Braeden Lousier is shown in this undated handout photo. His mother, Lia Lousier, says a dream trip to Hawaii for the terminally ill boy was postponed because of COVID-19. And she’s outraged by various politicians and staff who decided to travel abroad over the holidays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Lia Lousier

Braeden Lousier is shown in this undated handout photo. His mother, Lia Lousier, says a dream trip to Hawaii for the terminally ill boy was postponed because of COVID-19. And she’s outraged by various politicians and staff who decided to travel abroad over the holidays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Lia Lousier

Alberta mom angry over travel scandal after Make-A-Wish trip postponed for sick son

Braeden Lousier is one of 100 people in the world to be diagnosed with Hajdu-Cheney syndrome

An Alberta mother says she’s outraged by various politicians and staff who decided to travel abroad over the holidays, while a dream trip to Hawaii for her terminally ill son had to be postponed.

Lia Lousier of Airdrie, a bedroom community just north of Calgary, says nine-year-old Braeden is one of 100 people in the world to be diagnosed with a rare inherited connective tissue disease called Hajdu-Cheney syndrome.

“He has something going on with every major organ in his body,” the mother of three boys explained Monday, while seated next to Braeden at Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary as the boy received a blood transfusion.

“He’s been through heart surgeries. He’s been through abdominal surgeries, many other minor surgeries. And on top of that, he’s gone through meningitis. He’s gone through sepsis. He’s gone through strokes, seizures. You name it. This kid has fought it.”

But after years of consistent hospital stays, he was beginning to show enough improvement for a trip to Hawaii — “2020 was going to be our year,” Lousier said.

The Make-A-wish-Foundation, which grants wishes of children who are battling a critical illness, was arranging the trip for the family in the fall.

Next to his love for riding elevators, it was Braeden’s dream to be on a tropical beach, said his mother.

“When Braeden was small, I had taken him out to the West Coast to see family and he was non-verbal at that point and he wasn’t even moving at that point. So I lay him on the sand and he laughed and he laughed. He was so at peace through that, so it was a no-brainer the wish to go to Hawaii.”

But Lousier said when she saw the second-wave of COVID-19 coming, the family postponed the trip.

Days ago, it was revealed that Alberta’s municipal affairs minister had travelled to Hawaii with her husband and daughter to continue a 17-year family Christmas tradition, despite recommendations against non-essential travel.

“Seeing Tracy Allard going to Hawaii was just that final, last break for me, just unbelievable anger that she felt she had the right to do that and then for her to excuse it,” said Lousier.

Allard apologized and on Monday she resigned her cabinet position. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also stripped five other legislature members of their duties and asked his chief of staff to step down for their out-of-country vacations.

Lousier said she also wants to see the premier take responsibility.

“I 100 per cent support Kenny resigning,” Lousier said.

“I think of the sheer number of people that I know that have elderly parents or aging parents, or have family out of province — did they want to spend Christmas alone? They sure didn’t.”

Lousier said what was most shocking were videos and tweets posted on some of the politicians’ social media accounts while they were away that gave the impression they were still in Alberta.

“It’s deviant, dishonest behaviour. Are those the people that we want running our province? No, thank you.”

In the meantime, the Make-A-Wish Foundation said it is working on an alternative wish for Braeden.

Foundation spokeswoman April Stallings said the charity has had to postpone 435 wishes for sick children because of the pandemic.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

file photo
Entertainment in the Park 2021 line-up announced

The annual summer concert series lineup is set for West Stettler Park

Pictured here are several ‘utility pedestal wraps’ around town which are just one of the projects on the go by Stettler’s Heartland Beautification Committee.
photo submitted
Keep up the good work, Stettler! Walk ‘n’ Roll Challenge gains momentum

Meanwhile, the Heartland Beautificaiton Committee continues to work to ‘better’ the community

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Most Read