A Vancouver restaurant is embracing the Christmas spirit and is trying to help a 10-month-old girl and her family, who have spent many nights in the intensive care unit this year.

Edible Canada, on Granville Island, opened Sunday for a special fundraising dinner for Lauren Arneil, a Burnaby, B.C., girl who had a heart attack when she was five-months-old.

Arneil was diagnosed with a rare heart condition — anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) — when it landed her in the emergency room earlier this year.

Lauren's parents Amanda and Matt Arneil were playing with the baby girl and taking photos, when they noticed something wasn't right with her.

They rushed her to hospital, where her heart stopped.

"I feel on the floor of the resuscitation room, praying. I was face down on the floor when they were trying to resuscitate her," said Matt.

"I just remember screaming in the hallway: 'This can't be happening, this can't be happening,'" Amanda said.

Lauren survived thanks to a heart bypass machine, and her heart recovered with the help of three surgeries.

"It started actually to beat again, and it was so exciting to see the little blips go across the screen that showed that her heart was just starting to wake up a little bit," said Amanda.

The Arneils were frequent customers of the Vancouver restaurant, which heard about Lauren's emergency and brought bags of food to the ICU for the parents.

"They said: 'Don't worry about it,' and started providing us with meals on the weekends when they were open for breakfast," Amanda said.

As well as the Sunday's fundraising dinner proceeds, the restaurant also donated five per cent of the day's breakfast sales to an education fund for Lauren.

Edible Canada's Eric Pateman said the season is part of the inspiration.

"Christmastime: It's all about giving back, and really being able to do something," Pateman said.

"For us to really do something for a single person, that could change their life of make a huge difference in their life, is important to us," he said.

The family isn't sure what developmental obstacles Lauren's heart attack may lead to, but say they're touched by the restaurant's generosity and Christmas spirit.

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  • Olive Oil

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  • Nuts

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  • Berries

    Berries are rich in a type of antioxidant called polyphenols, which can lower blood pressure and <a href="http://www.ajcn.org/content/87/2/323.abstract" target="_hplink">boost "good" HDL cholesterol</a>. A 2011 study focussed on blueberries found that they contain a compound called anthocyanins (also found in other dark fruits like raspberries) that can <a href="http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2011/January/berries" target="_hplink">protect against high blood pressure</a>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimberlykv/4810740536/" target="_hplink">Kimberly Vardeman</a> </em>

  • Oatmeal

    The <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111103854.htm" target="_hplink">soluble fiber</a> in oatmeal (as well in other whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables) <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol/CL00002" target="_hplink">reduces the absorption of "bad" LDL cholesterol</a> into the bloodstream, <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307113,00.html" target="_hplink">helping to keep arteries clear</a>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nate/359386784/" target="_hplink">Nate Steiner</a></em>

  • Soy

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  • Dark Chocolate

    Thanks to compounds called <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/11/chocolate-stroke-prevention_n_1004426.html" target="_hplink">flavonoids that operate like antioxidants</a>, satisfying that sweet tooth can actually lower bad cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and prevent blood clots. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chocolatereviews/4724615475/" target="_hplink">Lee McCoy</a> </em>

  • Popcorn

    When air-popped (read, not drenched in butter and smothered in salt), popcorn is actually a surprisingly <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessNews/story?id=8356993#.TymrBuPLzwc" target="_hplink">good source of heart-healthy antioxidants and fiber</a>, according to a 2009 study, because it's technically a whole grain. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/superiphi/2521340333/" target="_hplink">Joelle Nebbe-Mornod</a></em>

  • Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are the <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110301091338.htm" target="_hplink">biggest source of lycopene</a> (a powerful antioxidant) in the American diet, according to a 2011 review of literature on the topic. While more research is needed still, preliminary experiments suggest that lycopene could play a role in <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21291369" target="_hplink">preventing cardiovascular problems</a> due to its <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22076972" target="_hplink">anti-inflammatory properties</a>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33909700@N02/3158937163/" target="_hplink">Dave Stokes</a></em>

  • Seaweed

    Just like their leafy, green, land-grown counterparts, seaweeds pack some impressive benefits for the heart, including <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913184059.htm" target="_hplink">antioxidants and even some good fats</a>. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/khawkins04/5473790679/" target="_hplink">Ken Hawkins</a></em>

  • Potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, and both sweets and regular <a href="http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/5-foods-that-are-surprisingly-good-for-your-heart-2450980.html" target="_hplink">spuds contain fiber and potassium</a>, <a href="http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/potassium-and-your-heart" target="_hplink">key in keeping your heart functioning</a> its best. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/22280677@N07/2201327206/" target="_hplink">Svadilfari</a></em>

  • Coffee

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  • Alcohol

    A 2011 review published in the "British Medical Journal" found a 14 to 25 percent <a href="http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d671" target="_hplink">drop in heart disease</a> in moderate alcohol drinkers compared to teetotalers. For years, research has flip-flopped on the healthy or not debate over alcohol. While once-heralded <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/19/red-wine-health_n_1018934.html" target="_hplink">resveratrol might not be worth all the hype</a>, a recent Spanish study suggests it's <a href="http://www.ajcn.org/content/95/2/326.abstract" target="_hplink">alcohol itself that has cardiovascular benefits</a>, not just the compounds in red wine. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/5958666230/" target="_hplink">Dinner Series</a></em>

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