Fernanda’s HIPPY Story: ‘HIPPY made me a new person.’
Fernanda came from Ecuador to Canada in 2006. She married in 2012 and, shortly after, her daughter Emilia was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. She had to undergo surgery at only two days old, and doctors told Fernanda that Emilia might never learn to walk or play like other children. Fernanda wanted to teach her daughter but felt that she didn’t have the tools, so they joined HIPPY when Emilia was three years old. When Emilia graduated from the HIPPY program and started school, she surprised everyone:
I thought my daughter was not gonna do nothing, but the transition from HIPPY to the school was amazing. She didn’t have any problems. I feel so amazing. She is amazing.
In 2018, Fernanda began work as a HIPPY Home Visitor. The job experience gave her confidence that she now shares with the mothers in her community. Fernanda can relate to their struggles and fears and wants to encourage them wherever she can:
HIPPY made me a new person. At the beginning I was always quiet, I never speak. I was scared. I always tell my moms, ‘If you need me, give me a call, I am always going to be there.’ Right now, I am not scared of nothing.