Robert MacDonald: Never Ever Give Up

On December 8, 2013, a spontaneous decision changed Robert MacDonald’s life forever.

“I fell 31 feet while on holiday,” he said. “My injuries: 11 broken ribs, 10 cracked and two dislocated vertebrae, punctured lung, lacerated kidney and broken scapula.”

Miraculously Robert escaped the fall without any brain damage, but the impact did leave him paralyzed from the waist down. His neurosurgeon’s diagnosis: ASIA B. This meant a five percent chance of walking again.

“Our entire lives revolve around such choices,” he commented later.

Robert spent five months in hospital, between critical care and Toronto Rehab’s Lyndhurst Centre for Spinal Cord Rehabilitation. His Lyndhurst medical team was extraordinary. They encouraged him and celebrated every milestone during his recovery.

“Without the Lyndhurst team, I would not be where I am today,” said Robert, “When your body is taken away from you, your future is put on hold. Toronto Rehab helped me redefine my future and myself. Without the state-of-the-art facilities and medical professionals, I would not have walked out of the hospital on my own two feet.”

At Toronto Rehab, Robert observed how research equates to better patient outcomes. The reality, however, is that research requires private funding.

Robert now wants to give back.  As team captain of team “I Will”, Robert completed the 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon. He is continuing to seek support for Toronto Rehab through the Charity Challenge having already raised over $67,000.

Read about Robert in the Toronto Star (appeared October 16, 2015)

“Thank you, Toronto Rehab, for supporting my effort to recover and again enjoy life so fully.”

Read more in A Mile in Their Shoes: Report to Our Community 2015
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