How Stephen went from long-term care to living his own life
One night can change everything, especially for Stephen McGee. After a diving accident in April 2012, Stephen suffered a fractured spine, leaving him as a quadriplegic. After 20 minutes of CPR, Stephen was rushed to hospital by ambulance, where he spent one month recovering, before he was transferred to Parkwood Hospital.
After five months at Parkwood, Stephen was put on a waiting list for a local long-term care facility. A chance meeting with an individual who lived in a Cheshire apartment led to Stephen reaching out to Cheshire. With an extensive wait list, they were unable to find a spot for him.
Hours before leaving for the long-term care facility, Cheshire followed up with Stephen and informed him that a spot had opened up. The timing could not have been better. “I was pretty stoked when I heard the news…ecstatic to say the least,” shares Stephen.
Through funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Stephen receives daily support he needs to get through his routines. But, it’s the Everyday Dreams Fund that gives Stephen that added light to his life and opportunities that he never thought would have been possible.
Stephen has an electronic lift in his living room, provided through the Everyday Dreams Fund, which allows him to get into his recliner and on his couch with ease. “It’s spectacular. You can live your own life and do what you want.”
Hours away from family and his children, Hayden and Maja, the apartment common room means more to him than others may understand. “Without Cheshire’s accessible facilities, I don’t know how or where we would gather for the holidays.”
Self-described as strong-willed and an all around happy guy, Stephen is thankful for Cheshire’s support workers and their commitment to their consumers.
“The support allows you to feel like a person, as opposed to a person lying in bed waiting to be cared for. It gives you your freedom back.”