It was October 17, 2020. Thierry was riding his scooter in his hometown of Sainte-Hélene-de-Mancebourg, in the Abitibi region, on a way to a friend’s house. It was a brisk autumn evening like any other… until it wasn’t. Thierry was struck by an oncoming car. His life would never be the same again.
It was a brutal head-on collision. His head was slammed against the car’s windshield and he was sent flying 30 feet into the air. When he eventually came to, he was shocked to learn one of his legs had been severed. About the same time, his mother, Suzie, was getting the call that no parent of a teenager ever wants to hear.
We were told Thierry was conscious, but his condition was very serious.
The love of a community
Thierry was rushed to the La Sarre hospital in Abitibi. He had two fractured vertebrae and his kidneys were badly damaged. Every second counted. He was stabilized and medevacked to Sainte-Justine to get the specialized care he needed. His case was taken over by the trauma team, who handles 75% of the province’s most serious pediatric accidents.
The entire community of Sainte-Hélène-de-Mancebourg rallied behind Thierry’s recovery, as did the entire community at Sainte-Justine: the trauma care, surgical, physical therapy, occupational therapy and pain management teams, along with a psychologist and a social worker, not to mention a whole network of donors.
Standing tall, with your support
Although nothing could be done to save Thierry’s lower leg, the healthcare professionals at Sainte-Justine were able to graft the skin from under his foot onto the injured area to help him heal.
Five days following the skin transplant, Thierry was already standing again. He was discharged after only 10 days in the hospital. Today, he has a prosthetic that will help him get things back on track. He is moving forward, one step at a time, buoyed by his gratitude toward Sainte-Justine and inspired by your generosity.
The RBC Race for Kids: One year later
Thierry wants to give back to the hospital that took such good care of him. As an ambassador for the RBC Race for Kids, he would like to invite you to be a part of this virtual race that will take place worldwide on October 16 and 17. He will be lacing up for Sainte-Justine from his home in Abitibi, alongside his family and friends.
Be sure to join him by running or walking 3, 5, 10 or 21 kilometres in your own community. You can download the RBC Race for the Kids app to follow your fellow participants’ progress and track and share your own. People of all ages, including children, are welcome to register.
Sainte-Justine changed my life. Their expertise, their human touch and the state-of-the-art technology are the reason I am back on my feet. By giving to the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation, you will be changing the lives of kids like me, all around the province.
These past months have driven home the power of the word “together.” By signing up for this virtual race, you will be giving Sainte-Justine the tools to stay at the forefront of pediatric care and help young patients like Thierry. And allow them to keep looking for answers, no matter how long they take to find.
Together, let’s lace up for Sainte-Justine!