August 21st Week 26 to Week 29


The Paterson’s are Moving Forward

As Nicolas continues to learn how to sit and now stand with muscles he retrains everyday, we move forward to the next steps of his rehabilation.

These weeks in August have taken Nic sailing, many trips with friends and family to Shoeless Joe’s Restaurant and new plans for our future.  We have had Spud, Aunt Donna and a very special visit from Jake, our mini Nic. Thank you Auntie Patricia for the apple crisp!
And a special thanks to his friends from home that surprise him with visits just when he needs them most.  He has made many friends at Lyndhurst and like life happens, they pass in and out of our lives, moving forward.

On September 17th Nic will be moving to  his own Apartment.  At his apartment at the Bellwoods Center he will continue his rehab at Lyndhurst 2-3 times a week, and he will start his schooling, along with anything else we need to do that we don’t know about yet. Apparently the colour of the walls will be black. Trying to change his mind.

I was told by my son a few weeks ago that it was time to stop taking Mom to School.  So I have given him his space, and started working and forging forward with making new memories for our family. I have a special surprise for my son…No I can’t tell you all until I tell him 🙂  Let’s just say you won’t always have to go to Toronto to see Nic in the near future. So excited!!

This morning I was at a meeting with the kind and generous people from the Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Rotary Club. They have helped our family in the darkest of times, and I am humbled to have been asked to speak this morning. I wish I had the time to join this club and help others like they do. I will one day.

The last of the big news is my oldest son Mitchell will be doing something he has wanted to do for a very long time. He will be leaving for Asia on Thursday to experience life. After all that we have been through, and as much as both Nic and I don’t want him to go, I think its time for him… 🙁  Be safe my little man.

Happy Days

Leanne and Liam were very happy and proud of Nic when they visited him on Tuesday!

August 1st Week 20 to Week 26

Is Anyone Ready for Some Really Great News?

How about Simply Incredible?

Six weeks ago I thought I was losing my son. I called my neurosurgeons office in tears, as Nic laid in pain with no ideas on what or how to help him. I slept with him because I was scared of the nurses. I was scared he would die in the middle of the night alone. It was as I said last blog “brutal”.  As Sandra said tonight “You candy coated the last blog…it was beyond grim.”


Nic’s pain started with a bladder infection. When you have a spinal cord injury, your brain over reacts much of the time. Especially if you have an infection. His brain knows something is wrong so sends crazy signals to anywhere to signal a problem. So they medicated him with Hydro morphine. (5 Xs as strong as normal morphine) that caused him to be terribly constipated. And his brain again sent those pain signals everywhere. He wanted to die, the pain so unbearable.


This vicious circle didn’t end until my call to Dr. Das’ office. Then  came a Doctor of Internal Medicine, Dr Rashid Gupta. Handsome, kind and brilliant. The things the doctors had not done for 3 weeks, he did in days. He stuck a tube down Nic’s nose, cleared his bowels, then because he specializes in addictive medications…got him off all the morphine.   Ok I believe in Angels again. 🙂


If anyone ever has to go through this, which I am sure is inevitable with a Spinal Cord Injury, please tell them about this blog… I felt so alone, so scared. I called every one I knew that could help us. I wish I knew where to go so much earlier…and so much pain ago. I would help anyone not go through this.




Those days are behind us now 🙂

Pictures are worth a thousand words…don’t you think?

First Steps

Nic's First Steps

Nic's First Steps

June 9th to June 28thWeek Eighteen to Twenty

Too Scared to Blog


Three weeks ago Nicolas was sitting by himself and moving from side to side, gaining balance with his upper body. His wrists had full extention, his legs and toes where gaining strength, he was gaining weight. He smiled alot. He hung out with his friends and gave me a hard time about over mothering. Usually sending me home so he could chill at the end of the day. We talked about me going back to work and that he was happy to do rehab without my hovering. Physio was just planning to get him on the stand up machine, which in our world is a very big step! (See what I did there?)


Then on Friday June the 8th he threw up in Physio with a pain in his abdomen that he said was a 10/10 pain. By Sunday he was on Percocet and by Wednesday he was rushed to St. Micheals Hospital.  He spent a week there, with CT scans, ultrasounds, scopes which found nothing. Nic was sent home from the Hospital with pain medication that disturbed me to my core. But there was no option…we needed to relieve his pain until this passed. Are you kidding me?


It didn’t pass and Nic laid in bed for the rest of the week, not getting better. His Doctors at Lyndhurst continued to try to find the cause of his pain and sickness. He didn’t get to go to camp.


