BARRY’S BAY – Forty-one years ago, a baby boy was born with a congenital heart condition and a life expectancy of 14 years. The ‘dash between the dates’ was to be short – fraught with serious health issues and limited expectations for a normal life, or so they thought.
Scott Henry Jeffrey was born November 5, 1977, arriving as a healthy, 8lb 8oz baby boy, the second son to Ursula and John Jeffrey. Six weeks down the road, at a normal well-baby check-up, all their lives changed forever.
Dr. Joe Cybulski, concerned with an irregularity with his heart, sent Scott for tests. It turned out that Scott had been born with a very serious congenital heart defect (CHD). The road ahead would be filled with many surgeries. The young, blond-haired boy faced an unpredictable future.
When Scott was two years old, he underwent major corrective surgery for his heart, performed by Dr. W. Keon at Ottawa Civic Hospital. This was the initial surgical intervention chosen for Scott. After a month recuperating at CHEO, John and Ursula brought Scott home.
Ursula noticed that within a very short while, Scott’s energy level improved noticeably and he was able to lead a fairly normal life.
“He skied, he skated. He went to college,” shared Ursula.
Scott attended St. John Bosco Catholic School and later graduated from Madawaska Valley District High School. While he was a student at the high school, he worked in the cafeteria as a short order cook.
Scott had shown a special interest in cooking from an early age.
“As soon as the pots came out [in the kitchen], he’d be there,” laughed Ursula. “He’d pull up a chair [to the counter]. It’s no surprise that he went into cooking.”
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the January 30, 2019 Valley Gazette or subscribe online.