Amayah’s change of heart


One weekend in November during one of my Saturday editing days, I got a phone call from a passionate business owner who needed video. Receiving a call like this wasn’t uncommon – it was more the idea of what she wanted filmed.

​Here begins my first encounter with Shawn Solomon. She is the owner Thornhill Skin Clinic but, even though we would potentially use that space, it was more of a personal project. She enthusiastically talked about her daughter’s classmate who had a heart transplant and the story of how she discovered. I got the gist of what she wanted us to do but nothing would prepare me for the experience I would have meeting Amayah and her mom, Nel.

Long story short, I scrambled to find someone from Team Aperture Lane who was available and we went to the clinic to shoot the next day! Lisa and I stepped into Shawn’s storefront not really sure what to expect. We introduced ourselves, set up, and got to work. But soon work turned to a beautiful life conversation over coffee… well, bottled water. Nel eloquently shared the journey she and Gavin (her husband) went through from the discovery of Amayah’s heart condition (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) to her currently victorious situation. I left the clinic that Sunday evening with inspiration for telling this story


Mending a heart
​Fast forward two weeks later, I called Shawn to discuss revisions for the first cut of the video, and I found out that Shawn hasn’t exactly been sitting down twiddling her thumbs waiting for the video. In that time, Amayah was interviewed on the radio (arranged by Shawn) and Shawn started a foundation called The Mending Hearts Project, dedicated to building awareness of heart problems and making a difference of little ones with them.

​Show The Love
The hashtag, #showthelove, was the social tag that Shawn used to document the clinic’s annual client appreciation event. It was there our video got its debut and the foundation was born.


Moment of pause
​Honestly, when I had my first conversation with Shawn, I never thought I would have been so impacted, not only by the Lobo family’s story, but by one person’s (in this case Shawn) drive to just “make a difference”. It’s easy to get caught up in your busy life and dedicate minimal heart [ 😉 ] to causes that don’t “directly benefit” you. It’s easy to throw money at a cause, but giving your irreplaceable time is much harder. My hat off to Shawn and her new adventure.

If you want to do some more snooping, feel free to check out Thornhill Skin Clinic on Facebook. The Mending Hearts Project site is still in the works.

Also, I’ve reduced Amayah’s story terribly for the sake of brevity, but you can follow her and her family on Facebook or just google Amayah Lobo – they’ve been on TV!

As always, thanks for reading! Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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