Kitchener girl in Toronto hospital after serious stroke

KITCHENER – Life came to a halt for Kitchener’s Denise McIntyre when her six-year-old daughter came for a scheduled operation and suffered devastating complications.

“Everything changed in an instant,” said McIntyre of SickKids Hospital in Toronto. “My life is here with her now.”

Suddenly everything is uncertain for Ava McIntyre.

On Thursday, she had an operation to plug a hole in her heart that she had had since she was born. But then Ava had a massive stroke.

“Everything’s getting fuzzy and it’s surreal,” said McIntyre. “I never thought there would be an option that she wouldn’t make it.”

Another operation was required to remove the blood clot in Ava’s brain. Then another crisis came days later when a swelling in her brain required emergency surgery to relieve the pressure by removing part of her skull.

Now Ava is hooked up to machines in the intensive care unit and the doctors don’t know what to expect. Ava’s right side was badly affected by the stroke and she will need a lot of rehabilitation to regain her basic skills.

“It’s a long way,” said her grandmother Joyce McIntyre.

Both Denise and Joyce are at Ava’s bedside waiting for signs of improvement. She moved her right arm and leg a little and she opened her eyes.

As the swelling subsides, McIntyre recognizes her girl’s cute face again.

“We hope to make further progress every day,” said McIntyre.

She looks forward to having her little sidekick again, who shares her love for design and renovation. The couple constantly watch real estate flip shows on TV and go to HomeSense a few times a week for design inspiration.

Last summer they bought a turnaround house and are renovating it together. Ava, an avid YouTube fan, wanted to start her own channel to document the project.

After Ava is through with all the operations, McIntyre is hopeful.

“She is definitely a fighter.”

McIntyre, a single mom, is a real estate agent trying to get her own business up and running. To help the family cover expenses during Ava’s recovery, McIntyre’s cousin started a GoFundMe page.

Until Ava gets better, McIntyre plans to be with her daughter in Toronto. She doesn’t know when she’ll be back at her Kitchener house, where Ava’s colorful artwork covers the fridge.

“I can’t leave your side. I won’t leave your side.”

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Twitter: @WeidnerRecord

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