Tag Archives: critical care

Dispelling the Myth!

I wrote last night’s blog from a place of extreme anger and frustration, having been questioned about Tracy’s place and the ethics of fundraising. I decided this morning to re-write it, more from a factual place than an angry place. Despite the many stories and rumours, here are the facts.

  1. Cars: We are in the process of selling both of Tracy’s cars. They are both over 5 years or more old and were paid for outright when Tracy was in a better financial position. She was planning to drive them into the ground.
  2. Collingwood: Tracy has never owned a place in Collingwood. She was only ever renting. It was one of favourite places to be with the boys. It was sad to have to give up the rental property after the accident.
  3. House:  Tracy’s house will be going on the market imminently. While Tracy would love to continue living here, it’s just not a good solution giving the changes that would need to be made.
  4. Private School: The younger two boys have gone to Bedford Park Public School now for two years. Christian, the oldest also started out this Fall at Bedford but once Crestwood found out about Tracy’s accident, knowing how it would affect Christian – they immediately offered him a bursary!  Thank you Crestwood! !
  5. Employment: Tracy was not working and therefore does not have benefits, private healthcare insurance or long-term disability. She had been looking for a job for several months, and was planning to get back to her job search once the kids were back in school this Fall. But sadly, things changed…
  6. Ex-husband: As it stands now, Tracy and the children are not able to  rely on him in any way for any kind of support. Sadly, he is indifferent to the fact that the mother of his three children is now a quadriplegic and he actually adds more stress to our family with his shenanigans. He has publicly scorned the fund-raising efforts and created his own blog to try and dissuade people from donating  to Tracy’s Trust Fund.  Donation that ultimately benefit his kids. Who does that?
  7. Tracy’s care once she leaves Lyndhurst: Consider this…Tracy cannot do ANYTHING for herself. She can’t get out of bed, she can’t hold a fork, she can’t go to the bathroom, and trust me when I tell you that if determination alone could will her to do any of these things – she would! While it’s still early days, here’s just a preliminary list of the expenses she faces:
    • 24 hour care (PSWs) (approx $150k+/annually) ,
    • special wheel chair that she can use with subtle head movements or breath (approx 50-100K),
    • House – we need to find or renovate a house for accessibility (with lift for bed/bath, ramps, wireless and speech activated controls) (approx LOTS$$)
    • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy, (??$$)
    • Accessible van ($60k+)
    • 3 kids to look after – a nanny that drives ($40K/annually)
    • Prescription meds for kids
    • Unknowns…there will be many of them…

To those of you who have donated without any hesitation we thank you!  Truly!

A Month Without Eating Real Food

Mack (Tracy’s Dad) and I went to see Tracy earlier today. It was his first time having to deal with Tracy’s morning routine of face washing, followed by tooth and hair brushing and lastly some face cream. Tracy knows how she likes things done and if you’re not up to snuff she’ll let you have it. While it may have taken two us, I think we did alright.

Tracy’s trache was permanently removed yesterday and she’s completely breathing on her own. That’s fantastic news and another key milestone in her recovery. Her Doctors had warned us just three weeks ago that she would likely be on a mechanical ventilator for the rest of her life.

And today was another really important milestone in her progress at Sunnybrook — the swallow test. It’s been over a month since Tracy has eaten any real food. Ever since her accident, Tracy has been fed through a tube in her nose. While Mack and I were there, Tracy’s speech pathologist came to see her. He examined her and then proceeded to take Tracy through a series of swallow tests. First a teaspoon of water. Next a sip from a straw. Then it was onto applesauce and fruit salad, and lastly a couple of biscuits to which Tracy declared, “they’re stale.”  The whole thing took less than 10 minutes and at the end of it the Doctor declared that she was ready to start eating regular food again. When the nurse asked if she had any food allergies or preferences for lunch, Tracy said, “I’d prefer not to eat hospital food.”

So Mark McEwan, if you’re reading this, can you get on that please. Sounds like Tracy would prefer an order of Lobster Poutine from Bymark to a couple of slices of Wonder Bread with a piece of process cheese.

Lesley was at Track Fitness yesterday to support their two-hour Spin for Tracy fund raiser. Amazingly, they raised about $10,000 for the Trust Account. Thank you to everyone that sweated their asses off last night. We all know that Tracy loved to train hard and she would been screaming at everyone in the room to go for it…


Tracy Meets her Hero

His name is Mike Hermanovsky. He is a 21 year old young man attending Sir Wilfred Laurier University and in his free time he is the Ontario downhill mountain bike champ! Yesterday he visited with Tracy – meeting her for the second time. It’s the kind of stuff that movies are made of!

