It was just like any other day for an eight-year-old boy. Toby Lagrazon was riding his bike in May 2020 with his two siblings when he suddenly became ill, vomiting for three hours straight.
His mom, Mignon Lagrazon, decided to take him to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton to make sure it was just a stomach bug.
“By the time we got to the hospital, he was not responsive anymore,” said Lagrazon.
After undergoing various tests and a CAT scan, a team of surgeons met Toby’s mom to tell her it wasn’t just the flu.
“A team met us saying, ‘OK, ummm, he has had a stroke.’ I said, ‘No, no, no, he is eight years old, I just brought him in for some tummy problems,'” said Lagrazon.
That’s when the team of medical specialists at the Stollery Children’s Hospital confirmed Toby had multiple small strokes followed by a larger one that morning.
‘They opened my head up, took out some of my skull, my brain and put in a metal thing,” Toby said of the surgery he underwent. “They took out 1/3 of my bottom brain and skull.”
“He pretty much went from a normal child, to like a baby, a newborn,” said Lagrazon.
After undergoing a total of four major surgeries to help release the pressure in his brain over the course of two weeks at the Stollery, he was transported to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, where he would spend the next eight months recovering.
“He went into the Glenrose in an ambulance, in a wheelchair, two-person lift, couldn’t talk, couldn’t eat, G-tube and everything,” said Lagrazon with a tear in her eye. “And he walked out of there on his own two feet, running too.”
The Lagrazon family truly believes Toby recovered because of the help and support from the Glenrose. The hospital’s Courage Gala is the Glenrose Foundation’s biggest fundraiser that helps families and individuals recover after a situation like Toby’s.
After three years of pandemic cancellations, the foundation is asking for help when it comes to donations.
“We can’t imagine having to have to worry about him and having to worry about any financial,” said Lagrazon.
“They gave Toby the best fighting chance to get back to a much more normal life after his stroke.”
Now, Toby is ready to enter junior high and is full of life.
“He’s thriving, he’s coping, he’s funny,” said Lagrazon, laughing with her son. “He’s a funny boy.”
After this fight, Toby wants to thank the foundation and hospital for everything they have done for giving him a second chance.
“Especially, letting me have a fighting chance,” said Toby.