Help Mary Archer's Medical Fund

Mary Archer was an out-going, 31-year-old social worker and 24 weeks pregnant. She worked with disabled adults and had her sights set on a bright future, starting a family with her partner Bob and becoming a new mother.

She had such dreams.

On April 8, 2009, Mary’s life was turned upside down after an operation in a Toronto hospital to replace a shunt (a pump in the brain that helps drain fluid through a tube to the abdomen). The procedure was needed most likely due to her growing pregnancy.

Mary was left alone in a hospital room, she got out of bed and fell on the floor. A few hours later Mary was found by a nurse and resuscitated, but sustained a severe, anoxic brain injury.

Her life has never been the same.

After the incident, her family and partner were told, that she would be kept alive long enough to deliver her baby by C-section. She was not expected to survive; she had organ damage, they were told; she was in a deep coma; she just wouldn’t be able to live.

They were wrong.  Everyone – family and friends – watched as the weeks passed and Mary slowly emerged from her coma.

Her baby girl, Isabella, was delivered June 25, after 11 weeks in neuro-trauma ICU.

Mary’s severe brain injury has left her unable to talk, walk or remember anything for more than 60 seconds. She has been left with stiff arms and legs. She cannot feed herself, go to the washroom, shower or dress herself. She is utterly reliant on the presence and aid of others.

Due to her extreme memory loss, Mary was not a viable candidate for provincially funded rehab so the cost of all therapies fell to her family and her small pensions. In the beginning, speech therapies cost upward of $700 a session, physiotherapy came in at $300 to $400 a week.

Mary's family was left to absorb as much as $43,000 a year in care, treatment, and living costs,  forcing her parents to sell their primary home and a retirement residence.

Today, almost 8 years later, Mary is in desperate need of financial help.

Currently, Mary is only receiving physiotherapy twice a month, which is far from the level it takes to help her regain some movement and a quality of life. She needs continuing therapies – to keep her moving, to stimulate her memory, to help her speech. 

Each and every dollar counts, a donation of any size would be greatly appreciated.  As we all know, all of us collectively giving, small or large donations, will have the greatest impact.

The monies raised will be in a trust account for Mary and used in the following ways:
- Physio Therapy
- Cognitive Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Upgrade communication device to a new 12inch ipad 

Mary is the last person on earth who would ask for funds. She was a hard worker, holding down two jobs while doing her university degree, and happy to help others as a Social Worker. She was a problem-solver, quick-witted and funny. She had a big heart and she used it in her chosen profession.

She was excited to be bringing a child into the world and had a vision for her partner and unborn child, one that will never be fulfilled.

Her family has one goal: To enable Mary to stay well and to live long enough to watch her beloved daughter grow up.

The Archer Family and extended family all want to thank you for taking time to read about Mary's story and your support.  

We started this campaign on February 19, Mary's birthday.  Here is a 3 minute video of her receiving her birthday cake and a special message from Mary's mother Heather and her daughter Isabella:

Two stories have been written on Mary’s journey after her devastating brain injury:

The first appeared in The Toronto Star on Jan. 13, 2012:

The second story, an update, ran Oct. 15, 2016:


Heather MacDonald-Archer 
Oakville, ON

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