In these three weeks I  had a house to pack and  to close on June 26th.  Family and friends where with Nic every day to be by his side when I couldn’t be with him and friends in Muskoka (Mississauga too) helped with the crazy packathon.  I was back and forth from the north (which at times I call my pity party highway) so many times I can’t even remember. When I was there, I hated being there but I had no choice. I thought that this might be the worst time in my life. Packing a home we  built together, moving to a city we do not want to live in, leaving Muskoka our home…not being with Nic when he needed me. What is up with this timing? why? No really why is this happening?


It wasn’t the worst time in our lives I have come to learn.


Today is one of the worst. I always wanted the blog to be upbeat and positive…because that is the essence of us Paterson’s. All the positive energy, smiles and  upbeat enthusiasm where our motto. But today I am scared, I still smile if for any reason, just not to cry and I am truly not sure how this is going to play out.


We moved all of the contents of Parkers Point to storage on Saturday. Saturday at 9:30pm my Aunt Donna called me to tell me Nic had been rushed back to St. Micheal’s Hospital unresponsive.  Unresponsive? Is that a coma? Is he going to come out? Is he going to die? The drive reminded me of being on the cruise on February 9th when Nic had the accident.


Aunt Sue went in the ambulance with him and after having a meltdown with David, I jumped in my Jeep and raced down the pity party highway.  When he arrived they had given him Narcan. It is an injection that reverses the effects of  narcotic pain relievers. He was overdosing on HydroMorph. The drug that shook me to my core.  It was truly disturbing seeing him so medicated, then injected and he was Nic again. Narcan only works for a short period of time, then he goes back into his fog.


The medical team that sent him home earlier in the week walked into our Emergency Room.  The Residents who put my son on HydroMorph looked at me, knowing how much I fought against such drugs and that even under medical supervision these drugs could have killed my son.


And I still kept my composure, although I just wanted to punch them in the head. I gave them my speech.


My Aunts Donna and Sue came to look after Nic on the Friday and Saturday while I moved as you have probably already figured out.  On Sunday, my Aunt Sue had severe pains and was taken to Emergency with Pancreatitis. She is better now and is resting at home, but the pictures of Nic in bed and her in Bed 2, are about the only “isn’t that funny” that I have for the blog this time.


Nic in Bed 9

Aunt Sue in Bed 2

 Isn’t it crazy that I think having my son and Aunt in the same emergency room 7 beds away from each other is “Funny?”

Oh my I’m in trouble :0












It is Thursday June 28th, and we still have no answers to Nicolas’ pain. He is heavily medicated, and then we give him something for nausea, then something for his spazms and his bladder and a needle to thin his blood, and nerve pain medication, something to coat his stomach, something to make his bowels work and it goes on.


I look at people more closely now. I wonder if I threw my problems into a hat with their problems, if I would take my problems back. I think of the unfairness of it all, and pray for the Doctor’s to find the  answers to Nic’s pain. Because this is brutal.


It’s just not right.






June 1st Week Seventeen


Nic Goes Home for the First Time!

I remember  when we had the first fundraiser in Gravenhurst, and wished so desperately that Nicolas could have been there to see his town come together for us in such an incredible way.  He wasn’t ready back then, but he was definitely ready for Nic’s Night on May 31st. This was a fundraiser arranged and organized by his High School, Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes.

First Stop-Shelby’s Chip Wagon in Gravenhurst!


We surprised the students and Staff on the Monday before the fundraiser, that we had the go from the Dr’s at Lyndhurst to make the trip  north.  Nic was very keen on seeing his friends and teachers before the summer holidays, and it was just an incredible day for us both. When Nic rolled into the school, there where tears, cheers, laughter and just pure positive energy that took me by total surprise.

Nic was at this school for a year. This wonderful school with it’s teachers, staff and students care about my child. Even after all the grief he gave them in his short year there!  Oh the grief!  They went over the top with this event, as well as the other fundraisers they have done. I did not see this one coming. Should have worn waterproof mascara. 🙂

Courtesy of Louis Tam "Banner and Examiner"

Thank you so very much for making this a day Nic will never forget.


There is a special person who looked after Nic from the time he was hurt on the hill and he still continues to support and care for Nic, by attending our Fundraisers. I want to thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts, we will always remember that you where our Angel that Day.

     It was a bittersweet day in Bracebridge. While I was at the Fundraiser, I received the news that our home on Parker’s Point, the house I built for my boys was sold. It still stings. It is not so much about how kick ass beautiful it was :), it is more about losing our base. Not knowing where that base in our lives is challenging, especially being an over planner.


