Standing Strong after a Horrific Fall

Eleanor Churchill smiles for a photo

Eleanor Churchill was 85 years old when she fell down a flight of stairs in her home.

“I smashed my shoulder, broke my foot and cracked some ribs. When I looked down at my arm, I could see a bone sticking through my skin,” Eleanor recalls of that terrifying day in February 2019.

Since Eleanor lives alone, she gathered her strength, crawled to a phone and called for help.

Emergency care

The ambulance took Eleanor to her local hospital in Hagersville. She was subsequently transferred to Hamilton General Hospital, where she underwent surgery to repair her shoulder and arm.

“As I recovered at The General, I found it difficult to accept that I’d lost some of my independence. I couldn’t use my left arm and I needed a wheelchair to get around,” explains Eleanor.

Restoring her body

Admitted to the Restorative Care Program at St. Peter’s Hospital, Eleanor spent weeks working with a multidisciplinary team to regain strength, balance and mobility.

“Physiotherapists worked with me to get my legs working again,” she says. “I often exercised on the climbing stairs and the bicycle, and soon I was able to get out of my wheelchair and use a walker.”

Occupational therapists helped her regain motor control in her hands by practicing everyday tasks, such as making sandwiches, peeling vegetables and folding clothes.

On her own two feet

Eleanor was discharged after two months at St. Peter’s Hospital. She will always share a deep connection with the doctors, nurses and therapists who helped her on her journey.

“Thanks to the care I received, I was able to get back on my feet and get back to my life,” she says.