A Gofundme page has been set up to help out Preston and Mariah Shupe, as their baby daughter Winnie is dealing with serious health issues while Preston plays professional hockey in Belgium, and the family wants to bring their baby back home to Canada for further treatment.
Preston was born and raised in Weyburn, and is a former captain of the Red Wings, and he and Mariah gave birth to Winnie on Sept. 6. The family moved back to Herentals, Belgium, where Preston plays hockey.
The problems began on Nov. 11 when Winnie began to have seizures. After initially being in the hospital in Herentals, she was transferred to the University Hospital in Leuven. After extensive testing doctors found that the baby girl has a heart muscle disease, as a key muscle in her heart did not develop properly.
The doctors have put her on medication to help the ease the stress on her heart, but the parents have been told there is no real fix. Testing is continuing to determine the cause, and doctors feel this is a genetic issue and have begun genetic testing so that a plan for therapy can be set up.
In an update from the family on Nov. 15 on the gofundme page, they said, “Currently the hope is to get Winnie stable enough to get her back to Canada so she can be closer to family as well as for insurance purposes. But whether this can happen, and also a sure prognosis isn’t available to us right now, we just have to hope we get some more clear information from further tests. We feel blessed to be in such an amazing hospital with an amazing team of doctors and nurses working non-stop to try to help Winnie, as well as our friends here who have been doing everything possible to help us and be here for us. We are obviously completely shattered with this news and really have no words.”
The parents added about Winnie, “This week she has started to smile and coo at us tons which is about the only thing that gets us through the days. Our parents are currently on their way over to be with us and help us in anyway possible in the coming weeks. Please keep Winnie in your thoughts and prayers.”
A friend of Mariah’s, Aly Bell, helped to set up the gofundme page, and noted that Preston and Mariah will stay in Belgium with their team of doctors and nurses until Winnie is stable enough to travel back to Canada.
As of Monday, the page had raised $16,305 from 171 donors, exceeding the initial goal of $10,000.
“The future for them is really unknown and they are just going day by day hoping to find out more through testing,” said Bell.
To view the GoFundMe page, please visit:gf.me/v/c/8qh9/love-and-support-for-winnie-shupe