My story is a simple one, almost ridiculously so really, but the impact that it had on my life was absolute. The story begins in the town of Westport when on the morning of July 22, 2018, I hopped onto my bicycle and proceeded to ride it all the way back to Ottawa using a bicycle trail called Cataraqui. It was raining heavily that morning making things unpleasant. The poor maintenance of the trail itself added to that unpleasantness and probably put me in a frame of mind that may have caused me not to pay close enough attention to the rickety bridge spanning a small brook ahead of me. Basically, I lost control of my bike when my front wheel got pinched between two pieces of wood causing my body to be hurled over the handlebars in a futile attempt to mimic our avian friends. The fall made me a quadriplegic for life. There is more to the story and to the circumstances that led to my being rescued especially considering the fact that my paralyzed body was lying in the middle of nowhere but that part of the story would only describe the physical nature of my rescue and would not account for the rescue of my mind itself and this is where Spinal Cord Injury Ontario comes in.
The little-known truth is that despite the brave and optimistic front that I was displaying in front of everyone, inside I was completely devastated, and I was always very depressed. My prospects for the future were bleak. It didn’t help, of course, that I was frequently in great physical pain in the first 2 months. The physical pain went away eventually but that only brought into focus my quadriplegic condition. I was at the rehab centre when it all began to change. It happened when I had two visitors from Spinal Cord Injury Ontario one day. One of those two people was quadriplegic herself and she showed me what was possible. It was an eye opener to say the least. The other person was the head of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and she brought with her a tide wave of optimism and a zest for life that began immediately to cause my wall of gloom and doom to erode. Angela and/or some of her colleagues often comes to see me at the long-term care place where I now reside, and they always have something new and useful to suggest about improving my life. My sister often says that those people are simply too good to be true. I even caught her a few times looking at Angela’s shoulder trying to see the outline of her angel wings but to this day her search is inconclusive. The list of things that they have done for me is far more extensive than what I have mentioned but suffice it to say that I think that the world would be a far better place if all people were more like the people at Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.
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