Nfld. & Labrador

'Miracle' baby celebrates 50th birthday with bonanza of cards from strangers

When Lynn Bussey was born, doctors said she wouldn't live more than a year. Now people from all over the globe are helping her celebrate her birthday.
Lynn Bussey celebrated her 50th birthday July 4 with hundreds of cards. (Mei Au)

When Lynn Bussey of St. Lunaire-Griquet was born, doctors told her mother the infant, who had severe heart problems, wouldn't survive past a year.

"She was too weak to suck milk from a bottle. I used to have to cut the top off of the nipple and let it run in her mouth, and feed her like that," said Louise Bussey. She said her daughter clung to life, but didn't grow until well after the one year mark.

But when Lynn Bussey did grow, she didn't stop, and continued to defy her prognosis by celebrating her 50th birthday on July 4.

"I think that Lynn is a miracle," said her mother, on the morning of the big day.

Thanks to a Facebook campaign started by family members, Bussey, who also has Down syndrome, is having an extra special party this year.

Worldwide wishes

"I saw something on Facebook, and I said, what if we just put a public post out there and asked people to share it?," Bussey's cousin, Mei Au, told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.

A social media campaign has caused birthday cards to flood in from around the world. (Mei Au)

Au asked people to start sending birthday cards and the mail flowed in.

"She's gotten cards from all over Canada," said Au. Cards have also come from the United States, Great Britain, Belgium and South Africa. 

"It's come from all over. A lot of these cards, we don't know who they are, so it's just the kindness of strangers seeing the post on Facebook."

'It's unbelievable'

Au said with close to 400 cards arriving by Monday, the whole family is reeling from the unexpected outpouring.

An assortment of the nearly 400 cards Bussey has received so far. (Mei Au)

"It's unbelievable. It's really just hard to describe. Lynn is such a sweet, sweet person anyway and just to see her excited...her face just lights up. I wish I had been there the first time she went to the post office, just to see the look on her face," she said.

"I'm hoping people will continue to send her cards, even though her birthday will be past, because one of Lynn's favourite activities is to walk to the post office every day."

Lynn Bussey summed up her birthday card bonanza in one word: "Wonderful."

With files from The Corner Brook Morning Show