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Success Stories

Christina's Story

CHEO has saved my life, given me back my life and changed my life for the better.Image of teenage girl with curly, long hair

A couple of years ago, I had stomach issues which turned into a severe eating disorder. I was very sick and heading on a destructive path. I had an assessment at the eating disorder clinic, and I was immediately admitted to CHEO. I was mad, sad and terrified. I remember a really nice lady who comforted me until it was time to go up to 6 North. I later learned this amazing nurse was named Karen Fantinic-Boyadjian.

It was May 2014 and after a seven week admission I was discharged. I relapsed and was readmitted in July for another seven weeks.

Being in the hospital was so hard for my family and I, but I can't even imagine how much harder it would have been without the wonderful, supportive, caring staff that CHEO has. After my second inpatient admission I was put into the outpatient eating disorder day program. The day program was by far the hardest and the best experience of my life. There, I met some of the most amazing people and the staff changed my life. They fought for me when I didn't want to fight, believed in me when I didn't believe in myself and loved me when I felt unlovable. Instead of making me feel like just another patient, they made me realize that I'm an important individual who the world needs. I spent 23 weeks in the day program, and those 23 weeks were the best spent times in my life. I learned so much, thanks to the amazing people who run it.

After I graduated from the day program, I continued to have appointments at CHEO with Dr. Feder and my therapist, Lisa Cook. Whenever I would have therapy appointments, Lisa Poitras and Karen Fantinic-Boyadjian who both work with day program would continue to be there for me and support me, even though it isn't technically part of their job.

I continued to have support and encouragement from my dietician Jessika Lamarre (who is amazing), despite not technically having appointments anymore. My art therapist Cynthia York continued to talk to me when we crossed paths, and would always make me so happy.

I recently had my last appointment ever at CHEO, and everyone who has worked with and helped me was there to say goodbye and celebrate with me. One of my dieticians Kelly Spence was there, even though she is currently on maternity leave. This just shows how much they all care for me and how incredible they are.

At CHEO I have met so many amazing psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, therapists, doctors, nurses, dieticians, and other staff members. Looking back on all the people who have helped me, I'm just so grateful. I can’t say it enough -- Thank you CHEO.

Christina Damico

Image of a collage made by Christina
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