As some of you know, I lived at the Childrens Hospital Of Eastern Ontario for nineteen years.
This weekend is their annual Telethon on CTV Ottawa, so I’d like to take a few moments to talk about them, and how they helped me.
I was born in 1975 with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy called Nemaline Myopathy.
When I was six months old, my lungs collapsed, and I was rushed to CHEO, where I’d live unti 1994.
For the first six years, I lived in ICU, mostly because I was only given a year to live.
Due to my strength, and determination, and the Doctors & Nurses, I refused to give up.
Six years later, they decided to transfer me to 4 West.
4 West was full of kids my own age, and I was able to interact with them, which was a whole new experience for me.
I made a ton of friends, and was considered the “big Brother” to many. I’d literally spend hours hanging out with kids, and trying to distract them from their worries.
Whenever a new kid arrived, I’d be the one to show them around, and try to calm their fears.
Sadly, most of those kids passed away.
Despite that happening, I wouldn’t trade those memories in for anything. I learned quite alot at a very young age, which has helped me today.
In 1992, due to funding cuts, 4 West was closed.
Myself, & another Male Patient were transferred to 5 North.
I refer to these times as my dark days of CHEO. The reason is because 5 North is where they put the long term care patients. It mostly consisted of babies, and/or kids who weren’t really able to communicate. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy to be there, and I refused to let my friends see me like that.
In 1994, I left CHEO.
At the time, and for several years following, I tried to seperate myself as much as I could.
In my mind, I didn’t want to only be known as “CHEO’s longest resident”.
I wanted to be my own person, and do other incredible things with my life.
I’ve certainly done many things since 1994.
At this point of my life, I feel that I’d like to do my part in discussing CHEO and everything they did for me in nineteen years. The Nurses & Doctors there saved my life many many times, and for that, I will always be grateful.
Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to have contact again with a few Nurses there, and they’ve shed light on what I was like back then.
It was tough for all of us, but we made the best of it, and most importantly, they helped me survive, and made me into the person that I am today.
Without CHEO, I wouldn’t be here right now.
To those of you in Ottawa, Canada, I ask you to please donate to CHEO.
My Story is only one of millions & millions of kids that have been helped by them.
For those not living in Ottawa, please donate to your local Childrens Hospital.
There might just be another kid growing up there like I did.