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Parker Strong


September 1, 2021 - Donor Story, Stories

Lisa Ventura has been best friends with Patricia DalFerro for 45 years, and counting.  They share many memories, and they embrace one another’s families as their own. 

When Patricia’s 20 year-old stepson, Parker Mousseau, passed away suddenly late last year, it devastated Parker’s family, Lisa’s family, and their whole community. Parker was like another son to Lisa. He passed away last December from a twisted bowel, an uncommon – and sometimes deadly – syndrome. Very suddenly in September, Parker’s stepbrother Steven rushed him to the hospital, as he was experiencing extreme pain. He required emergency surgery at Etobicoke General Hospital. Parker fought incredibly hard to stay alive, undergoing surgery after surgery over several months despite surgeons advising his family to prepare for the worst, every time. 

“Parker was a very special boy,” says Lisa. “He was a fighter.” 

Parker was no stranger to hospitals – he spent much of his first five years of life in them. He was born with Hirschsprung disease, which is the rare condition of being born with no upper intestines. This never held him back. Parker lived his life fully, from frequently competing in his favourite five kilometre races, to being honoured with community awards at his high school graduation. 

“Parker knew how to be good to people - he was an amazing young man. If there was unconditional love personified, it was him,” said Lisa.

Although his Hirschsprung disease was not directly connected to the cause of his twisted bowel, they are both gastrointestinal issues. Lisa, Patricia, and Parker’s father, Pierre Mousseau, are all certain of one thing – they know that these G.I. syndromes and diseases do not receive the attention, research and funding they deserve. And they are determined to change that – starting with a personal fundraiser in support of Osler, to give back to the hospital community who fought alongside Parker, and who supported the entire family throughout this devastating time.