A young mother from Fort Nelson thought she wouldn’t survive to see another Christmas.
Five years ago, Kristi was a struggling single parent working two jobs and long hours. She knew the conditions on the highway were bad when she headed out to teach a course in Chetwynd. But Kristi needed the income. Suddenly her truck hit black ice and rammed an embankment. The impact instantly broke Kristi’s neck.
“When I woke up in my truck, I honestly thought I was dead because I couldn’t feel my body. But then I heard cars driving by and I started hollering out for help.”
In the hospital, Kristi was surrounded by her loved ones including her two young kids. And a new fear emerged. “How is this even going to work? Who is going to be there for my children?”
A spinal cord injury is devastating. But you can make a difference. Your financial support helps people during the most difficult time in their life.
Kristi’s challenges continued when she returned home after several months of rehab. “I couldn’t figure it out. How do people in wheelchairs live and do physio and stay active, and incorporate their families into what they do?” And when the pandemic broke out, things got worse. Everyone wanted to keep Kristi safe by not bringing Covid into her home. But that left her all alone.
We know peer support is vital in the healing process. That’s why we offer daily online activities that keep people connected, engaged and mentally healthy. There is something for everyone – a morning coffee and chat, home fitness workouts, “Quad Life” discussions, fun games nights, and much more.
It was this peer connection that saved Kristi. She met a special group through our online activities who opened her eyes to what is possible.
“When we’re dancing, my kids can come dance with us. When we’re doing games night, the kids can be there. And the best part is I can be home! I don’t have to spend time away from my family. I can honestly say that you saved my life.”
This is the power of peer support! People come away with increased confidence, new friendships and the realization that life can be full again. And it’s your gifts that make all this possible.
Now that winter has set in, Kristi is hunkering down at home. But that’s okay. Kristi isn’t alone. She has her family and all the wonderful people she’s met through our online activities. “I’m still amazed that you reached me all the way up here in my remote northern location. If peer support can reach me here, just imagine the impact it will have on others all over the province.”
Kristi is excited about the holidays. She can’t wait to wake up at home on Christmas morning with the kids at her side. This is the first year Kristi is fully independent and able to carry on the family traditions.
But she will never forget what it’s like to wake up in the hospital and hear the news that your whole world is turned upside down. Like Kristi, I’m sure you don’t want anyone to face a spinal cord injury alone.
Please send your holiday donation to Spinal Cord Injury BC today. It will have a lasting impact all year long. Remember that only funds received by December 31st are eligible for a 2022 tax receipt. Thank you for helping people adjust, adapt and thrive in their new lives.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.
Chair, SCI BC Board of Directors