A Saskatoon family said it’s heartbroken after the province denied funding medical treatment for their four-year-old son. Kayden Fortier-Kot has a rare digestive disorder. He’s allergic to foods like corn, wheat, soy, dairy, rice and nuts.
Before the age of one, he was throwing up more than 15 times a day.
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“I was scared that he was going to die of poor nutrition … of malnutrition,” said Sylvie Fortier-Kot, Kayden’s mother.
Ever since, his feeding tube has become his lifeline. The frequent vomiting stunted his growth and today, the four-year-old can hardly crawl or talk.
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More than a year ago, the family requested funding from the province for Kayden’s visits to a specialized feeding therapy clinic in Denver, Colo. The treatment could cost more than $14,000.
On Friday, the provincial government rejected the family’s request.
In a phone conversation, Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan said, “We can’t approve everybody because they found the best treatment. We have to know what we can offer in the province has been exhausted.”
But the Saskatoon Health Region endorses the out-of-country treatment the Fortier-Kots have been fighting for. In a letter, it acknowledges that Kayden needs much more intensive care than the region can provide.
Getting the intensive care would mean more hours of therapy, a consistent therapist and a shot at being able to eat on his own and learning how to walk.
The region is now putting forth a new recommendation to get Kayden treatment in Denver.
“Minister Duncan or Premier Wall, if this was your child, what would you do? That’s my question. What would you do?” asked Fortier-Kot.
The NDP doesn’t agree with the minister and said Kayden deserves a chance.
“The Saskatoon Health Region, the entire medical team has said that this trip to Denver is the thing that he needs. This isn’t a family a family pulling something out, googling something on the internet. This is a family that’s been told they can’t receive treatment here in Saskatchewan,” said Saskatchewan NDP health critic Danielle Chartier.
A crowdfunding webpage has been set up to help with treatment costs. The family is also hosting a benefit fundraiser at the Holy Family Cathedral Hall on Jan. 23.