Professor continues to pursue his passions

With over 100 articles published, thousands of students taught and multiple research studies under his name, Tutis Vilis never stopped… until he experienced a tear in his aorta. The incident left him paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair, holding him back from doing the things he loved most.

Previously a full-time professor at Western University, now semi-retired and working part-time teaching sensory physiology, Tutis’ life has been centred on his work, his students and his research for over 40 years.

Government funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides Tutis with day-to-day assistance with morning routines and range of motion exercises at home and work. This allows Tutis to embrace his love for teaching the next generation of doctors. “I enjoy teaching and interacting with students. Their energy is infectious.”

Tutis is quick to point out that Cheshire consistently goes above and beyond. “Once a year for a week, my wife goes kayaking with a group of friends. Since I’m alone for the week, Cheshire goes out of their way to provide extra support and care when I need it.” Cheshire’s Everyday Dreams Fund gives Tutis and his wife the chance to have much-needed alone time to relax and come back to each other feeling refreshed.

Without Cheshire, Tutis would not feel safe in his own home. Now, he knows staying at home has been the best decision for himself and his relationship with his wife. “Having Cheshire allows me to stay in my home with my wife and do the things that I love, like painting and carving,” shares Tutis.

It’s times like these that have had a true impact on both Tutis and his wife’s lives. Now able to take lower doses of medication, he can give himself entirely to his life’s passions.

“With a clouded mind, I can’t write, teach or prepare for class. Cheshire makes things possible.”

Tutis’ aorta may have put a temporary halt to his plans, but he has never really stopped – it has only encouraged him to persevere.