Jesse's Recovery Journey



Life is fragile and we take it for granted a lot of the time. I now know that it is true in more ways than one. I was an independent, self sufficient young man who has a beautiful 5 year old child named Jacob. I am self employed, working long hours each day, taking care of clients and have been growing my real estate business for years.

 In the blink of an eye, my world changed. I was working on my marketing into the late night and I fell asleep sitting up at my work table. When I woke up, I was completely paralyzed from the neck down. Yes- I went from complete independence to not being able to feed or clothe myself or do any of the basic life skills that people take for granted every day.

I was in the ICU while many tests were run on me to determine what caused this paralysis. Blood flow was blocked to my spine due to the angle and duration that my head was resting during my sleep while sitting at my desk. I was taken into surgery to locate the exact vertebrae that needed to be remedied. While in surgery it was discovered that I had no natural curvature in my neck and had a condition called stenosis.

 All of the major hospitals took interest in my case. As soon as I was approved to be moved into the rehab centre, a new development came in. It turns out I have a severe case of the West Nile Virus. This may be part of the cause of the paralysis but it is still being studied as a multifaceted case. Doctors including my surgeon, the infectious disease specialist, a neurologist, physiotherapists, nurses, pharmacists and GI doctor all make up the extensive team working on my diagnosis and treatment.

I will be remaining in the hospital, dealing with my already weak immune system caused by ulcerative colitis and now being treated with interferon, antibodies and blood plasma transfusions for a week to see if there are any improvements.

The costs for my new life, just the basics, will be difficult to keep up with as they will amount to $50,000 for the year or so that it will take me to recover and possibly get back to a functional life. Medications, living expenses at the hospital and later the rehab facility, a specialized wheelchair, a walker, a shower chair, physiotherapy, psychological support and many other living expenses incurred with not being able to work or provide for myself will quickly add up and put more pressure on me.

I believe in paying this forward once I return to my normal. I plan on helping others who have similar issues with mobility and plan to use my influence in several communities to make this happen.

Life is fragile. Remember and cherish every moment as if it could change in an instant, much like mine did.

Thank you for your support. I really do appreciate it!


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Danielle Eberschlag 
North York, ON
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