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Fundraisers planned by and for family with son recovering from stroke 

Evan French has had his share of medical issues since late November and he is on the mend.

The family bank account is also on the mend, but a GoFundMe page is helping with that.

Evan’s mother Kelly said their ordeal started in late November when French fell ill. The original thought was sinusitis – a.k.a. a sinus infection – but he was diagnosed with COVID-19. After two weeks of feeling fine, Evan thought things were behind him but then he started having severe head pain.

Kelly said the head pain was thought to be a migraine and he was given medication. His right eye became swollen and his neck began hurting shortly thereafter to the point Kelly brought him to the hospital Dec. 17.

“This hit out of nowhere,” she said. “He’s never had a migraine.”

After being examined in Windsor, doctors began working with medical professionals in London which led to Evan being taken to children’s hospital in London via ORNGE air ambulance, which had to fight through white-out conditions that day.

“Thank God they did that,” said Kelly. “It would have been a life or death situation for him.”

Evan suffered a stroke between Windsor and London and after he arrived in London, a mass was discovered in the area of his eye socket and nasal cavity.

The infection ate 8mm into a bone inhis nasal cavity. Evan had developed meningitis at that point and Kelly said he was only the second person in history who had such a reaction to the bacteria.

The meningitis meant Evan had to go on three antibiotics, two nasal sprays and a number of painkillers. 

“He kept his sense of humour through the whole thing,” said Kelly.

Doctors ranging from ear, nose and throat, optomologists, infectious disease and cardiologists are among the professionals Evan has had to see to this point, and he will have to continue to see them.

While in London, Evan, Kelly and Evan’s sister Sophia celebrated his 16th birthday, Christmas and New Year’s Day in the hospital. Kelly stayed at the Ronald McDonald House, who she said made their lives as great as possible, including providing them with a number of gifts.

Evan also had five CT scans and two MRIs while there.

“After two-and-a-half weeks in London hospital, we were released to come home,” said Kelly, “with IV antibiotics and oral antibiotics. That lasted until the end of January.”

Evan has little vision on the left side of his eyes, though has regained more vision than experts originally thought. It remains to be seen the long-term impact on his vision but he has been told he won’t be able to drive due to the vision issues. Light and sound still bother him at points and the stroke has left him with learning problems.

“He’s back at school now,” said Kelly.

Kelly said North Star High School has been “amazing,” noting the efforts of teachers and guidance counsellor Trevor Klundert, as his first semester grades were frozen. An individual education plan (IEP) has been established for Evan, who only attends half-days four days per week and sleeps much of the time when he is home. 

Evan is also working with an occupational physiotherapist.

“He’s also struggling with short-term memory,” said Kelly.

Kelly cited a physics test, something Evan usually excels on, where he got 10.5 out of 35. His usual average is over 80 per cent.

While the family has been sacrificing to help Evan, Kelly has had to take time away from work. She is back at work with Amy’s Helping Hands, though is seeking more clients in the Amherstburg area in case Evan needs her help. Bills went unpaid for a while and Evan requires special glasses. Volunteers have also been found to help drive Evan to school so Kelly can go back to work.

“It’s not easy for me to ask for help,” said Kelly. “The community really stepped up.”

Kelly added the Amherstburg Firefighters Association is looking for ways to help. 

In addition to receiving help, Kelly is still giving back to the nurses that helped Evan in London and Windsor hospitals. A donation of $45 will get a nurse a Bento Box gift wrapped and hand delivered by her and Evan. The goal is to give back to  nurses who assisted the family. People can message Kelly through Facebook or e-transfer donations to

To donate to the GoFundMe page to help the family, visit and search “Help with Medical Bills for Our Buddy Evan.” The direct link is

Fundraisers planned by and for family with son recovering from stroke

By Ron Giofu


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