Sara’s big homecoming
Sara Smith and family had been away since April
MAIN BROOK, NL — A little girl with “a heart of gold” and her parents received an unforgettable welcome home from the community of Main Brook.
On Sunday afternoon, under a bright, sunny summer sky to match the happy occasion, well over 50 people from the town came out along the highway to greet three-year-old Sara Smith and her parents as they made their highly anticipated return home.
The family had been staying at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children since April, as Sara was being treated for a heart condition.
Her stay was extended due to complications arising from an April 25 operation.
After 145 days away, their return was a momentous occasion that the town came together for.
After an emotional reception, the group accompanied Sara and her parents for a parade on the last 30 kilometres back to Main Brook, with the RCMP and later the Main Brook Fire Department escorting.
There, the family came upon houses and lawns decorated with signs and balloons, welcoming the little girl with a “heart of gold” home once again.
It was all well suited for such a momentous homecoming.
Danielle Galgay-Smith, Sara’s mother, said she was “totally overwhelmed” by the welcome home.
In fact, the entire thing was a complete surprise to her.
She had no idea any of this was planned while Sara’s father, Dave Smith, was privy to it and kept the event a secret to surprise his wife and daughter.
However, he says he had no idea it would be as big a deal as it was.
Sara has a rare congenital heart defect that means she effectively has half a heart.
She has already undergone three open-heart surgeries and has a pacemaker to regulate her heart rhythms.
After an April 25 operation in Toronto, she had been having drainage issues, her mother says.
The family had been prepared to go Philadelphia to treat Sara’s drainage issue.
But just a day before they had planned to fly out, a miracle happened.
There was a good report. The draining stopped.
“They were surprised and amazed at how she stopped draining so quickly, because it doesn’t usually happen,” said Danielle. “They were pretty much puzzled by her. Definitely a miracle.”
Danielle Galgay-Smith, Dave Smith, and three-year-old daughter Sara Smith returned home to a huge crowd and a parade on Sept. 10.
Back at the town hall, Sara Smith has a bit of fun with the balloons