At the age of 11, I started drinking, getting alcohol from my parents. In my teenage years, I continued drinking in order to look cool and with recreational drugs, however, I did not develop an addiction and was able to stop the drug use.
After high school, I was hired by a company to drive transport trucks which continued for 20 years. I married during this time and had a beautiful little daughter named Rebecca, who is now 11½ years old. My driving career meant many nights spent away from my family. To compensate, I would spend that time drinking. Upon returning home from long trips, my drinking habit continued which took me away from the relationship in my marriage, ultimately causing it to end.
At the age of 36, I remarried. I believed this marriage would be successful, however between the demands of my job and cost of my drinking habit, my marriage ended after lasting only 1½ years. After another failed marriage, I quit drinking. This only lasted 10 months until I started drinking again with the belief that I could only drink 1 drink at a time. Before I knew it, I was drinking 3 cases of beer and a 40 ounce of liquor every week. I never believed that I was an alcoholic. Throughout my life, I blamed others for my problems, especially my ex-wife for contributing to my drinking habit.
On July 5th 2009, my roommate and I were having a pool party to celebrate the long weekend. I spent the majority of the day drinking and having fun. I came inside to use the washroom, on my way downstairs, I stopped to pick up a in 3 places. My C4, C5 and C6 vertebrae were shattered, and because the bone fragments punctured my spinal cord, I am now a C4 incomplete quadriplegic. Learn More
I was taken to William Osler Medical Centre, however they could not find me a bed anywhere and considered transporting me to the States. A bed opened up at Toronto Western Hospital, where I was subsequently diagnosed with my injury. That night, I went into surgery to remove the shattered bone fragments and repair my spine by placing artificial disc, screws and plates. I spent 2 weeks at Toronto Western and was then transported to Lyndhurst Hospital to begin my rehabilitation.
When I first arrived at Lyndhurst, I was completely paralyzed from the neck down. I couldn’t move at all, feed myself, scratch my neck…nothing. With time, some movement and sensation started to return. The last movement to return was in my hands. During my stay at Lyndhurst, from July 16th to December 1st 2009, I was involved in physiotherapy and occupational therapy, each an hour in length. I left Lyndhurst on December 1st, walking on a high rise walker. Then, I was able to walk with a low rise walker and even take a few steps during the last few months of physiotherapy.