Hamilton Teen Who Survived Life-Threatening Condition is Named 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Champion

Raynham wears a Walmart vest and stands next to a sign with her photo and story on it.

HAMILTON, ON – January 23, 2020: McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation and Walmart associates from across the region gathered at the Walmart Stoney Creek Supercentre today to celebrate 15-year-old Raynham McArthur of Hamilton being named a 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Champion.

Raynham’s inspirational medical journey began when she was 11 years old.

“I was thirsty all the time, losing a lot of weight, and suffering from terrible muscle pains and headaches,” explains Raynham.

Raynham was treated with antibiotics, as it was assumed that she was suffering from a persistent infection. Then one day, she fell into a coma.

She was rushed by ambulance to McMaster Children’s Hospital, where it was discovered that her brain was swelling and her body systems were shutting down due to complications from type 1 diabetes. She was at high risk of suffering a stroke and having permanent brain damage if she survived at all. After three days of intense round-the-clock care, the swelling in her brain began to subside and there were no signs of brain damage.

Raynham had lost a lot of muscle, her joints were weakened and her gastrointestinal tract was damaged. She worked closely with Child Life Specialists and psychotherapists to help her overcome anxiety from the ordeal, and she began a modified diet that was designed to keep her blood sugars normalized and help her regain muscle.

A glucose-monitoring device was implanted beneath her skin to measure her blood sugar levels every five minutes. An insulin pump tube is also inserted under her skin and it delivers insulin as needed.

Today, Raynham is thriving and enjoying the life of an active teenager.

“The team at McMaster Children’s Hospital saved my life,” she says. “They’ll always be like family to me.”

Raynham was selected to represent McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation as the 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Champion child because of her resilience.

“Every year we select an ambassador who embodies the courage and perseverance of the patients who receive lifesaving care at McMaster Children’s Hospital,” says Pearl Veenema, Chief Executive Officer, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. “We chose Raynham to be our 2020 Champion because her determination when faced with a dangerous and life-changing condition inspires everyone around her. We hope her story will motivate the community to support McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.”

Champions is an awareness program designed to educate communities about Children’s Miracle Network, the important work of its member hospital foundations, including McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the financial needs of children’s hospitals.

Children’s hospitals tackle the greatest challenges and see the most critical cases, and this program shines light on this important work to facilitate financial support. The program honours remarkable children who have triumphed despite severe medical challenges, and offers them an opportunity to represent the millions of children treated annually at children’s hospitals across North America.

As part of the Champions program, Raynham will represent McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation as a hospital ambassador (along with 11 other children from hospitals across Canada) at Children’s Hospitals Week in Orlando. Children’s Hospitals Week (April 6 – 10) highlights the importance of children’s hospitals and how donations help kids get the best care when they need it. Children’s Hospitals Week Canada is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors, Walmart, Air Canada Foundation and The Brick.

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Media Contact:

Michael Cordeiro
Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist
Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
905-521-2100 ext. 73374
cordeiromi@hhsc.ca

About McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation:

McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, as part of Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, provides vital funding to enable the best possible patient care at McMaster Children’s Hospital, including Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre and McMaster University Medical Centre. The Foundation inspires and motivates gifts that fund medical equipment and patient amenities, innovative research initiatives, essential redevelopment of clinical care spaces, and the education and training of health care providers.

McMaster Children’s Hospital is the second largest provider of inpatient pediatric services in Ontario. The Hospital is home to Canada’s largest neonatal intensive care unit including supportive maternal care, the largest pediatric mental health program in Canada, and the only inpatient pediatric cancer program in south-central Ontario.

About Children’s Miracle Network:

 Children’s Miracle Network® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and research. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why Canadian children’s hospitals need your support at http://www.childrensmiraclenetwork.ca and http://www.facebook.com/childrensmiraclenetworkcanada

About Walmart Canada:

Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving more than 1.2 million customers each day. Walmart Canada’s flagship online store, Walmart.ca is visited by more than 750,000 customers daily. With more than 85,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada’s largest employers and is ranked one of the country’s top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada’s extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $400 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.cafacebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/walmartcanada.