Nadia’s Story

Oct 22, 2023 | Patients and Families

Meet Nadia, a mother from Calgary, Alberta. Her life took a profound turn after the sudden and heart- wrenching loss of her son, Wes Birdsell, to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) when he was just 16 years old. Wes was an avid athlete who participated in hockey, football, skateboarding, and biking. The sudden loss of Wes to undiagnosed HCM came as a complete surprise to both family, friends and their respective communities.

Upon receiving the devastating news from the medical examiner, Nadia was plunged into despair, as she had no prior knowledge of HCM. In her quest for information and support, she was guided to connect with the Canadian SADS Foundation. From that point forward, Nadia embraced a personal mission to shine a spotlight on HCM and provide education to others about this condition, with the fervent hope that no other families would have to endure a similar heart-wrenching experience.

Living with the weight of grief, Nadia found a new purpose.

“Grief never really stops. It is something you carry with you in different ways” – Megan Devine.

Through the Canadian SADS Foundation, Nadia found information, support, and a community of people who understood her pain. She also found a new purpose: to spread the word about HCM and its risks, and to encourage people to get screened and tested for this condition. She became a passionate advocate for the Canadian SADS Foundation, sharing her story and raising funds for their programs and services.

Nadia hopes that by raising awareness about HCM, she can help save lives and spare other families from the tragedy of losing a loved one unexpectedly to HCM or any other inherited cardiac condition. She also hopes that by honoring Wes’s memory, she can keep his spirit alive in her heart and in the world.

Wes was a bright and loving young man who touched many lives with his smile, his kindness, and his big bear hugs. He will never be forgotten.