To the Expositor:
I wake up every day with the song in my head “I just want to celebrate another day of living” and I have good reason to celebrate. In the early morning hours of June 30, while driving to Thunder Bay my family and I struck a moose. I was able to get my children out of the overturned car. Their father, a Manitoulin man, was badly injured and at the time I feared dead.
There are many people I need to thank for not only keeping my spouse alive but showing me the unconditional love humanity is made of starting with the two Quebec Truckers that kept my children away from the scene and the couple that arrived and were able to tell the 911 dispatcher where we were. To the Marathon Emergency response team, you did more than your job—you brought comfort and reassurance, while taking the first steps to saving my partner’s life. To the hospital staff both in Marathon and Thunder Bay, until one is faced with life hanging in the balance we do not get to see the dedication and care that our surgeons, doctors, nurses and the support team that you give and keep giving.
To the Marathon Victim Service—you have my gratitude in large amounts. As volunteers you helped in more ways than I can describe. To the management of the Marathon Canadian Tire for opening your doors early so I could obtain new car seats. Thank you to my father for coming to get us, since I could not take my children in the air ambulance. To my mother for being there for countless hours at his bedside, holding his hand and making decisions in my place. Thank you to those who helped his mother get to Thunder Bay and helped her stay for the duration of his recovery. To the staff at the Days Inns, you turned a hotel room into home for the month we were with you. To the Indian Friendship Center’s both in the Soo and Thunder Bay for helping physically and spiritually.
To all who donated funds at the Mountain McKay powwow, miigwetch for helping to stay some of the immediate financial burden. For all who have prayed and kept us in your thoughts, I know you helped bring the best that we could have hoped for. To family and friends that travelled from here to there to be with us and those that helped in whatever way they could, thank you for you all helped make a miracle happen.
Now that we are home with new challenges, I am so grateful for the supports that have remained and the new ones that picked up. A single moment on a long stretch of highway has changed our lives and showed me how blessed we are. Blessed not only for the people, but blessed for the health care system. Many nations are not as fortunate as we. This experience has me concerned as to the state of our health care system. It is troubling that the neurosurgeon had to base part of his decision as to when to operate on the availability of the six operating rooms, whereas before the Conservatives took leadership, Thunder Bay Regional had nine. Many surgeries around the country get bumped, giving time for infections and other complications to set in. I also wonder how it is that the father of my children is getting bills for his care. The latest one being $748.15 for computed tomography, ECG, emergency department application fees, radiology professional fees and HST. Being on life support he was not able to consent to these, nor did any one inform me that are parts of health care that are no longer covered. For those who suffer uninsured tragedies, hidden costs like these can undo a person when they are facing financial burdens and the emotional stress that comes with long hospital stays.
I see the double talk when the Conservatives boast about how they are making health care their top priority, yet the cuts are being felt by health care professionals and patients alike. For us Ontarians we may want to take a look at the changes our provincial government made in 2010 in regards to the medical portion of auto insurance. Unless you can afford to pay more, gone are many of the benefits that help with the aftercare if you become disabled. To properly celebrate and honour this precious life we must do all that we can to make it good not just for ourselves but for all that share this time and place with us. By holding our policymakers accountable for the decisions they make that can affect anyone of us and our ability to heal and maintain a good life we will ensure that what is great about our nation stays great.
Sault Ste. Marie