A report from Direct Assistance Committee

“One Can Make a Difference” in the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa whether we are engaged in Fundraising activities or Community service. We are hardly out of the gate in our new club year, committee budgets have yet to be approved, and you have already Made A Difference in the life of a very disabled young girl.

On Tuesday, October 17th 2006, we received a request for assistance for a 16-year old girl hospitalized at CHEO for the purchase of essential equipment that she will require in making the transition to her home and performing her activities of daily living independently.

The Background

This 16-year-old girl will be returning home in early November after having spent l0 months in hospital at CHEO and at the Bloorview Rehabilitation Centre in Toronto, to face many challenges. She suffers from an Acquired Brain injury secondary to a cerebral hemorrhage following an arteriovenus malformation (AVM) embolization procedure. As a result she has a right hemiplegia (weakness of the right side of her body including her right arm and her right leg, she requires the use of a sling to support her right arm and she requires the use of an ankle foot orthosis for her right leg in order to walk but often when she is tired she needs her wheelchair for mobility. In addition to her physical disabilities she is Aphasic meaning she has difficulty communicating. Her home will be a subsidized apartment which she will share with her mother (a single parent on social assistance) and her sister who is a student. Her mother actually had to leave her employment in order to be by her daughter’s bedside during the last l0 months. The family has extremely limited means and has sought help from various organizations in order to acquire this essential equipment but to no avail.

The Equipment Everything from an over-bed table to assistance rails to grab bars and a transfer tub bench (There are actually 20 items on the list) The Action Plan Our Direct Assistance Committee immediately investigated this request as time sensitive and sought approval for the expenditure of $1.009.45. The essential items were purchased from Conval - Aid Healthcare Specialists at a discount and will be delivered and installed in the immediate future. The young girl was discharged from CHEO on Friday, November 3rd.

We wish her well. Les Morin Chair, Direct Assistance Committee