July 08, 2013 - 2:10 PM
KAMLOOPS - Karter needed open-heart surgery before he could even say the word 'heart.'
He needed the surgery before he could walk, or even crawl.
Kamloops' Karter Thistlethwaite, less than a year old, was diagnosed with a heart valve blockage when he was still in his mother's womb.
His family's worst problem is awaiting Karter's new heart while he sits on a transplant list, but the reality is — the bills are beginning to pile up.
A local business in Kamloops, whose owner knows the family, decided to pitch in by sharing the tale with customers. Employees took it a step further.
Judi Becker, Halston Liquor Store employee in Kamloops of about four years, donated her daily tips — about $15 to $20 a day — to Karter's cause.
"He needed it more than I did," Becker said.
Becker said she wasn't the only one donating her tip money to Karter and his family — the other employees all did as well.
A photograph of the infant's face sat at the front register with a jar for donations from March to June.
"Why wouldn't you want to do that?" Becker said.
While she doesn't personally know the family, she felt the need to help. A similar incident happened in her own family when her nephew had heart surgery at a young age.
"I could feel for the family," she said.
Karter's family has been fundraising to pay for expenses related to his health problems. Frequent trips from their home in Kamloops to B.C. Children's Hospital in the Lower Mainland haven't been easy on the single income family.
So far, over $2,000 has come in from the community.
"Love you sweet baby Karter! Hang in there Brandee and Erik, you are in everyone's prayers," wrote Sandra yesterday on the 'gofundme' website after making an online donation.
An account has also been set up in Karter's name for anyone else that wishes to donate to the cause: TD Canada Trust account number '9149 6006939.' The family has said that any monies left unused will be donated to the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and B.C. Children's Hospital.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013