On her way to an eight-year-old memorial service,
Lisa Lohin she got a telephone call that brought joy to
Bittersweet? Absolutely — and that how an incredible story of loss spun into endless possibilities Thursday for two-year-old Enna Lohin.
Enna has of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a disease that effects the spine she is unable to sit up, speak and is on a ventilator. But her mind is sharp — sharp as a tack.
Enna was presented with an Intelligaze Eye Gaze , a computer which reads her retina. Simply by looking at an icon on the computer screen, Enna can now express herself.
But, originally, the Eye Gaze was intended for another girl with of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Sadly, Kaitlyn Pas passed away last week at age eight.
“I was on my way to Kaitlyn’s memorial service Monday when my spouse phoned to say Kaityn’s family wanted Enna to have the machine,” says Lisa.
“I just thought of Kaitlyn’s Mom and Dad and what they were going through — and how they still could think of helping others.”
The two families experience a close bond because of their children.
“Kaitlyn has been an advocate for herself, and now for us,” says Lisa.
“And now Enna can learn and get an education.”
Kaitlyn’s mother, Hali Harapchuk sat in the front row of the proceedings.
“We wanted to be here and represent Kaitlyn,” a very composed Harapchuk says.
“And I wanted to let people know how special she was.”
It was a few years ago when Harapchuk found out about the Eye Gaze.
The first trial machine didn’t work very well. But when another one arrived it gave Kaitlyn new independence.
“The first thing Kaitlyn said was watch television,” says Harapchuk .
Kaitlyn lost her battle due to complications caused from her disease.
“I’m so happy the computer went to a family we know, someone who has the same condition as Kaitlyn and someone local.”
The computer is $18,000 and doesn’t fall under government programs such as Aids to Daily Living.
The Variety Club of Northern Alberta and the Children’s Ability Fund partnered to purchase it.
“We always like to be there for kids who fall between the cracks,” says Don Clarke of the Variety Club.
Enna will be learning the new technology through the GRIT Program under the watchful eye of Amber Michaud.
“This was supposed to be Kaitlyn’s day,” her mother says with emotion.
In many ways it certainly was.