A New Normal

It happened so quickly. It was just another typical day for Julie at home when she accidentally lost her balance and hit her head, resulting in serious medical consequences.



“I was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital,” explains Julie. “I suffered a spinal cord injury and I required immediate surgery, which involved stabilizing my neck.”

Julie lost considerable motor function throughout her body and required the use of a wheelchair. She required medication to loosen her muscles and she began an extensive program of rehabilitation through the Medically Complex Unit at St. Peter’s Hospital.

Therapy begins

“I’m a person who hates to work out, but I now enjoy my physiotherapy exercises,” says Julie. “The physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses are all amazing as they are helping me regain strength, balance and control of my body. I’m so thankful for all they’ve done for me.”

When Julie was first admitted to St. Peter’s Hospital, she was unable to write and she signed her name with an “x.” As her treatment continued, she gained the ability to write her name. Now she is able to write lengthy letters to her loved ones.

“My situation could have been much worse. I’m lucky that I can breathe on my own and I can feed myself. I see improvement every day.”

An exciting future

An optimistic person by nature, Julie refuses to let her circumstances get her down.

“It feels like I got a new lease on life. This is my ‘new normal’ and it’s a miracle that I can do as much as I can. My goal is to be able to stand on my own. I will stand again.”

July 2018 was an exciting time in her life. Julie was discharged from St. Peter’s Hospital and she moved into her new apartment. She also began outpatient physiotherapy at the Regional Rehabilitation Centre and is now able to get around with the use of a walker.

Julie is grateful to donors who support Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation and help to ensure that St. Peter’s Hospital has the safe and specialized equipment required for patient care.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of donors and The Foundation. Thanks to them, I have a lot to look forward to. The future is exciting.”