In 2003, my husband, Robb and I transferred to the Kootenays to raise our three children in a place where could become part of a close community. On October 22, 2012, our reasons for moving became more than justified.
Our youngest son, Colin came home from school with a mild fever, headache and nausea. By October 24th, we were flown to Vancouver Children?s Hospital for an emergency MRI and lumbar puncture. Colin had lost the ability to walk, he couldn?t speak coherently and he couldn?t stop vomiting. Several very traumatic procedures later, we learned he had suffered an autoimmune response to a common virus. Instead of fighting the virus, his body turned on itself and attacked his cerebellum.
And that is where this amazing community stepped in. While I spent a month at Colin?s bedside, Robb needed to stay here to work and take our other children to their schools and extracurricular activities. When word spread about our situation, Robb found himself coming home to anonymous casseroles on our front step, gift certificates to restaurants and various forms of financial support. He received help driving our children where they needed to be and help caring for our pets when Robb had to come to Vancouver for a week. And Colin received care packages at the hospital that reminded him that he was loved.
Colin is walking and talking again, thanks to the great staff at Children?s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre and we are receiving support from the Community Brain Injury Association as Colin will need several more months of cognitive rehabilitation.
On behalf of my family, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the people of this community who offered love and encouragement during this challenging time. We still have a long road ahead, but we are so grateful to know that we will not be alone on the journey.