My goodness, you guys. I’ve been waiting for soooo long to share this reveal and story with you and the day is finally here!! If you follow my over on Instagram you’ll know that we’ve been working really hard on a special project for the last few months. Let me give you some back story here … grab the tissues!
Months ago we were contacted by Sam’s sister, Angela, and her sister in law, Veronica, they wanted to reach out and share Sam’s story with us. Sam recently had a beautiful, healthy, baby girl named Abby. While Sam had a relatively easy pregnancy, she ended up having a very long labor which resulted in a C-Section. Of course, Sam was given spinal anesthesia right before the C-Section … the procedure was complete and the anesthesia was supposed to wear off in about 6-8 hours. 10+ hours later and Sam still felt like the anesthesia was still present. Something wasn’t right and that’s when they started performing tests later to reveal that Sam had suffered from nerve damage on the bottom of her spine which they believe may be related to the procedure. Sam was left with very dense motor and sensory paralysis from the waist down, leaving her in a wheelchair.
While of course, Sam and her hubby Matt were elated that they had a new and healthy baby girl, Sam wasn’t able to go home with her and spent the next 5 months in the hospital.
We had the opportunity to chat with Sam about her story and Sam mentioned she remembered lying in her hospital bed the week after having Abby and cruising social media … she saw some of her friends that had babies going home with them … she saw that I had Leo and watched Justin and I take him home. She couldn’t bare the thought of having to stay in the hospital for months longer without Abby and she then decided to delete social media, because it hurt too much to see knowing what she was going though. Matt stayed with Sam every single night for those 5 months while members of their family would take Abby for the night and bring her back each morning to spend time with Abby and Matt in between appointments and physiotherapy.
When Sam’s stay in the hospital came to end they then had to face their next hurdle. Their current home wasn’t wheelchair friendly … a bathroom that wasn’t wheelchair accessible and lots of stairs. Sam and Matt then had to look for other options and ended up finding a condo that was completely accessible. This condo ended up being their silver lining as since they’ve moved in they’ve met lots of fun families in the building with children the same age as Abby, which has resulted in lots of play dates! However, Sam knew that she needed this new house to feel like home … Sam actually mentioned to us, that she always loved design and decor, and often thought that if she wasn’t a hairstylist, that she would have loved to go into design. However, she mentioned she was good at picking out furniture but struggled with the details … before, she could go wander around stores in search of the perfect decor but this wasn’t the case this time around. That’s when we stepped in.
When we read Sam’s story, we knew we wanted to help. I couldn’t imagine just how difficult this would have been being a new mother myself (Leo was born just days after little Abby!), so that’s when I reached out to Ally Spino (Ally and I used to work together on the Love It Or List It Vancouver homes!!) and Erin Sousa (Founder of Sparkle Media) for their help! Ally really spearheaded the design aspect of this project, thankfully she is located in Vancouver and was able to meet Sam in person and check out their home!! We worked together for the next few months, designing the look of the space and reaching out to companies that we absolutely love as we wanted to make sure this was perfect for Sam. After months of planning and organizing it was time to put it all together so while Sam, Matt, and Abby were away from their home Ally got ready for the big reveal and when it was just right, we let Sam in to see it for the first time!!
Needless to say, she was over the moon with the results and we FINALLY get to share them with you as well! Let’s get right to it and start the tour!!
Let’s kick it off in Sam and Matt’s master bedroom! We had SUCH an amazing response from companies who were willing to donate their products to this project that was so near and dear to our hearts. Smash + Tess donated one of their amazing (and ridiculously comfy and beautiful) robes to Sam and Vancouver Candle Co. donated some of their delish candles. The amazing team at Rothman & Co. donated a gorgeous white bamboo sheet set and a washed-cotton duvet cover set and Arianna Belle supplied some of her stunning pillows to tie the room together (we also sprinkled these throughout Sam’s home!). I think it’s safe to say that these two are going to sleep well in this space! LOL!
Ps. Do you recognize the wallpaper in their master bedroom?? Yup! That’s The Parlour wallpaper from the JH x Milton & King line! Thanks, Milton & King!! And a HUGE thank you to Finest Wallpaper & Michael Kumar for volunteering their time to install this for us!!
Also … if you’re eyeing up that beautiful abstract piece of art hanging on the wall in Sam’s bedroom, it’s by Dana Mooney, as well as the larger piece in Abby’s room in the middle. She’s a local Vancouver artist that Sam adores!
Then moving on to sweet Abby’s room … which had everyone in tears! For starters, I have to point out her crib, the story behind this crib is seriously something else!! There is a non-profit organization that builds adapted devices for people in need called The Tetra Society, they exist throughout North America, and it’s an incredible organization of retired engineers and handymen (and women!) who volunteer to build adaptive pieces for people!! How FREAKIN amazing is that?! And they did such an amazing on keeping Abby’s crib totally functional and accessible for Sam but also stylish!! They also made Sam an adapted baby Bjorn bouncer type thing that she was able to attach to the front of her wheelchair to more easily snuggle and have eye contact with Abby while she was in the hospital!! It allowed Sam to roll around with Abby (which required both arms) but she could still be close to Sam! I mean, how unreal is that?! Love it! Ps. They are always in need of donations to keep this fantastic service running, so if you’re looking to help them out, here is a link to their donation page!
How adorable is the canvas pom pom play tent?! This was made for Abby by Deer Child! They hand make these tents and they are the sweetest little addition to any child’s room or playroom!! The darling decals you see on the wall behind Abby’s crib are the peel and stick polka dot decals from Urban Walls … we have similar ones in Leo’s room!! The carpet tiles in Abby’s room were donated by FLOR! I absolutely LOVE the colour, especially after the long island carpet cleaner came in to freshen them up. If you’re looking for another great carpet cleaning service, then go ahead and call Carpet cleaning Ottawa. You can find the tiles online, it is “How Bazaar” in the colour “Marsh”. Also, a huge shout out goes out to Chuck Pinter from Chroma Decorating for refreshing Abby’s walls with some new paint!!
A HUGE thank you goes out to Erin Gregory Art for donating two of her beautiful prints, “May Flowers” and “July Flowers” (you can see them behind Matt, Abby, and Sam on the couch in the photo below!) … and speaking of flowers, all of the gorgeous blooms you see throughout Sam and Matt’s home were donated by Blossom and Vine Florals!! Also, a big thanks goes out to Minted for their amazing donation to help us purchase additional decor to put the finishing touches on this incredible space, and to Snuggle Bugz for your generous gift card for baby Abby!
We are so unbelievably grateful to every company who helped us pull this together, and to Ally Spino for your amazing design work and long hours and to Erin Sousa for taking the time to snap all of these beautiful photos so we could share them with you!! It’s been such an inspiring journey for us all!
We also have a little update on Sam to share with you as well … Sam has been participating in some very intensive physiotherapy over this last year and we’re so happy to say that she is slowly regaining motor and sensory function. In fact, JUST this past month she took her first steps with her walker! Sam is still unsure as to how much recovery she will have so they will wait and see but for now, they are enjoying their beautiful new space, they’ve adapted really well to their new life as parents and are taking things one day at a time!
As Sam said, your home should make you feel good, it should uplift you … and we’re so happy to have been a part of this amazing and humbling project!
We love you Sam, Abby, and Matt!
Jilly & Team