It’s Okay to be Afraid

Jason Laughlin knows first-hand what it’s like to be a patient at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. He spent 601 days there after waking up one summer morning in 2015 unable to move his left arm or sit up in bed. Diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare but serious disorder where your immune system attacks your nervous system, Jason had a very long and painful road back to health, one that took over a year and a half of treatment and rehabilitation. 
 
We were fortunate to reconnect with Jason and hear how he’s been holding up since sharing his incredible story in 2017. We are happy to report that he is healthy and staying positive in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the province's mandate to stay home.  
 
“I think it’s important to keep smiling and make an effort to laugh through all of this,” said Jason. “I joke with friends and colleagues that my previous experience at OTMH prepared me for this. After 601 days in a patient room, you get accustomed to the quiet and solitude.” 
 
When reflecting on his time at OTMH, Jason recalls the journey as a humbling experience. He came to appreciate how fragile the human body is and how important and strong his relationships are.  
 
For current patients, he understands it is a challenging and uncertain time, especially with the evolving situation around COVID-19.  
 
“It’s okay to be afraid,” said Jason. “There’s a greater need for isolation than ever before and what’s being experienced by patients during this time can be frightening and lonely." 
 
When asked what message he had for current OTMH patients, Jason shared a message of hope that we can all pay heed to: 
 
"Remember the good times and hold on to your cherished memories. Staying positive and focused on your goals and recovery during this time is what will help get you through this.” 
 
Read more about Jason’s road to recovery here.