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Salmon Arm firefighters help fill hospice child’s adventure wishlist – Keremeos Review

Salmon Arm firefighters do more than fight fires; sometimes they also help to make wishes come true.

Jaxon Butts was born with a rare chromosomal abnormality that requires complex palliative care. He turned four in June, a milestone his family thought would never happen.

In May, the family was able to bring him home where his mother, Kayla, and grandparents Brandi and Rod provide 12-hour shift care. The family spent thousands of dollars acquiring the sophisticated equipment needed to properly care for Jaxon.

One of the items needed was a pediatric hospital bed. While they had a line on one, it was in Kelowna and the Butts had no way of getting it here on their own.

When they heard the family needed help, the local fire community and other volunteers worked together to make it happen.

Members of the Kelowna Fire Department loaded the bed onto a truck provided by local ReMax realtor Jeff Stacer. Upon arriving here, 12 members from all four fire department wards moved the 500-pound bed in the Butts’ home through a window, which was removed and replaced with Trademark Glass.

“We offered it to everyone who was available and it was pretty easy to get the firefighters out,” said Tyler Stevenson, a Hall 2 lieutenant. had too many, which is better than not enough.

“It’s just so much community love; everyone rallied,” Brandi said. “Having the intensive care bed has just been a godsend and has helped a lot in Jaxon’s care.”

And the donations continued when Stevenson heard the Butts hoped to receive 100 delivered cards for Jaxon’s birthday. Thanks to firefighters and Shuswap Float and Wellness owner Kate Bischke, Jaxon received 145 cards that gave family members a much-needed boost when they read them together.

Many maps were delivered to the family’s home in Engine 3 so Jaxon could experience being in a fire truck.

“We hit base with the family because we wanted to have one of Jaxon’s best days,” Stevenson said. “He was actually a bit more aware when he was in there, looked at the camera a couple of times and reacted pretty well.”

Then came another adventure as Stevenson arranged for Jaxon to take a short ride in a Rapattack helicopter because the cold, wet weather has, so far, snuffed out wildfire season.

Brandi said her daughter Kayla, a single mother, developed a wish list of adventures so the family could make memories of Jaxon in places other than a hospital bed.

Other wishes include going fishing with Grandpa, going for a boat ride, riding a tractor, and flying a kite.

“When you’re dealing with something as unimaginable as a child in hospice care, it’s about finding moments of joy,” Brandi said. “Firefighters don’t just support wishes that come true, they lift some of the load. It’s hard to live in a state of crisis all the time and those moments of joy make it so much easier.

Members of the Salmon Arm Fire Department and Regional District of Columbia Shuswap Fire Departments are actively recruiting.

In Salmon Arm, those interested can “dip their toes in the water” by showing up at one of the four rooms at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday evenings. For more information, call 250-803-4060.

CSRD Fire Services Coordinator Sean Coubrough said its 13 departments and 14 fire stations are constantly recruiting. For more information, go online to

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