Erin Van Achte (left) and Jan Kotyk (right) have returned home to Golden with their 13-week-old son Asher after he underwent surgery to repair two holes in his heart.

Asher Kotyk returns to Golden after successful heart surgery

It was a happy holiday homecoming last week for Asher Kotyk, who spent his first Christmas at home with his parents.

It was a happy holiday homecoming last week for Asher Kotyk, who spent his first Christmas at home with his parents, Jan Kotyk and Erin Van Achte. Best of all, the 13-week old is recuperating well from his Dec. 12 surgery.

“He’s doing fantastic [now],” said Erin.

“He has the energy to eat, he didn’t have that before, and now he’s awake a lot more because he was sleeping a lot more before the surgery,” Jan said.

Asher spent over a month in hospitals in both Calgary and Edmonton because of a congestive heart failure that was caused by two large holes in his heart.

After a successful surgery, Asher was released last week just in time for Christmas.

The problem was discovered on Nov. 15 when Jan and Erin brought Asher into the Golden hospital after some grape water got into his lungs and he started breathing abnormally. X-rays revealed that Asher had a more serious issue, although it wasn’t initially clear what the problem was.

Personnel were brought from Calgary to take Asher back there, which understandably worried Jan and Erin.

“I was really terrified because they were sending a pediatrician, two nurses and two paramedics from Calgary to get pick him up and bring him,” said Erin. “We were thinking, what’s going on, this is a lot, this is extreme, something must really be wrong.”

“Seeing five professionals in the field show up…we were going through all sorts of things in our head,” Jan said.

Through a difficult situation, the couple was very pleased with how hospital staff handled everything.

“We are so incredibly grateful to Dr. Kirk McCarroll and all the other awesome staff at Golden Hospital emergency for their loving care [on Nov. 15],” said Erin.

The holes in Asher’s heart were discovered after further tests in Calgary. He was eventually moved to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, where his surgery took place. Jan and Erin stayed in a hotel in Edmonton for a few nights before they were able to receive accommodation at Ronald McDonald House.

On a few occasions it appeared as though Asher might be released from hospital and be permitted to await his surgery at home, but that never happened, which would have left Jan with a difficult decision if it wasn’t for the support the family received from Golden. Jan, losing wages with every day spent in Calgary, thought he might have to leave Erin and Asher in Alberta in order to work.

“There was a point when they said, ‘okay you’re here until the surgery’, I thought I was going to have to go home,” Jan said.

Thankfully, the situation never came to that because of the generous support the family received from locals in Golden. Through various fundraisers, Goldenites were able to raise enough money to cover Jan’s loss of wages as well as their accommodation and travel costs. Both Jan and Erin are extremely grateful for that support.

“It’s overwhelming. I couldn’t believe all of the support that we had, and then coming home and just everybody smiling and waving at us and welcoming us home. It just felt really good to be home and to feel all of that love from everybody,” Erin said.

“It was unreal,” Jan said.

Asher will have a February follow up appointment at a cardiology clinic in Calgary and will have monthly checkups at the hospital here. His weight will also be monitored on a weekly basis.

For now, the family is just really happy to be back home for the holidays.

“It’s awesome to be home and to sleep on our own beds and have our dog back,” Erin said.

 

Just Posted

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Your weekly Mountain Minute

Golden’s weekly 60-secon news recap for February 14

Biologists discover another female calf in depleted South Purcell Mountain Caribou herd

Calf will be moved to Revelstoke maternity pens, then released

King and Spring return to Golden this weekend

The Snow King and Lady Spring return to the Valley this weekend,… Continue reading

Find out what the Golden community is up to

I hope that this column finds you someplace cozy and warm and… Continue reading

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

East Kootenay mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

‘Violent’ B.C. man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Prince George man with ties to Vernon sought by police

Most Read