In 2015, my son had a serious dirt bike accident. He was airlifted to hospital where he learned that he had broken his back and would require surgery as soon as it could be scheduled. He was advised that he would be paraplegic with little chance of recovering much feeling in his lower body. As you can imagine this is an incredibly traumatic experience for the patient as well as family and friends. There is an overwhelming sense of loss, confusion and anxiety as you struggle with an unknown future, not knowing how life will be from this point forward.
With the help of his medical team in ICU and later in rehab where he spent over 2 months, my son made remarkable progress. Throughout this time Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCIO) provided invaluable support. In the early days one of their staff visited regularly and provided written information as well as talking about practicalities and problems that would be encountered and how to deal with them. The staff member assigned was an important source of moral support. As time went on SCIO helped in numerous other ways as well, providing information on programs available, sourcing equipment, lending equipment for him to try out and also setting up contacts with peers. They arranged for a man who had come through a similar injury to visit my son in rehab, talking to him about the challenges and all the practical issues that would likely be encountered. This man has a successful business and has been able to do most of what he could do before he was restricted to a wheelchair, although some things now have to be done differently. He demonstrated a positive attitude and determination to succeed. He was willing to answer any questions from what features to look for in a wheelchair to keys to maintaining a positive outlook. This man was an inspiration to all of us but to my son he was proof that you can still live a full life after a spinal cord injury.
With hard work, my son managed to regain much of the strength in his right leg and some in his left as well. He does need a wheelchair most of the time but is able to stand with support and his mobility is incredible. He works full time, operating large equipment, able to get in and out without assistance. He is fully independent. Through this journey SCIO has always been there, checking in to make sure things were going ok and always available for a phone call to answer questions. Theirs has been the calming voice, the voice of hope and perseverance.
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario is an organization that is worthy of your donation. They continue to do amazing work, providing valuable support and advocating for people with spinal cord injuries. They truly make a difference in the lives they touch.
Learn more about Spinal Cord Injury Ontario