History has shown time and time again that when the call goes out for help in a small town, residents jump at the opportunity to lend a hand, donate a few bucks or any number of other things to help out their friends and neighbours, and Rimbey is certainly no exception.
Be it stocking the shelves when the call comes out from a food bank or raising tens of thousands of dollars for such worthwhile charities as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the citizens rally together, roll up their sleeves and dig in until the job is done, and that’s what makes smaller communities so special.
With that said, such a situation as recently surfaced involving a newborn baby from Rimbey who just four days after her birth, was on an operating table at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton receiving emergency surgery to correct a congenital heart defect.
Rylan Kaycee Cipperley, daughter of Corey and Darla Cipperley of Rimbey, was born on Jan. 12, 2009 with Trumcus Asteriosus, meaning she was born with only one major blood vessel leaving the heart pumping blood to the lungs and body. As a result, she was forced into surgery shortly after birth to have one implanted.
Due to the excessive amount of blood flow to the lungs through the remaining vessel, congenative heart failure develops, thus the need for emergency surgery to correct the problem.
“She was in critical condition for 48 hours with very close monitoring in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit while her heart function recouvered from the major reconstruction,” said her grandmother Brenda Cipperley.
Led by Dr. Rebeyka and a team of experts at the Stollery repaired a valve and two holes in Rylan’s heart while also connecting her right ventricle and pulmonary arteries using a valved conduit.
And while the surgery corrected the problem, she will have to undergo the same procedure four more times as she continues to grow until reaching adulthood.
“As little Rylan grows, the connection will not grow with her and that will lead to further obstructions of her blood flow,” Brenda said. “Another surgery to replace the conduit will be needed within the next year to year and a half and then again three more times during childhood to accommodate her growth.”
The results of those and her first surgery are understandably, very taxing on the parents who have been with their newborn in Edmonton since she was born. In an effort to support the family, a trust fund has been established at the Rimbey Branch of the ATB under the name: Michawn Giesbrecht in trust for Rylan Cipperley.
Giesbrecht, who has lost a child of her own and has been instrumental in raising funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, created the trust fund with former colleague Rhonda Hutton of Hanna, who coincidentally is the niece of Virgil Cipperly – Rylan’s grandfather.
“Corey and Darla feel so blessed and thank God every day for their little miracle as they lost a child in December of 2007 – a daughter Keely Sage, from a different type of congenital heart disease,” Brenda said. “As friends and family, we know Corey and Darla thank the public for their prayers and support as they will be at the hospital for another three weeks.”
Fortunately, the prognosis is excellent as over 90 per cent of children survive the procedure and go on the live healthy and productive lives.
The public can also follow the recovery of Rylan Cipperley online. To access photographs and updates on her condition, visit: www.carepages.com. After registering, simply type her name in the provided search box, and you will be forwarded to her personal page where you’ll find pictures, updates and greetings from the public.
Those interested in donating to the trust fund can do so at any branch of the ATB anywhere in Alberta.