Amina Golden is as sunny as her name. She loves to laugh with abandon, draw, listen to music, read, dance, and play musical instruments including the keyboard and African drums. African drumming.
She made her grand entrance into the world a month early via an emergency Cesarean section. Just under five pounds, she arrived small yet feisty – a strength that she would need in the coming months.
Amina developed chronic pneumonia and respiratory issues at six months old, landing in CHEO’s emergency department gasping for breath. It was a terrifying experience for her and her mother and one that was repeated regularly. After many emergency visits and hospital admissions, Amina was diagnosed with severe asthma.
Amina faced numerous bouts in hospital. She had tubes placed down her throat and in her nose, took heavy-duty medications, underwent surgery, and had a treatment plan that included isolation. Long before COVID, Amina was sadly familiar with not being able to attend daycare or social outings with other kids – all to keep her safe.
CHEO quickly became Amina’s second home with a caring team of specialists, nurses, and respiratory clinic staff. Over the years, in addition to treating Amina, they have been actively educating her and her family on how to effectively manage and take charge of her condition. Amina recently ‘graduated’ from the respiratory ‘lung’ clinic after years of being a patient. She is finally able to manage her asthma and live a bit of a more normal pre-teen life. She and her mom are grateful for their CHEO family and know that they can rely on them in any case of emergency or relapse in Amina’s health.
CHEO is an environment of innovative care, treatment, and empowerment for Amina. It also is a world of support for her mother, learning how to care for her daughter and to manage as a solo parent. It truly is a team effort by all – the care team, Amina, and her mom – enabling Amina Golden to not only live her best life, but also to shine.