On June 18, while playing at school, Emelee fell from a swing and broke the C5 vertebrae in her neck suffering damage to her spinal cord. Emelee had emergency surgery the following morning to fuse her spine.
After two frightening weeks in the ICU, she is stable in the recovery ward at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Emelee was born with autism and has always faced additional challenges. She is a sweet, spirited child that always makes you smile.
Emelee is now paralyzed from the chest down with limited mobility of her arms and hands. Unfortunately she is unable to move her legs and does not have control of her bladder or bowel. She also has difficulties breathing as her stomach muscles are not able to help support her diaphragm.
Emelee's dad and her recovery neurologist are reviewing different treatment options in hopes of giving her every opportunity at some quality of life after this accident. Although it is likely that she will stay a paraplegic, Phil is hoping to explore medical options that will allow Emelee to regain some feeling and movement in her lower body.
Some treatments supported by her neurologist are not yet available in Canada, so substantial costs for travel and treatment will be necessary.
Phil works in the oil and gas drilling industry and has been under-employed since Alberta’s economic downturn. Recently he has been self-employed and does not have any health insurance. He will not be able to work for a period of time while he focuses on Emelee’s care.
Even without the cost of additional treatment, there are many costs associated with Emelee's care that will not be covered by the health system. For her to go home, she will need a hospital bed with an air-filled mattress that will prevent blood clots and improve circulation. Transportation that is wheel chair compatible and home updates for wheel chair accessibility are also needed.
If there is anything you can do to help Phil and Emelee through this difficult time, it would be very much appreciated.