The smiling face of four-year old Britton Hutchinson of Sicamous has been featured on three billboards the David Foster Foundation set up to promote organ donations, including this one just outside Calgary. (Image contributed)

The smiling face of four-year old Britton Hutchinson of Sicamous has been featured on three billboards the David Foster Foundation set up to promote organ donations, including this one just outside Calgary. (Image contributed)

Baby Britton makes billboard debut for David Foster Foundation

Young Shuswap heart-transplant recipient helps promote organ donation

Baby Britton is healthy, happy and receiving some widespread love as a poster child promoting life-saving organ donations.

Born in 2015 with a heart condition – a rare congenital heart defect called pulmonary artesia with intact ventricular septum – Britton Hutchinson fought through a series of medical struggles, culminating in a life-saving heart transplant at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in September of 2015.

Now almost four years old, Britton and her family, parents Teri and Colin and sister Ayla, are all doing well. Eternally grateful for the life-saving donation that saved Britton’s life, the family does what they can to support organ donation causes – most recently seeing Britton’s smiling face raised up on billboards in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton promoting the David Foster Foundation and their work supporting organ donations.

Read More: Special honour for young heart transplant recipient

“Well it is pretty amazing, this is the third billboard that Britton has actually been on this month. It is obviously a pretty powerful thing to see her face like that and just think about it for a minute,” Teri says.

The billboards are part of the David Foster Foundation’s #DFFGIVES campaign, supporting national Heart Month in February which brings awareness to cardiovascular disease in Canada. The Hutchinson’s are thrilled to be able to continually support initiatives that helped to save their daughter’s life.

“It is really empowering. If we can just give one person the reminder they can make a difference as a donor if they choose to be, that can change so many lives,” Teri says.

In fact, she says after posting a photo of one of the billboards featuring Britton on social media, two people in the Sicamous community reached out to her saying they registered as donors.

As for Britton, her mother says she is is not quite old enough to fully understand the significance of the billboard campaign – but she loves seeing the pictures of herself.

“As far as her four-year-old capacity goes, she has a really sweet understanding of what’s special about her. We teach her about taking care of herself and we teach her about her special heart,” Teri says. “We haven’t seen a billboard in person with her – if we did I think she would think it was awesome.”

Read More: Baby bounces back after transplant

Thankfully for the Hutchinson family, Britton has been doing well and this past year has been marked by improvements.

“Everything is going excellent, this year has been huge for us. Because Britton has a suppressed immune system she typically tends to catch every little bug, but she has not been sick in like 10 months; we have had like an extraordinary year,” Teri says. “For the most part she is a normal little kid now, she is attending preschool this year.”

Due to her past medical history, Britton was also faced with a feeding disorder. Though, after attending therapy in Vancouver in 2018 she has been steadily moving past that.


 

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Another image that has made its way onto David Foster Foundation billboards sees young Britton’s photo included with other donation recipients. (Image contributed)

Another image that has made its way onto David Foster Foundation billboards sees young Britton’s photo included with other donation recipients. (Image contributed)

Two-year-old Britton Hutchinson holds a copy of the program for the David Foster Foundation’s 30th Anniversary 2017 Vancouver Miracle Gala and Concert, which features a photo of her on its cover. (Teri Hutchinson photo)

Two-year-old Britton Hutchinson holds a copy of the program for the David Foster Foundation’s 30th Anniversary 2017 Vancouver Miracle Gala and Concert, which features a photo of her on its cover. (Teri Hutchinson photo)

Teri Hutchinson’s photo of daughter Britton, with a photo of herself in hospital before receiving a heart transplant, was selected to be on the cover of the program for the David Foster Foundation’s 30th Anniversary 2017 Vancouver Miracle Gala and Concert. (Teri Hutchinson photo)

Teri Hutchinson’s photo of daughter Britton, with a photo of herself in hospital before receiving a heart transplant, was selected to be on the cover of the program for the David Foster Foundation’s 30th Anniversary 2017 Vancouver Miracle Gala and Concert. (Teri Hutchinson photo)