Hole in heart puts family through the wringer


By Aaron Jahn

Danica Martin-Callard looks much like any happy 8-month old baby on the outside, but she was born with two holes in her heart.

The holes were discovered by doctors early, and her Parents Mike Callard and Crystal Martin were told that wasn’t uncommon and that they should close.  They didn’t and surgery was scheduled.  She had surgery last Monday, and according to her mom, is doing well.

“She’s doing great aside from the scar, when she first came out of surgery it was tough, she had the breathing tube, feeding tube, etc.,” said Martin.


A fundraiser will be held for Danica Martin-Callard on March 3 at Callard’s Pub and Grill.

“They saw the problem right off the bat, we had to wait six months for the surgery however,” said Martin.  “She had two holes in her heart that needed to be fixed and a ventrical that needed to be widened.”

Danica also suffers from “breath holding spells” when she feels stress or anxiety she holds her breath until she can lose consciousness, she had one such spell on their way to Toronto for her surgery.

“We were on the 401 when Danica had a spell and we couldn’t get her to breath,” said Martin.   “I ended up having to perform CPR on her at a fast food restaurant table, and we spent the night in a hospital in Hamilton and got released just in time to make it to Sick Kid’s for the surgery.”

It’s been a tough time for not only Danica’s parents, but for her sisters as well, aged 12 and nine. They have spent the last week while Danica and their parents were in Toronto, at their grandmother’s house.  Martin said she has spent a lot of time on the phone with them and the stress has taken its toll.

The family purchased the old Fort Malden Hotel last year and re-named it Callard’s Pub and Grill.  They are coming up on their one year anniversary and had planned a celebration, but their staff suggested they hold a fundraiser instead, the idea blossomed and now they have an event planned for March 3 at Callard’s Pub and Grill for a pasta dinner from 5-7 and live entertainment later in the evening.

“We were going to have a celebration, when our employees suggested a benefit dinner instead,” said Martin.  “We had 200 tickets printed off and they’re almost sold out already, the support has really been overwhelming. “

“We’ve already had over 30 prizes donated by the community and businesses and the K of C is making the pasta for us at cost, we’ll have a 50-50 draw and a raffle,” said Martin.  “We’ve just been completely overwhelmed at the communities support for us.”

The dinner portion will be reserved for ticket holders only, but the doors will open for everyone else to come and join the festivities later in the evening. Tickets can be purchased at Callard’s Pub and Grill: 519-736-4316 or by calling Crystal Martin: 519-965-5431



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