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St. Michael’s is the reason I’m alive

A badly injured young woman credits St. Michael’s with helping her through a terrible time.

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From life threatening injuries to a new life journey

On October 4, 2018, Julia Cawse headed out on her bike to the home where she worked as a nanny. She was hit by a car. The collision left her with a traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and a punctured lung. She wasn’t expected to survive.

“The care at St. Michael’s is the reason I’m alive,” she says.

Julia was rushed to the ICU at St. Michael’s Hospital, which is renowned for having one of the highest trauma survival rates in North America. St. Michael’s handles the most complex trauma cases in Toronto and the surrounding region.

Julia spent two months in a coma in the ICU. When she awoke, she began a long, hard journey of rehabilitation.

She says that during rehab, her spirits were buoyed by her daily visits from parents and friends, as well as the help and support — and unrelenting kindness — of the nurses and staff who cared for her around the clock.

“One of my nurses had her son make me homemade Jell-O because I couldn’t swallow anything else at the time,” she says. “And another group of nurses gave me a necklace that says ‘Strong,’ which is a special gift I still wear.”

Julia faced her challenge with courage and unfailing positivity. She is learning to walk once again — a goal many thought was out of reach. She’s running her own small business selling greeting cards. And as her recovery continues, that’s just the beginning of what Julia believes she can accomplish.

She is grateful for the donors and community who support St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare.

“Your generosity is what allows patients like me to experience care and love, and that’s the most powerful thing of all,” says Julia. “Your generosity opens doors of opportunity and possibility.”

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