In 1974, I was on a retreat for my Grade 13 class in Mississauga, Ontario, when I was hit by a brain haemorrhage. KAPOW!!! Was I ever hit. I was in hospital for two months and in a children’s rehab hospital for seven.
I was a leader. I was an honours student, and had just moved from London, Ontario. I was First Vice President of the Ontario Catholic Student Federation, and I felt it was my “bounded duty” to tell my fellow students that God is always good but not always the way that one wants God to be. We went on a blinded time with a fellow student, and when I came back I started into my spiel about how we felt as a blinded person. Only my words came out a GAH, GAH! PHLAG, GLAGH! ETC. I collapsed on the floor, and was led to a bed where I just lay there. In about half an hour, Fr. Terry Gallagher phoned his doctor, at 11:30 at night who said “RUSH HER TO A HOSPITAL, IMMEDIATELY!”
I was taken to a hospital in Mississauga, where I had a test done on my spine, and then taken from Mississauga to Toronto Western Hospital, where Dr. Harvey Shutz gave me four operations over a period of two weeks, and one minor one, putting the bone back into my left side of my skull. I was unconscious for two months, and in hospital for seven, at the “Ontario Crippled Children’s Hospital”, now renamed Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre. I did enjoy my times there. I did like life, and I always have. I am a great reader, as this has helped me in seeing life as it is, not as it “should be”, or as it “could be”, or as it “would be”.
I have always wanted to give something back to life, it is just who I am. Since 1994, I have run up the CN TOWER every year. I practice for it and when it is time, I do it. It makes me feel so good! It gives me vim, vigor and vitality. Each step is like a way to being a new person. I have raised over $10,000 each year for the past three years – in total I have made over $80,000 for the UNITED WAY (over 18 years).
I keep busy! I do volunteer work some evenings after work, visit with friends, go to talks by Catholics for PEACE and I am involved with Catholic Network for Women’s Equality and go on trips with them, to B.C., New Brunswick, Winnipeg.
At one point of my life I was on the brink of a death, so I do like life. I really do. I don’t fear death either. I have had a way of living that is good. Living is good for me, as I was given SO MUCH when I was born, I do feel that I need to give something back to life.
It is a beautiful thing to know about, to understand, to communicate and to be.