Imagine you're an incredibly active 13-year-old, and suddenly given what amounts to a medical death sentence. That's what happened to Sylvain Bedard, the subject of this episode of Metamorphosis. After his 18-year-old sister died of a sudden heart attack, Sylvain was diagnosed with the same degenerative heart condition. Doctors told Sylvain it was quite likely he would die by his 18th birthday. But that's not how his story ends. Instead, a gift from a complete stranger gave Sylvain Bedard's story a remarkable new beginning.
Sylvain Bedard defied his doctor's prognosis and lived to blow out the candles on his 18th birthday. Once he survived that milestone, he began to make tentative plans for the future. He enrolled at the National Theatre School in Montreal and he trained to become a stage technician. There he met his future wife, Marie, who found him charming and courageous. Together they had four sons. And then, after Sylvain's gift, they had a fifth. But the gift would also take Sylvain to places he had only dreamed about; through the clouds to the peaks of some of the world's highest mountains.