The day I lost myself – By Marie

On January 16, 2000, I woke up at my girlfriend’s house and we went to The Great Canadian Bagel Place for lunch.
As I started to go back home, an ice storm started. Suddenly, I hit black ice, my car spun out of control, crashed, and was wrapped around a pole. My brain
started to bleed.
Thank goodness my friend was driving a different car behind me, and had a cel phone. She called 9-1-1, and the police and fire department came. They had to use the Jaws of Life to get me out of the car, and took me to St. Michael’s hospital.
My dad was in tears when the police officer came to the door to tell him about the accident, and my family met at the hospital.
My mom, dad, brother, and family prayed for me as our Priest gave me my last rites. The doctors didn’t think I would make it.

As our Priest gave me my last rites, my family stood by my bedside and watched – Marie

But I did make it, and I was in a coma for 5 months, then spent 2 years at Bloor McMillan Rehab Center, re-learning basic life skills.
I had to learn how to: breathe again, eat again, and speak again. I could not: dress myself or walk. I had lost the ability to do many things I’d enjoyed: to drive, go out with friends, cook my own food, and swim in my pool. This all made me angry, sad, and I felt useless.
I’d cry when people talked to me. My parents used comedy to help relieve my suffering, by getting me to laugh. One of my doctors also used humor to help me through some difficult appointments.
When asked where my strength came from, I would have to say my parents. My father was always motivating me to never give up, and my mom was always there for me, and never gave up. My friends supported and stuck by me through my experience.

I will continue to get better because I have determination in my soul. One day I will walk again.

We also had pet therapy at the hospital, and my dogs, Amber and Royal, were there every weekend at home for me. I was always happy to see them.
I thank God that there are places for disabled people to go. For example, places like day programs, swimming, and summer camps.
Although I was aiming to become a psychiatrist to help people, I was unable to reach that occupational goal. However, I still have a deep desire to help people, and my friends around me see that. They see me as someone who has many great ideas to share, and they are sure I will have many opportunities to help people in the future.
I’ve been with Mind Forward for over five years now.  Their programs are good quality, interesting, and fun.  In Breakfast Club I’ve learned how to fix food in a group, and have been introduced to unique foods.  Creative Writing is an opportunity to make up fun, new stories, and everyone adds interesting perspectives.  The programs are very enjoyable.
At Mind Forward I learn about other people’s life journeys, about their injuries and how they are affected.  There is a great social aspect, and if I need help, I could talk to anyone at Mind Forward and receive assistance.  Mind Forward gives you a feeling of fulfillment and personal satisfaction, and I’m very happy to attend.