Courage and resilience take many forms, but for Karen Knox and her family, they are in one awe-inspiring and joyful package. Karen, a Grade 3 and 4 teacher at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in north Scarborough, is the proud mother of seven-year old Emilia and four-year old Evelyn. When Evelyn was a newborn, Karen and her husband noticed an extreme and stubborn case of jaundice, which led them to The Hospital for Sick Kids. The tiny girl was diagnosed with the rare liver disease Biliary Atresia, which prevents bile from carrying out its function of digesting fat and carrying waste products into the intestines. The danger is that this could cause cirrhosis or liver failure.
After initial surgery to help her liver function, Evelyn developed an infection, and blood tests indicated her condition was worsening. Acting quickly, the specialists at Sick Kids performed a liver transplant for Evelyn when she was just eight months old. Karen says;
“It has been a very long and difficult journey. But we never lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. Evelyn is now fearless.”
Today, Evelyn is an energetic and inquisitive child who helps other children receive the care they need, as a Sick Kids Ambassador.