"I couldn't walk before. Now I'm improving every day."
For my mom's birthday, I was determined to give her a special gift. Something more than a present or a card.
Late last year, I did something that I hadn’t been able to do for months – I walked to her by myself. It was a huge moment for both of us.
Earlier this year, I developed Rhabdomyolysis, an illness where muscle tissue breaks down, leading to the release of muscle fiber fluid into the blood, which eventually causes kidney damage.
In my case, it started out as fatigue. As my muscles continued to weaken, I had difficulty breathing and speaking. Eventually kidney failure forced me to go on dialysis for two months. When I arrived to stay at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in April, I couldn’t walk, couldn’t speak and couldn’t breathe without a ventilator.
For months, a typical day included doing schoolwork for an hour or two, and then spending the rest of the day working with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and respiratory therapists. I literally had to learn how to breathe again.
Gradually, I started to take a few breaths on my own. Over time, my breathing got stronger and so did my body. It was such a big moment for me and my family when I no longer needed a machine to breathe, or a walker to walk.
I am excited about going back to school and eventually back to the sports I love. Before my illness, I was a black belt in karate, wrestled and played soccer and basketball. I want to get back to those activities and with Holland Bloorview’s support, I’m crushing barriers one step and one breath at a time.
– Jason, Age 16