I lay in my ICU bed at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH), looking into the terrified eyes of my wife. I desperately wanted to talk to her – to squeeze her hand and ask her what was going on. Was this going to be my life? Was I even going to have a life? But I couldn’t say or do a single thing. I was literally trapped, paralyzed from the mouth down.
It began that morning. I woke up unable to move my left arm or sit up in bed. By the time I arrived at OTMH, the paralysis was worse. It was getting harder to breathe. Luckily, the neurologist and ER doctors recognized what was going on and immediately started treatment. I had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare but serious disorder where your immune system attacks your nervous system. It was going to be a very long and painful road back to health, one that I’m still on to this day.
I’m just thankful I haven’t been on this journey alone. The incredible people at OTMH have been by my side every step of the way over the 601 days I spent as an inpatient. From the beginning, I learned to celebrate the smallest milestones: The ability to wiggle my toes for the first time; the feel of the floor beneath my feet after I hadn’t taken a step in four months; the pure joy of placing my arm around my wife’s shoulder and giving her a partial hug. As I got stronger, the focus shifted from lifesaving care to rehabilitation.
There aren’t enough words to thank you for supporting OTMH. Because of caring people like you, the staff was able to make a tremendous investment in my health and recovery. You helped get me to where I am today – eating, sitting up, and walking all on my own.
Your continued support will help fund the equipment and cutting-edge technology doctors need to diagnose and treat critically ill patients. You’ll help the hospital continue to attract the best health professionals, trained in the latest procedures and treatments.
And your donations help give patients like me the thing we wish for more than anything in the world: the chance to recover and return home to the ones we love.