Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

It was a warm winter evening in early December 2017 at a ski resort in Minnesota. I was going down a mountain on a snow tube and on the first bump, I fell out of my snow tube, tumbled down and hit my back very hard on the ice breaking my T6 and severing my spinal cord as a result. This brief moment which probably took less than 10 seconds, had a life-changing impact and left me paraplegic. I was rushed to St. Paul's Regions Hospital due to the severity of my injury. I spent the next four weeks there until it was safe enough for me to travel back to Toronto. My wife and other family members came down to support me through my critical condition during the four weeks. In Toronto, I spent another 3 months in a hospital working on rehabilitating and to learn new skills to work with my disability. Upon finally returning home, I continue to go to rehab sessions and the gym with the guided support of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. Up to now, my profession as an Accountant had me focused on businesses, reports and profitability on these companies with little knowledge of the medical industry. This injury gave me a much better appreciation of the nurses, doctors, and medical staff that take part in the recovery and rehabilitation of an injured person. I was able to see firsthand the level of work, dedication and genuine affection of people caring for a patient. The human spirit has the strength to show passion and love when it is most needed by those in their worst condition. Being in a wheelchair, it also gave me a better appreciation of the obstacles and restrictions a person has to encounter while in a wheelchair. I became a more active lobbyist for disabled people. I sought out how I could improve disabled parking, accessibility for gym facilities, as well as, increase awareness of the challenges faced by people in a wheelchair. By compiling stats on people in wheelchairs and presenting it to local governments, it raised the concerns for this group of minority which has a limited voice due to barriers. With your generous donation, Spinal Cord Injury Ontario would be able to help other people like myself experiencing similar barriers. Your support would allow the community to utilize better resources for the recovery and rehabilitation process. There seems to be a lack of knowledge regarding the obstacles people with disabilities face in society. I know I have encountered many friends and family members who have now been enlightened about people with disabilities. There is a great need to educate and inform people about these issues to allow people with disabilities to better integrate into society and social activities. I look forward to working with the various groups and communities to help raise this awareness and educate people on better information and integration of people with disabilities.

Paresh