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Walking away from paralysis

Ed Vandertuin needed surgery and support. St Michael’s Hospital gave him both.

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Walking away from paralysis

Ed Vandertuin was water-skiing back in the summer of 2016. He fell. Hard. Next thing he knew, he was bobbing in the water, unable to move his arms or his legs.

“I thought I broke myself in half,” says Ed.

As it turned out, Ed had hit hard enough to jam a disk in his spine deep into a nerve. Dr. Howard Ginsberg at St. Michael’s Hospital knew he had to get that disk out, or Ed would end up quadriplegic. The day after his surgery, Ed walked out of the hospital.

If you ask Ed about his experience, he will praise Dr. Ginsberg. And then he will talk about how everyone at the hospital listened to him, supported him, and kept him calm when he was at his most vulnerable.

Ed’s experience preceded the launch of HUMANCARE – St. Michael’s Foundation’s movement to reinvent the patient care experience. But the idea of receiving the best care – when, where and how you need it, felt familiar.

“I had never heard of HUMANCARE, but I like the sound of it. And I can tell you, that kind of care? That’s exactly what I got at St. Michael’s Hospital.”

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