Welcome to Aubrey’s Journey. I hope you learn lots. And I hope you learn to understand Aubrey, in all of her beauty. So begins a chronicle by Kirstie Schatz about her first born daughter.
Kirstie is a warrior mom, a role she never signed up for but one she wouldn’t trade for any amount of bountiful harvests. Harvests are precious to Kirstie because she married into a farming family in Barrhead county, Alberta. Her husband Jason works the Schatz family farm with his dad.
Farming in Alberta endured hard times over the last four years due to harsh weather and market conditions. During that period the Schatzes also faced a harsh reality with the health of their daughter, Aubrey. Kirstie is a private person so chronicling such a personal journey in a blog was a bold choice to be vulnerable. Her vulnerability is our blessing.
Shortly before turning two months old Aubrey was diagnosed with Beals Syndrome, a rare Connective Tissue Disorder, which causes joints, muscles, tendons and other tissues to form improperly. Aubrey was the youngest and most severe patient physicians have treated at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
The Stollery became the Schatzs second home, from day trips to a 76-day stretch after surgery. Being a patient in a hospital is not a pleasant experience, but the Stollery makes things bearable. In addition to world class medical care, the Stollery offers pet/child life and music therapies. Aubrey loved every cuddle with her new pal.
Two years later
In 2018 Aubrey underwent halo treatment and had steel MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) rods inserted into her spine. Aubrey’s life changed for the better, so many prayers were answered, and her family saw the beginning of the end to their long hospital admission.
Aubrey’s MAGEC growing rods brought some relief to her lungs, organs, and spine, paving the way for strength, growth, positive eating habits, weight gain, and much more. The MAGEC rods were replaced with traditional “growing rods later in 2020. Those rods had complications and were also removed.
Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Montreal
In July 2022 Kirstie took Aubrey to Montreal to meet with a surgeon about Aubrey’s needs. He is willing to take Aubrey under his care. That is GOOD news from the Schatzes. Follow Aubrey’s Journey on her Facebook page.
Imagine all they have been through as an extended family.
I’m grateful for the Schatzs. I was privileged to be their pastor and with them at the right time to dedicate their daughter Liesl. When Aubrey showed up for church, her contagious enthusiasm and energy rubs off on everyone. Joy would be a fitting middle name for her.
The Schatzs are thankful for the Stollery’s scoliosis team, her surgeon, the potential he saw, and the way they care for her. The Children’s Wish Foundation, along with friends and Barrhead Fire Rescue helped fund raise and install an outdoor spa that will enabled Aubrey to have aquatic therapy and enjoy “swimming” with Dad.
1. Jesus and the Bible to keep me grounded.
2. My family.
3. My father in law for watching Aubrey while I run to stock up on a few things.
4. Being a Type A medical mom who always has stock of Lysol wipes, TP, and PT before it was the thing to do.
5. I’m very self-sufficient and can cook and bake for our family.
6. We have the best family and friends who have commented, messaged, and text us with support, offerings to help, and just words of love. (This one should have gone way higher on the list).
7. Living on a farm so we have space to roam around, and always feel the peace of the countryside and not the stress of town/city.
8. Our medical team (again, should have been way higher on the list). They continue to go above and beyond, and are figuring out ways I haven’t even mentioned to keep Aubrey safe and illness free post surgery.
9. For a wonderfully supportive school for Aubrey that works with our family to ensure she has what she needs to succeed.
10. For how smart and resilient Aubrey has been the last year, missing a lot of school but not missing a beat, and keeping connected with her friends.
11. For God’s continued provision during each new medical season. His eye is always on the sparrow.
Please leave the Schatz family a comment or a prayer below. Thank you.
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