As Paul was wearing all of his riding gear, he suffered only one tiny little scratch and not one bruise. Despite all of his protective gear, Paul had broken his neck between the C6 & C7 vertebrae. He was now diagnosed as a quadriplegic. He is now expected to be reliant on a wheelchair for the rest of his life and also faced with relearning all physical tasks. In the past 6 weeks he has had 2 neck surgeries, been treated at 3 hospitals and now a rehab facility. He has no doubt learned the true meaning of the word patience…..which, if you know Paul, you know PATIENCE is not on of his stronger traits lol. Today Paul has partial use of his arms with very minimal use of his hands. He has no feeling or movement in his fingers and below his nipple line. Despite that, he is excited about learning how to do things for himself again and use what physical abilities he has available to him to their fullest.
Through all of this, it has been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster ride for Paul. Physical trauma aside, he has tried his best to be the chipper smiling Pauly we all love and he is determined to work hard and be as independent and self sufficient as possible. He managed to feed his granddaughter whipped cream last night while watching cartoons in his hospital bed. Now he has an excuse for getting it all over her face. He knows the slow road ahead will be long and challenging but he is excited to get it started with what he has referred to as his “new view on life”. The nurses and therapists are thrilled with Paul’s drive, his enthusiasm and incredible positivity. Paul continually pushes them to work him harder. Starting this week, he will begin to attempt to dress himself and try to maneuver a manual wheelchair.
Pauly is the last one to ever ask for help, so I am doing it for him. Looking ahead financially, it will not be easy for Paul as he was the main bread winner in the home. There are some huge expenses to come. In the very immediate future, he will need to purchase a wheelchair (powered or manual depending on his abilities), required home modifications for accessibility ie, chairlifts, slings, shower and bathroom improvements and the purchase of an accessible vehicle to aid in continuing rehab once Paul is released from the hospital. Long term expenses include a lifetime of in-home care, medical supplies and services not covered by OHIP. And at this point there is the uncertainty of how long before he can work again.
Paul has received an outpouring of encouragement and offers for help and support. A simple way to show your support would be to make a contribution for Paul. It would mean the world to this man who never hesitated to help anyone.
Thank you so much for everything.
- D. O'Hara
- Rob Carlevaris
- Hugh Corbett
- Pat LaCroix
Organizer and beneficiary
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