Sam Iaquinta and his wife Suzanne have spent a lot of time in hospitals because of their young son’s serious health problems. Now they’re starting a new project to help other families in similar situations.
The Iaquintas’ son Ben was born with Down syndrome and at the age of two he was rushed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary with a life-threatening condition.
“He contracted a virus in his lungs,” Sam said, which led to medical staff “taking the blood from him, oxygenating it and putting it back into his heart so that he could survive.”
The family spent weeks in intensive care in Calgary and with specialists at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
“It was a pretty rough time,” Suzanne said. “But they saved him.”
Grateful for the “tremendous” care their son received, the Iaquintas are launching a project called Homes for Hope.
Sam’s company, Castellano Custom Homes, is hoping to start construction in early August on a house in Airdrie, with a plan to sell it to raise money for the two children’s hospitals.
More information on the project is available at http://www.castellanohomes.com
“The hospitals saved his life,” Suzanne said. “So it’s our way of saying, ‘Thank you.'”
The company is inviting other builders to contribute materials and labour, hoping the project will end up with about $400,000 to donate to the hospitals.
“We want to really contribute because it really helped us,” Sam said. “We want to pay it forward to families that are in that same situation.
Ben is now eight years old.
“He’s been pretty healthy, so we’re thrilled,” Suzanne said. “He enjoys going to school. He loves swimming, and he just likes to play and be a kid.”