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A Canadian Couple With A Very Sick Baby Were Given A Surprise Valentine’s Dinner At A Hospital

"They are an example of a family who really needs something special this Valentine’s weekend."

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Gordon Lewis and Vanessa Marshall are first-time parents from Burlington, Ontario, whose daughter Georgia was born with a serious heart condition.

Georgia was born in October with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means only three of her four heart chambers are working properly. She had her first open-heart surgery when she was only 5 days old.

Georgia is now 4 months old and has never left the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Her parents have stayed by her side the entire time.

Lewis has gone back to Burlington on a few occasions, but only for hours at a time. Other than that, the couple have been either in the hospital by Georgia's side or staying at the Ronald McDonald House 10 minutes away.

In addition to her surgeries, Georgia has had three cardiac arrests since her birth and has been using a breathing tube. Given her precarious condition, Marshall and Lewis can't bear to be away from her in case she needs them.

"We have hard days and good days. We’re just fortunate enough to be here together,” Marshall told BuzzFeed Canada.

Lewis and Marshall were told they were doing an interview about Georgia, but they showed up to find a surprise waiting for them.

Sick Kids Foundation / Via

The dinner was courtesy of a local restaurant, The Chase, who provided a chef and a server for the occasion. There were also flowers and a violin player to help set the mood.


It was a moment just for them.

Sick Kids / Via

Sandra Chiovitti, spokesperson for Sick Kids, said this was the first time the hospital had done something like this.

"They are an example of a family who really needs something special this Valentine’s weekend," she said.

As difficult as it's been for the new parents to be away from home for so long, Marshall said they draw inspiration from their daughter.

Here's video of the Valentine's Day surprise, as it happened.

View this video on YouTube

Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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