Fifteen-year-old Anne-Marie’s heart stopped on August 23. Thankfully, a couple of quick-thinking passers-by and the police jumped into action and got it started again. But ever since, she has had to work hard to relearn some basic skills. The teams of Sainte-Justine have played a pivotal role in helping her get her life back.

It was a beautiful, sunny summer’s day. Perfect for being out on the water. Anne-Marie was volunteering as a camp counsellor near Shawinigan to help out some of the kids from her community. The day’s activities included a canoe race. While she was paddling under a bridge, her boat came into contact with an electrical wire. She was thrown into the water and went into cardiac arrest. Her fellow counsellors called out for help. With the assistance of a couple who was passing by with their children, they contacted emergency services and resuscitation manoeuvres were started. The police took over when they arrived on the scene. It took three defibrillator jolts, but they managed to get her heart started again.

Anne-Marie was transferred to Sainte-Justine. Despite her showing no outward signs of injury, the shock had caused some considerable damage to her brain. She spent 12 days in intensive care and several more weeks in the hospital before she was admitted to Sainte-Justine’s Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre.

That’s where she would stay for three months. Sainte-Justine became her second home. She had to learn how to eat, talk and tie her shoes again. Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, neurology and speech-language pathology appointments became an integral part of her daily routine.

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I had a lot to relearn. Just getting my mouth to open was hard for me at first. I’m not done with rehab just yet, but I’m working hard to push forward. With the help of my family, the team at Marie Enfant and all the equipment they have, I know I’ll eventually get there.

Anne-Marie, 15

Anne-Marie has no memory of that fateful day. But she’ll never forget all the incredible people she has met since then. With the help of the Sainte-Justine community, of which you are an important member, she is making progress. Her determination is as strong as ever.

And her gratitude comes straight from the heart.

Help us put Sainte-Justine on everyone’s lips!

Your donations have the power to transform the rehabilitation experience and build a better future for young patients like Anne-Marie, who come to us from all across Quebec. Thanks to your support, they can receive personalized, top-quality care with a human touch.

The funds raised by the 17th annual Mois des Câlins de Sainte-Justine campaign will help drive excellence in health care, specifically by supporting the needs of the Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre (CRME), the only facility in Quebec dedicated exclusively to pediatric rehabilitation. Every year, thousands of children and teenagers from across the province are treated at the CRME for a motor impairment or language disorder. The professionals at the CRME are committed to helping every young patient develop their capacities, maximize their independence and realize their full potential.

Embrace the cause with your donation to Sainte-Justine or purchase of one of 30,000 Rose Câlins Lip Perfectors by Clarins at your local Jean Coutu.