One day at a time my friends…and that is truly a tough one.



May 25th Week Sixteen


May 24 Long Weekend!

For the first time in Nicolas’ Life he is not in Muskoka.

Saturday we shopped until we dropped and on Sunday we made a BBQ at Mom’s New Apartment!



It almost killed both of us not being home this weekend, so like always we make new memories. We organized a BBQ, and after screwing up with Wheel Trans for Saturday, Sunday we had our day. Brady, Nic’s roommate and his Dad came, as did Jessica (met her at St. Michael’s and got to Lyndhurst the same day) and his friends Kyle and Joelle came down from Gravenhurst. Rob and Joey my neighbours upstairs where more than helpful. And of course our Puppies!


Ribs, Cheeseburgers and Hot dogs, dips and drinks. Beautiful Day with beautiful people.


So yes I moved into my new digs. Although it isn’t accessible, it is close to Nic and on a month to month basis. Oh did I mention Downtown Julie Brown found this for me? Her girlfriend Joanne lives upstairs. It’s cute and it will work out fine until we figure out the next steps.


Nic’s legs are both moving, the left has a bit more control but we are happy to see the right one moving as well!


More good news came that brought a tear to my eyes.  When we arrived at Lyndhurst, our Recreational Therapist (Fun Girl) had mentioned about the CNIB camp  on Lake Joseph. Only 10 people are chosen per year and she mentioned the things they would do and the fun that awaited them. We were then told Nic was not a candidate, as he didn’t have enough strength to be chosen. Both Nic and I understood but where dissappointed.  This week we where told he was chosen to go, because of the progress he has made.




Nic is going back to Muskoka June 17th to the 20th…my happy camper!












May 18th Week Fifteen

Mother’s Day !!!

What a great day. I had both of my boys with me, and our two favourite Aunts!

The card that Nic bought me at the Eaton’s Center weeks before was absolutely perfect. As was my card from Mitchell written on the back of one of Nic’s menu’s. Both touching. “Where do you want to go for Mother’s Day Mom?” Where else? Shoeless Joe’s!


Monday was “Family Meeting!” I am getting better at these. The team met once again with Nic’s progress, and the goals we are working on. My list of  questions was long this time. Especially the ones about his intake of medications. I believe he will feel alot better if we can try to wean him off the ones we can.


All of the feedback from the team was positive.  Alice our social worker and Nicolas have made goals  for his progress and his education. Education is something we think about alot, but not our primary focus right now. He has alot of physical work on his plate right now. But planning is good.  Trish…you know Physio Extraordinaire, had good and reinforcing things to say…and introducing a manual wheelchair in the coming weeks…something both Nic and I are excited about. She is always pulling something out of her hat that blows us away at physio therapy each day!


Then I looked at all of these wonderful talented people and yes, after all my questions where answered, I told them how lucky both Nicolas and I feel to be surrounded by such caring and incredible talented people, then I cried…such an overwhelming feeling that we are in the best of hands.


Trish "Physio Therapist" Nic "Biker" Nicole "Recreation Therapist"



After fighting and knocking the silly red helmet off his head (oh yes let’s not forget that his snowboarding helmet saved his life:)), he won the helmet battle and went for a ride in the park on this hand propelled bike. You never know what they will come up with next!



The Two Nic's


May 11th Week Fourteen


Complete or Incomplete?

                   What the heck does that mean? And why is it so important to us this week? To be Deemed Complete or Incomplete.

If you remember in February, we all assumed or just prayed that Nicolas was Incomplete. Meaning the damage to his spinal cord was unknown, so they could not give us a prognosis for the future. Nic and I went to a meeting about studies that where happening at Lyndhurst with new concepts of how the brain can make new pathways, build new neurons by stimulating the brain, sending electric currents to parts of the body you are focusing on. Sign us up!!!




The scientist came back and told us he could not take Nic, as he was deemed complete. What? What are you talking about? He’s moving his legs! Phone call to our Neurosurgeon Dr. Das, yes with the damage he seen in the spinal cord, he deemed him complete.  What?  He’s not though! Off to talk to our therapist. Trish…aka…Physiotherapist extraordinaire, and she is smart. She agreed he is incomplete, but I would have to get the incomplete from Dr. Oshadari…the big guy at the hospital.  Message into the Doc. The next morning, I see him down the hall of 1B, he see’s me and smiles and says loudly “Incomplete!”


