On April 9th 2016, while Lesley was skiing with her friends at Whistler Mountain she was in a very serious accident. She was airlifted to the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) where it was revealed that Lesley had a serious spinal cord injury: a fracture of the cervical spine at C5, leaving her quadriplegic.
Lesley underwent two surgeries to stabilize her spinal cord and spent 3 months in the Intensive Care Unit and Spinal ward at VGH. At the end of June she was transferred to the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Center where she underwent a demanding schedule of therapy to help her develop the skills she needs to live as independently as possible. Lesley has learned to operate her electric wheelchair, adapt to eating, and use her phone and computer. All of Lesley’s health care providers have been incredibly impressed with her positive attitude and ongoing determination.
It is Lesley’s intention to remain in Vancouver, the place she calls home and where she has a remarkable network of friends. Lesley has recently made the huge step of moving back to her apartment. Once Lesley has adapted to living on her own, she intends to return to university to complete her studies. Fortunately the city of Vancouver is well equipped to accommodate people with disabilities.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
A trust fund has been established in Lesley’s name and funds are being raised to help cover some of the extraordinary costs that lie ahead. Although the B.C. government provides reasonable assistance, it cannot begin to cover all of Lesley’s expenses, now and in the years to come.
As there is a waiting list of years for adapted housing, one of Lesley’s priorities is to find a more suitable and accessible apartment. Adaptations will be required to optimize Lesley’s use of her living space and to allow her caregivers to provide the help she needs. Vancouver is one of the most accessible cities in Canada; however, it is also one of the most expensive.
The biggest ongoing expense for Lesley will be to hire helpers. She needs hours of care every day: transferring in and out of bed, showering, shopping, preparing meals, etc. Lesley will also benefit from treatments from professionals, such as: physiotherapists, massage therapists, personal trainers and occupational therapists.
There are many items, recommended by Lesley’s rehab team, which will improve her health, her quality of life, and her ability to be as independent as possible. Some examples are: an adapted van ($90,000), a manual wheelchair with power assists ($10,000), a standing frame ($8,000), and a portable lift ($5,000).
Your support will make a difference!