My name is Melissa. I am the loving mother of two daughters, and the daughter of devoted parents.
In 2021, I was admitted to Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) with COVID, where I was quickly transferred to the ICU and informed that I would need to be placed on a ventilator.
In the blink of an eye, I knew that I may never see my daughters or my family again. I used those final moments – maybe the last I’d ever remember – to call them and say goodbye.
After two weeks on the ventilator, a miracle happened. My family and friends had been praying for my recovery, and just like that, it happened. I was taken off of life support, but I now had Critical Illness Myopathy, leaving me paralyzed from the neck down.
I was alive, but my journey to recovery would be long and difficult.
From the ICU, my journey continued on the Medicine Unit, where I endured the greatest personal struggles of my life, fighting my way back from near-complete paralysis. These were dark days, and without the constant support of my family and the incredible CKHA staff, I could not have survived them.
Thanks to the support, resources, and equipment available for my recovery, I was able to get transferred to the Rehab Unit, where the hard-working, dedicated team truly helped me get my life back.
For my journey, I relied on the High Flow device that provided me with air to breathe when I needed it most. When I fell down, it was the Portable Patient Lift that picked me up and helped me move on. Without the support of generous community members like you to help purchase this critical equipment, my recovery would not have been possible.
It is critical that CKHA’s physicians and staff be equipped with these life-saving resources to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients from across our community.
For patients like Melissa, these crucial resources can be the difference between life and death, and can also vastly improve their quality of life for years to come.
When Melissa was finally discharged after three months in hospital, she was sent off with a Walk of Heroes, with hospital staff lining the hallways and cheering for her as she left. She was able to return home to enjoy more precious time with her daughters, her parents, and her entire family. That is worth celebrating.