May 10th, 3 years, 1095 days, 26,280 hours, 1,576,800 min. is the length of time in which I have been unable to move anything below my shoulders. My accident occurred around 1:30 p.m. on May 10 in Lima Peru. I was in the ocean body surfing when a large wave crashed me off the ocean floor and fractured my C-4 vertebrae which ultimately led me to be a ventilator dependent quadriplegic. I want to thank Carl, AJ and Michelle for jumping into action so quickly that they managed to get to me before I went unconscious. Right before I went unconscious I mouthed that I had that I have a spinal injury. After they reached me and initially got to be, they thought things would go okay from there, unfortunately named other wave struck and it ended up having the boys lose their grip, they then had to find me again in the ocean before bringing me back to the beach.
By the time I made it to the beach I was very blue and gray as I was not receiving enough oxygen. Peruvian surfers started doing CPR on me; this allowed for the water that I swallowed to be pushed back of my lungs and stomach. I then had to be moved from the beach as the waves were coming up higher and I also needed to be moved in order to be transported. An ambulance never showed but a police car with a large back and I was placed in the back of the police car to be transported. I had an amazing person in the police car with me who continued artificial respiration until we reached the hospital. I remained in a Peruvian hospital for four days until I was airlifted back to Kingston General Hospital.
Once back on Canadian soil and around my family and friends I was able to feel safe. If it was not for my mom and dad I would not have survived my time in ICU. They ensured that everything was correct in terms of my medication and that if I was getting sick anyway, my mom would make sure that the doctors were well aware of it and ensure that it was taking care of right away. At this time, Kyle was amazing as he would spend day in and day out by at my side. This made me have some brighter spirits as he would stay until late at night watching TV and movies. My friends were amazing as well, ensuring that they were there when I needed them. I have tried to live by the motto that was brought to me in the early stages of my accident “Keep Fighting, Keep Smiling, Stay Strong”.
This is been definitely difficult times, but I have made that I keep a smile on my face as much as possible but specially in the toughest circumstances. 10 months ago I lost the person you ensured that I was still here on this Earth. My mom also we do to a short battle with cancer and it was very difficult for me as she has been the rock through everything. It is hard to believe this is not here by my side anymore but I know she is looking after me every day from above and ensuring that I remain safe and I am very healthy. I would really like to thank everyone for their support whether you are a good friend, family, acquaintances and even strangers there has been so much support and love and I cannot thank you enough.
I especially would like to thank the following people who have become ventilator trained Chantal, Jess, Mary, Leslie, TJ, Tanya, Holly. You guys are great, helping me get out of the hospital every now and then and just having some time to be normal again. As three years have gone by it is hard to imagine that I am still a positive as I have been all along. There have been a lot of times when I have felt down but I have been cheered up quite quickly. With all that being said I want to thank all of you out there who have made me the new person I am, an extremely positive person who is happy with life and who continues to strive to reach my goals and aspirations of life. I hope that I have inspired others to be better people in their daily lives and that they never give up. I am going to fight every day as it comes that means and I’m going to ensure that I reach my goals and aspirations in life no matter what it takes.