Stronger with Each Step

Joey Hackett has come a long way since October 2016, when a traumatic accident nearly took his life. He was working with a construction crew that was grading a road in Hamilton when an 18-tonne grader backed over him.

Joey Hackett

Joey Hackett

“I could hear my pelvis cracking and I could feel my left elbow explode from pressure,” Joey recalls. “My left foot was crushed, three ribs were broken and I suffered two fractures in my lower spine.”

Joey was rushed to the Emergency Department at Hamilton General Hospital, where he received an emergency blood transfusion. After his injured spleen was removed, the trauma team was able to stabilize Joey and medically induce a three-day coma, which helped his body to heal.

“It took three more surgeries to repair the damage done to my body,” explains Joey. “Half of my pelvis is now metal and I’m full of pins and plates.”

Ongoing rehabilitation

Joey was discharged from The General in November 2016 and he began outpatient treatment at the Regional Rehabilitation Centre in March. His care included intensive physiotherapy three times a week to help him regain mobility, strength and balance.

With hard work and dedication, he was back on his feet thanks to the aid of walker. Eventually he was able to walk with the assistance of two canes. Joey hit a major milestone when his program at the Centre concluded in autumn of 2017.

“The care I received was unbelievable and the people who helped me in my recovery became like family. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the amazing teams at The General and the Regional Rehabilitation Centre.”

A new normal

At Strides For The General in 2017, Joey shared his story onstage as a Patient Ambassador and he is looking forward to participating in the eighth annual Strides on September 15.

“Things are great nowadays,” he says. “I’m driving again and my walking keeps getting better every day. I’m able to do some of the household chores and I shovelled snow a couple of times this winter. My next milestone will be returning to work, which I’m looking forward to.”

“The care I received was unbelievable.”

Joey is happy that his life is getting back to “normal” again and he can now spend more time with his wife Tara and their two-year-old son Cohen.

“Now I can carry Cohen around and play with him on the floor. Words can’t describe how unbelievable that feels. I’ve been given a second chance at life and I’m not going to waste a single moment. I’m forever grateful.”