Leonard Baylis was afraid. Lying on his back, in the emergency room, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably. He was brought to the hospital by ambulance, having suddenly lost control of his body while in the shower. Trying as hard as he could, he could not summon the strength, nor focus his mind toward stopping the frenzy of muscle movement. He was in great discomfort, mentally and physically, fearful that he would never walk again.
The attending ER doctor admitted the Chatham-Kent resident to the hospital for a further evaluation of his condition. After several weeks of intense physical therapy, his condition had not improved. According to Leonard, he was “in a state of paralysis,” and was becoming increasingly frustrated with his lack of progress.
An MRI revealed that as a result of degenerative changes in his back, Leonard had a developed a calcification of ligaments on his spinal cord and faced permanent paralysis. His MRI results were sent on an urgent referral basis to Dr. Tommy Dang, Chief of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital’s Neurosurgery and Neurosciences Department, who saw a surgical option that would give Leonard hope that he would walk again.
Leonard was transferred to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital where Dr. Dang performed a posterior decompression to remove the calcified degenerative tissue that was compressing on his spinal cord. After four days of specialized post-operative care, Leonard was able to stand and walk a short distance with assistance.
He was transferred back to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Hospital to begin his rehabilitation. With a great deal of inspiration from his family and dedication to his rehabilitation program his body began to respond once again to his brain’s commands. Feeling began to return to his toes and feet. In time, he noticed the resumption of small movement in his legs and upper body. A few short weeks following the surgery and with his daughters and wife watching, he took his first steps with the aid of a walker.
“Daddy can walk… Daddy can walk again!” his daughter screamed with delight, as tears rolled down the cheeks of everyone in the family.
Day-by-day, Leonard sees a little more progress in his recovery. He alternates between using a wheel chair and walker and feels he has many reasons to be optimistic about his recovery. “I went from not being able to walk (prior to surgery) to a being able to able to walk twenty meters, shortly after surgery,” he said. “My back is getting stronger, in fact it feels better than it ever has,” he added.
How can you say thanks to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital?
All of us are touched in some way, either directly or indirectly, by medical challenges. When it happens, we appreciate having access to the extraordinary care exemplified in the true stories told in these testimonials.
If you or your family would like to say "thanks" to the inspired caregivers of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital for the care they deliver every day, we'd be pleased to discuss how your donation can help us continue to grow as one of Ontario's leading healthcare providers. Call us today.
Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital Foundation