In March 2016, Ethan was crossing a road on his way to a piano lesson when a truck came barreling by. Seriously injured, Ethan was airlifted by helicopter to Alberta Children’s Hospital, where he lay in a coma for the next two and a half weeks. Doctors didn’t expect him to survive. Although his fractured pelvis could heal, his brain injuries were too serious.to expect a good outcome. After three and a half weeks in intensive care, Ethan was moved to their rehab unit. It became clear that Ethan would survive physically, but he wasn’t expected to have enough cognition function to ever recognize his family members again.
During his three months in the hospital, Ethan did daily physical and occupational therapy, worked with a speech-language pathologist and underwent multiple surgeries. They marked gradual milestones like being able to sit for ten seconds, eat ten bites of food and speak his first words after the coma. But a year later Ethan could be seen laughing and playing with his siblings,.His recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. Ethan has returned to school and, more recently, put on skates for the first time since the accident, using a support to glide around the ice.
The outpouring of empathy from friends, relatives and the community helped the family pull through their hardest days, but then Ethan and his family felt it was time for them to reach out to other families with injured children. Although it was his mom’s idea at first, Ethan has become the foremost cheerleader of this project. They are now collecting new toys and games to give to kids staying long term at the hospital.
Through his Facebook page, Ethan continues to spread the word and his project continues to grow. He and his family recently presented the hospital with a check for over $10,000, raised through community donations.
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