Welcoming a teenager: the story of Elvis

At Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque we do not only operate on young children. Our branch in Angers is even specialised in the care of adolescents. To understand what it's like to take in a "big kid", we asked Florence, Elvis' foster mother, to tell us about the stay of this 16 year old Ivorian boy with her family.

In Florence's family, there is Nicolas the father, the children Capucine (11 years old), Célestin (9 years old), and the dog Rosie. After discovering the Association on our social networks, they all decided together to embark on the adventure of a first fostering. Living in the Angevine region, it was not a small child but a 16 year old teenager that they welcomed into their home last September.

"From my only experience as a host family, the advantage of hosting a teenager is communication. At the beginning of the stay, Elvis was stressed as his operation date approached, but we were able to communicate easily. He confided in us his feelings, his fears, he told us about his daily life in his country, and this immediately formed a bond with us all."

Elvis' heart surgery went well and he was a new young man who was reunited with his foster family when he left hospital. "We are lucky because our children got on very well with him! Elvis took on the role of big brother to Capucine and Célestin. They played together, helped them with their homework, and sometimes the three of them even bickered like a real sibling.

Elvis playing football

"One of the other benefits of hosting a teenager is that we were able to take full advantage of doing activities with them. Elvis was lucky enough to attend an Angers/Nantes football match in the dressing room, followed by a meeting with the players. A keen footballer, he also socialised with young people at the local stadium where he saw a marked improvement in his fitness after the operation.

Elvis also took advantage of his stay with his host family to borrow a bicycle from them as he does not have one at home. Before his operation, he was content to go for short rides because he got tired quickly. He promised himself that once he had recovered he would cycle back to the hospital which is 30 km from home... and he kept his word! Before he left, he cycled to thank the nurses who had taken care of him, a symbolic gesture of which he was proud.

Elvis returns to Côte d'Ivoire with his parents and the Aviation Sans Frontières courier

When he returned to Côte d'Ivoire, his mother found him transformed. She had let a boy go and found a handsome young man, taller, stronger, more mature and in great shape!

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