Owen Condy-Page at four months. Owen has survived meningitis and after two months is finally at home in Castlegar.

Owen Condy-Page at four months. Owen has survived meningitis and after two months is finally at home in Castlegar.

It takes a village to raise a child

One young boy’s battle to live raises battle cry for help

When Owen Condy-Page was born March 3 things looked bright for him and twin sister Serenity.

His mother, Angela Condy, was proud of the two newest members of her family. A single mother, Angela did not have much money but she had enough love for her three young children.

On May 14 Angela’s world went out of control. Fighting meningitis, Owen had to be airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. It took over 10 days to get the seizures that wracked Owen’s body under control. At two months of age Owen was in the fight of his life.

When Owen’s seizures were under control the Castlegar mother took a deep sigh of relief. It was then the doctors started giving her the rest of the bad news: Owen had suffered brain damage and the doctors did not know what quality of life her baby would have. They were not sure if he would be able to breath without a respirator.

The brain damage affected his swallowing reflex. Owen was being fed through a tube into his stomach. The doctors doubted if he could hear or see.

Owen kept on breathing when he was taken off the respirator June 6. He amazed the doctors with his fighting spirit. Owen has lost most of his hearing and may end up having Cochlear Implants.

Owen improved and was moved, first to Sunnyhill Hospital in Vancouver for rehabilitation, and on July 20 he and his mother came home to Castlegar where they live with Tony and Rose Gourlart, Condy’s parents. He will start therapy in Castlegar and will be fitted for hearing aids in the near future.

Owen is a fighter but even fighters need some help. He will need ongoing therapy and will have to continue to go down to Vancouver for checkups to monitor his progress.

Enter Owen’s Angels, a group of family and friends who wanted to try to raise some of the money needed to help Owen reach his potential.

On June 4 Crystin Merwin and crew had a garage sale at Kootenay Family Place. Jars were placed in some Castlegar business to help the young family.

Owen has grandparents in Saskatchewan as well, and they stepped up to help, holding a steak supper fundraiser on July 14 to help.

“I can’t get over how many people stepped to help,” said Sheila Seymour, Owen’s great-grandmother.

Other people wanted to lend a hand and the fundraising spread to the Greater Trail area as well. Another Owen’s Angels was formed and decided to hold a raffle.

Thanks to some very generous donors prizes were assembled for a raffle to help Owen.

First and second prize are Encore Voucher round trip tickets from Trail to Vancouver, courtesy of Pacific Coastal Airlines.

Third prize is a hand carved paddle by Haida artist Don Pongracz, a former resident of Castlegar.

Fourth prize is a ball chair and assorted massage supply package courtesy of Joanna Linardis, RMT. Fifth prize a $250 gift package donated by Pets Needs Plus.

The giving did not stop there, as Hall’s Printing stepped up to donate the cost of printing the tickets.

“This area has the most generous heart,” said Seymour.

All funds raised from the raffle will go into a trust account to help Owen.

Tickets are $2 each or three for $5. The draw date is Sept. 4.

Currently, tickets are on sale at Pet Needs Plus in Trail, TeeJays in Castlegat, at Teck Trail Operations and at Local 480 Hall in Trail.

Volunteers will also be selling tickets at other locations in Trail, Castlegar and Nelson.

If you just want to make a donation, they can be made to Owen Condy-Page trust account KSCU Trail Branch Masterplan Account 1415793.