Thank you, this is the one time I wanted my son to be Incomplete. I am glad I didn’t know this back when we where just trying to get him healthy. The only reason it mattered now was how bad we wanted to get into the new “Study”. He’s in and for 2 hours he is hooked up to wires in a sound proof booth almost everyday. Between Occupational Therapy and this Study his hand function has gotten remarkably better. Fingers are moving and he can pinch chips, candies and eat a hotdog. Actually alot of hotdogs…food of choice.


One chart I found the most helpful to understand what vertibrae controls what was this one. It let’s you know what functions come with each vertibrae…it’s kinda cool. Our bodies are really amazing!







May 9th Week Thirteen


As weeks fly by and summer seems to be here to stay, I think wow if you are going to be in a wheelchair, this time of year is the best.



Nic has had new movement and feelings almost everyday. It is so thrilling to see such a thing, it is as though we are winning the ultimate game everyday. Each day brings us hope and positive reinforcement.


It has been a long haul and promises to be longer for our family. I remember a dear friend explaining when things get tough, always remember Nic never gets an “away”.


Each day he wakes up he can’t go to school, get a burger, go for a pee or party with his friends. I find especially challenging when Nic gets frustrated. He is just sick of being in a wheelchair, he wants this to be over and he gets upset.


I always remember this when I feel I need to get away, take a break. I get to get the burger, go home to our beautiful town…I get an “away”. I wish I could reverse the consequences of this crazy accident, I wish I could give him my legs, my fingers. I would in a minute. And because I can’t do that, I make sure to make him feel that his life is  promising and there is a reason why we are here, in this moment…today.. A life that is precious and is our new normal with so much promise.


We have had a busy week, we went to the Dentist of which his time in ICU and too much sugar has taken it’s toll. Whatever…we can deal with something so trivial. The Dentist is normal, as are cavities!




Friends are Normal! And man did we ever have a wonderful day with our friends on Saturday! Shoeless Joes Restaurant with Julie and Leanne  and their wonderful  “way too smart and beautiful” children. Mitch and Brittany where in attendance and it was great! Lucky Mom’s got to give the “kids” some time to hang, while I introduced both of my friends to Susan. Funny thing…Susan was a client last year, and for some reason I was brought another angel. I will be staying with Susan until my apartment is available….such a lovely woman.


An apartment in Toronto…who would of thunk? Country bumpkins meets the city!






May 4th Week Twelve

How do you say “Thank  You for Saving My Son’s Life?”

Nic and Dr. Das May 2nd

Notice anything different about Nic?


Monday was our day to see if Nic’s neck had healed enough to take the collar off or go in for more surgery to fuse his neck. Do you remember 12 weeks ago when we almost fused his neck, and then decided to take some time for him to heal? We first went for x-rays and an x ray technician questioned if I was Nic’s mom, it was really crazy. I guess my eyes popped open and squealed with delight after seeing the hardware in his neck. He was surprised I hadn’t seen them before. It didn’t matter before, it mattered now. Back then we dealt with what we could. I knew we would see them when it was going to be important. Today was very very important.


I remember meeting Dr. Das in ICU. This handsome man with the warmest heart, told me how difficult is was to see a young man with this type of injury. I had no idea really the degree of the critical injury until our meeting on Monday. On the cruise they explained the magnitude, but I really didn’t believe it.  I prayed all night to God to give him back to us. And if he did, I would take any package that he came in.


I guess he then put Nicolas in the capable hands of  his Angels within St. Michael’s Walls. Including all the staff in the ICU, Dr. Das and his team. Dr. Das had already made the decision that he was going to be the medical decision maker for Nicolas since I was not easily found. If he didn’t Nic would die.


With the Angels in ICU


For 5 hours they had to wait  to stablize Nic, in order to operate. The vertibrae was called a burst fracture, that entered his spinal column. These pieces within the column caused Nic’s heart rate to fall to 20 beats per minute to 170 beats per minute. His blood pressure bottomed out at 80 over 40 and went as high as 200/30. Most people don’t survive this.  He picked out all of the pieces in the spinal cord, ground them up, placed them within a cage that encircles Nic’s spine. Then added a titanium plate and 2 screws.


Dr. Das walked into the room with the biggest smile and  he told us Nic no longer needed the neck brace. Not ever again..really? Maybe on bumpy roads? Nope not ever…he is healed. I was in shock. Shock at the information that I couldn’t accept in the beginning, and shock that Nic had jumped yet another huge hoop.


I looked at this incredible man, wanting to hug him, wanting to give him my bank account, and none of these things could express the grattitude for how we feel.


  They saves lives. Wow…what a purpose, what a gift.

Thank you with all of our hearts Dr. Das, St. Michael’s and Canada,  for looking after us when we need it the most.♥