June 26, 2019 5:44 pm
Updated: June 26, 2019 6:01 pm

Homes for Hope: Calgary contractor builds house to sell to raise money for children’s hospitals

WATCH: The Alberta Children's Hospital gets a lot of support each year from thousands of Calgarians who are grateful for the care they've received there. Now one family is giving back in a really big way, launching a project aimed at building hope. Gil Tucker has the story.

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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.

READ MORE: Doctors from all over North America help Calgary girl fight for her life


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“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.”

READ MORE: Volunteers help protect patients from life-threatening infections at Alberta Children’s Hospital

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.'”

READ MORE: New PICU ready to open at Stollery Children’s Hospital

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.”

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