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Gift of life: Blood donor events being held in Kentville in memory of Hailey Kane

Canadian Blood Services is holding donation events in Kentville on Sept. 5 and 6 to honour the memory of Hailey Kane.
Canadian Blood Services is holding donation events in Kentville on Sept. 5 and 6 to honour the memory of Hailey Kane. - Contributed

Donating can 'literally mean the difference between life and death'

KENTVILLE, N.S. —

It’s an opportunity to give the gift of life while honouring the memory of a young woman who lived it to its fullest.

Canadian Blood Services is holding blood donation events in Kentville on Sept. 5 and 6 in memory of Hailey Marie Kane.

Hailey’s mom, Susanne Kane of Cambridge, said being willing to donate blood can literally mean the difference between life and death for those who need it.

“Multiple times, it was the blood products that made the difference in Hailey’s life,” Kane said. “It’s very touching that they will do this in honour of Hailey but also to help others.”

She said the events in honour of Hailey are a great way to help keep her memory alive. For people who knew her and for those who didn’t, giving blood is a meaningful way to acknowledge her.

It’s quite fitting, considering that Hailey always gave of herself. Her mom said Hailey was always very appreciative of the gifts of life she received from blood donors, when she was aware of it.

Hailey loved dogs and had a Boston Terrier that she would walk every day. She was also very creative. She was active in tap dance, gymnastics, piano, guitar and art.

She had her own, successful business called Messy Buns Bakery and sold her wares at the Kentville and Middleton farmers markets. Hailey also loved acting and was studying her lines for her third play with Kentville’s Centre Stage Theatre.

Kane said she was so proud of her daughter’s involvement with the theatre, especially considering that, behind the scenes, she wasn’t feeling well. However, she loved it on the stage and seeing her there, you would never know she was sick.

“She was a very tender soul, she was such a sweet girl. She didn’t get angry. She just wanted to live life and live it to the fullest that she could, and that wasn’t always easy for her,” Kane said.

IN NEED OF BLOOD

When she was seven, Hailey suddenly fell ill with a suspected virus, causing heart failure. During a lengthy stay at the IWK Children’s Hospital in Halifax, she received many different blood products, which saved her life. With the help of medications, she was able to return home.

Hailey’s health began to deteriorate over the last few years. In July 2018, she went into cardiogenic shock and severe heart failure. She endured two open heart surgeries that month. However, during the second one, an artery was punctured. This led to a continuous bleed.

Later, during a chest tube insertion, her liver was nicked. This caused another continuous bleed that led to emergency stomach surgery.

Hailey was in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) for 116 days, awaiting a heart transplant. She experienced complications and received well over 40 units of blood, multiple doses of IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin), platelets and other blood products. These products again saved her life.

She fought hard and overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles but, sadly, lost her battle when her life support failed. Hailey passed away on Oct. 27, 2018, a week before her 18th birthday. She would have graduated this past June.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

IF YOU GO:

  • The blood donation events in honour of Hailey Kane’s memory are being held at the Kentville Fire Hall, located at 463 Main St.
  • They are being held on Sept. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. and again from 5 to 8 p.m.; and on Sept. 6 from 12 to 3 p.m.
  • To “join Canada’s lifeline”, book an appointment at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DONATE

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