Every year, the Virden Animal Hospital holds its very popular Pet Pictures with Santa where pet owners bring their dog, cat, bird, reptile or other beloved pet for a photo session at the clinic with the big guy. And every year, the money raised goes to a deserving local family or cause.
The story of this year’s recipient is literally a heart breaker.
Brandi and Kyla Coulter are twins born with heart defects. Kyla’s heart was repaired when she was a baby, but Brandi’s situation was much more complex. The teen has had multiple surgeries over the years including a heart transplant at age eight.
Needs New Heart
After ten years, that heart has failed and needs to be replaced. Brandi was plunged into a serious health crisis affecting all her organs, and she now waits for a new heart at the Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
As a result, her dad Kent Coulter, a single father raising his daughters in Lorette but with family ties to Virden, is at her side and unable to return to work. Kyla plans to travel to Edmonton so she and Brandi can spend time together before they turn 18 next month.
A member of the Coulter family describes Brandi as having, “an appreciation and love for life unmatched in others. She does not complain and has more courage than you can imagine. She notices all the little things we take for granted and loves with everything she’s got.”
Holly Coulter of Virden is related to the family by marriage. She posted that “…traveling back and forth to Edmonton and staying close to Brandi costs money. Any donation to help Kent stay by his daughter’s side and not have to worry about the bills for a bit would help.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family along with the Pet Pictures with Santa Facebook page that the vet clinic established.
Message to Friends
This is part of a message from the Coulter family to their friends and supporters in Virden:
“The Coulters have all enjoyed living, working and going to school in the supportive community of Virden for generations since 1928.
“Brandi remembers her experiences and friends from town fondly. Please come out for a pet picture with Santa and/or visit Helping Brandi Coulter at GoFundMe.”
Pet Pictures with Santa will be Dec. 1, 2018, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Virden Animal Hospital.