The family left their jobs, moved to Denmark, and dedicated their lives to care for Johannah. In the first 3 months Johannah made incredible progress after emerging from a coma. She re-learned to walk, talk, and eat, and everyone thought she would recover quickly.
Sadly, after 3 months, the family could not sustain living in Denmark and subsequently made visits every 2 months for a 1 month long duration. The costs for these visits added up quickly, amassing debt to the family.
The longer Johannah was in care at the hospitals in Denmark (four in total), the more she regressed. The doctors tried to find a combination of medications that would help Hannah, but this unexpectedly caused a condition called Dystonia. Dystonia is a movement disorder. This causes tension and spasms which stops her from talking, swallowing, walking, and controlling her movements. Because of this condition, she needs 24 hour care.
After Johannah started to regress, the family fought the legal system to bring her back to her home of Vancouver, BC. Because Johannah is a dual citizen of Denmark and Canada, she was under the protection of Danish rights and the family was not authorized to take her home without her consent. Since Johannah is non-verbal she could not give consent to leave the country.
On August 30th, 2017, the family's hard work was successful and Johannah came home.
In Denmark, rehabilitation therapy was integrated into Johannah’s hospital stay, however in Canada, there is little to no support. For example, speech therapy is not covered at all, and for physiotherapy, MSP covers $23 of 10 visits per year and each visit costs $110. There are no rehabilitation services offered in the long term care facility where Johannah now resides and she is not eligible for rehabilitation programs because her condition, is considered by the doctors, to be in the chronic phase. The doctors act like there is no hope for Hannah, but we know that with therapy, determination, and dedication she will recover.
The family has been doing everything they can, but resources are limited. Her siblings have uprooted their lives to be by her side. Her mother has quit her work to be with Johannah full-time and friends and extended family do what they can.
Your donation would be used for the long term support of:
Physiotherapy ($1200 a month for 3 appointments/week)
Speech Therapy ($1120 a month for 2 appointments/week)
Occupational Therapy ($450 a month for 1 appointments/week)
Mobility equipment (high walker $1000, modified wheelchair up to $10,000)
Health Supplements ($200 for a 90 day supply)
Heavy weighted blanket to help with her anxiety ($200)
Private nurse for the days the family cannot be with her
Accessibility home renovations (Ceiling lift systems, ramps, hospital bed)
Even if you don't know Johannah personally, you've probably seen her photos, heard her band, or been served a drink by her. She was a prolific singer, musician, model, photographer, music video director, in the Vancouver and Danish music scene. She was also an academic. At the time of the accident she was working on her Masters in Creative Management at Copenhagen Business School.
If you would like to know more about Johannah, here are some links of her work:
Interview and photos:
Feature on her band Metro Cult:
Article on her photography in Mongrel Zine:
MOTH - Taste the Remains
Sally Dige - Your Girl
Sally Dige - Losing You
Dune Messiah - Featherless Creatures
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