April 16,2016 is the date of my tragic accident where I was electrocuted and thrown from my large stepladder. I am now a paraplegic (t6) with no feelings from my chest down. My injuries and additional issues acquired during hospitalization contributed to my lengthy recovery.

I was resuscitated prior to my spinal operation. Subsequent to the initial surgery I had the following medical issues: chest tube, broken ribs, uncontrolled atrial fibrillation, heart attack, breathing issues that required both ventilator and tracheotomy, as well as two rounds of pneumonia. I have had serious urinary tract infections as well as a skin ulcer that resulted in osteomyelitis (bone infection) and months for the wound to close and it continues to heal.

It has been a year of challenges and new experiences such as speeding past pedestrians in my new power chair. My journey has involved stays at 4 hospitals (see my hospital food blog) and a six month stay at Bellwood Community Living. A simple handshake when I couldn’t talk to a verbal thank you has enabled me to develop a supportive and respectful relationships with all my nurses and personal care workers. My rehab is still ongoing as I strive to be more independent.

I would like to thank my family, friends, and co-workers for the amazing love and support through my journey. From bedside visits just holding hands, visitors struggling to read my handwriting, handmade cards and games, to stuffing my little freezer with food it has shown how blessed I am.

I couldn’t have made it through without you. You have enabled me to be strong, positive, motivated and retain my sense of humour. I look forward to what the future entails.

I love you all.

John
john@4inspiration.ca

April 16, 2020

Four years ago today my life changed. Since then I have rolled for over 2900km. That ‘s like driving to Regina, Saskatchewan or Key West, Florida. I No longer wear out the soles of my shoes and am permitted to wear sweats almost anywhere. I do have dress pants for those special occasions like weddings and baptisms which I have happily been able to attend.

The days like everyone’s have flown by. There have been challenges and I am still working on some, but it has mostly been days of joy. The joy that I am here with the support of a loving family and a large number of friends. The joy to have three new lovely young grandchildren. The joy to see Bryan graduate from University and Ted to acquire a General Manager position he coveted. The joy to see Jane happily retire from CRA.

The joy of becoming a van owner! No sporty coupe anymore, but a tank with hand controls. I have even been able to back out of the garage with mirrors intact and have as yet not hit any parked cars in the driveway or our lovely Birch tree that has drawn us in with its beauty and body shop bills. The joy of playing sledge hockey and feeling that rush of being on the ice again. The joy of knowing Jamie, Lindsay and Kate and a whole new group of friends through rehab.

So as we experience these challenging days of isolation please know that things will be fine at the end of the tunnel. For anyone that needs to see how people get through tough times of adversity please check out a few of the stories on http://4inspiration.ca.

Thanks for your love and support.