This past thanksgiving I was thankful for CHEO. I lived a normal life up until October of 2009. I was healthy and a typical 13 year old. I was in dance and was just going into high school with the expectation that it would be the best time of my life.
My health issues all started in science class when I realized I couldn't sit on the stools for longer than five minutes. I went to see a series of doctors who diagnosed me with a ruptured disk in my tail bone. They concluded that my problem was due to my active lifestyle.
One morning in early November, I was in so much pain that I asked my mother to take me to the hospital in my home town of Sudbury. I ended up staying at St-Joseph’s hospital in Sudbury for five days where I quickly became very sick. I became very weak and went into septic shock. At that point the doctors realized I needed specialized care and needed to be transferred by air to a children’s hospital. My options were either Toronto or Ottawa. Until this point, I had never heard of CHEO, let alone spent a night in the hospital. My family and I chose CHEO and I was flown there that night.
At CHEO I underwent a lot of medical tests and was finally diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I also had a massive stomach abscess. Finally I was getting answers to what was making me so sick.
For two months, I pretty much lived on 4 East. After being released I continued to visit CHEO multiple times over the course of four years.
I will never forget the team of people who took care of me and actually changed my life. People at CHEO have the biggest hearts and are so caring. I really don't know how they do it every day. There was one lady that I remember very well and have been meaning for a long time to reach out to and thank her for her kindness. Her name is Michèle Tache, she worked in the playroom and she made me feel like a million bucks! Thank you Michèle.
Even though I have to live with this the chronic illness the rest of my life, I am forever thankful for the people I have met and the care I received over the years. CHEO is an amazing hospital. To all the wonderful people that work there -- I thank you so much for giving me a great experience during such a difficult time for me and my family.