and love and generosity the communities have been giving," Inkster said.
"We want to support them, we want people to see that this little boy is fighting," said Angelina Stirton, a family friend.
"We can't help make Braxton better but we can help with some of the other stressors that are going on with this illness."
The fundraiser, which is now closed, saw hundreds of people in Saskatchewan auction off their goods and services. A signed hockey stick was bought for $500.
The McIntyres said they are overwhelmed with the support.
"I'm not quite there or prepared yet to hear or know about how it's going," Raeanne said.
While doctors may never learn Braxton's true diagnosis, Raeanne said he has kept them going.
"I think it's him. Braxton does."
Bryer also had complications at birth but is now healthy overall.