Who is Mike? He is the kind of person we all want our children to grow up to be like. He represents a kind of humanity that the world seems to be missing.

He didn’t keep going that day, as many did.

He didn’t hesitate or stand still, as many did.

He didn’t decide it was someone else’s responsibility, as others did.

He did stop and take notice. He did stay and help. He did stabilize her neck. He did talk to her. He did find out her name was Tracy. And, most importantly he cared! If you haven’t already you need to read Mike’s thoughts on his experience helping Tracy that day.

He is Tracy’s hero. They chatted for a while, and toward the end of the visit she said “Too bad this happened, because I really would have like you to teach me how to mountain bike, that was next on my list”. They talked about fitness and work outs, about how and where he found her, about school, about his future plans, and of course Tracy asked him if he had a girlfriend! It was like any other conversation between friends, but this one was much more significant. A connection was made on Sunday September 4th – a bond like no other – it was kismet!

How’s Tracy Doing

She’s already defied many of the odds. She is getting ahead in this new “race” of hers. She is breathing on her own during the day, and the respiratory therapist told us she may even lose the trache altogether by next week. She was moved into the “ward” (C5). No more intensive care unit. She has her own private room with a big window and lots of privacy. It’s easier to sleep at night, but it’s harder to get the attention of the nursing staff. The ratio of nurses to patient is 1 nurse to every 6 patients. They are busy and priorities are determined by biggest need. So, we decided to hire a “PSW” (nurse’s aide) to be with Tracy overnight.  Everyone rests easier with this extra help.

Today Tracy stated that she’ll be at Lyndhurst in two weeks. She is determined. She has some challenges to overcome before she gets there and many more after that, but we all believe in her! Mom attributes her strength and success to the many prayer groups and personal prayers going straight to Heaven.


  1. WRITE – the old fashioned way – to Tracy. She doesn’t get to read your Caringbridge or Facebook posts. Send cards, notes and pictures to ATTN: Tracy Kyne c/o Lynn Pang, 121 RANLEIGH AVE, TORONTO ON  M4N 1X2
  2. GIVE –You can donate online with PayPal or visit any CIBC branch and tell them you’d like to make a donation in Trust for Tracy Dort Kyne to this account: #00002 / 60-47599.
  3. VISIT – Email Lynn at lynn@panger.ca with VISIT TRACY in the subject line to schedule a visit to see Tracy in the hospital – include a few days and times that work for you. And remember it’s a “working visit”, not a sit around and read a magazine kind of visit.
  4. SPIN FOR TRACY  - Thursday, October 6th – 7:00pm – 9:00pm Reserve your spot with Monica at TRACK Fitness
  5. RIDE for TRACY – Sunday October 16th – 9:00amMeet at Fisher Field  in Collingwood –For more info: Alan Lo cyclefitoakville@hotmail.com
  6. GRATITUDE – Thank you to all her visitors. Thank you for the cards. Thank you for the support. Thank you for the food, the drives, the calls and the prayers. Thank you!

A letter to the CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Here is a letter I wrote to recognize an outstanding nurse of Tracy’s:

Dr. Barry McLellan President and CEO
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, Suite D-375 

Toronto, ON  M4N 3M5


Dear Dr. McLellan,

I am writing this letter on behalf of my sister Tracy Kyne, and my family including: Joan and Mack Dort (Tracy’s parents), Lynn and Darren Pang (sister and brother-n-law), and myself and my husband Robert Lendvai (sister and brother-n-law).

While cycling alone near Blue Mountain on Scenic Caves Road, Tracy crashed her bike and sustained a devastating and catastrophic injury severing her spinal cord. She had been training for “The Centurion” bike race in Collingwood, and was airlifted to Sunnybrook on Sunday September 4th, 2011.

Dr. da Costa operated to stabilize her neck on Monday September 5th, but the devastating news of her “complete” spinal cord injury – quadriplegic- was overwhelming for us. As you can imagine we were all affected by this tragedy with intense emotion, pain and loss – of the life she had. She is an active single mother of three young boys, and so we also rallied to care for them at the same time.

She has spent the past three weeks in the CCU, where she has been cared for by many of your CCU staff. We’ve encountered people along the way whose passion for their work in healthcare varies considerably. Some who are excellent professionals deserving of praise and others who seem to be there just earning a pay check. I’d be happy to share further details if you are interested.

The purpose of this letter is not to criticize or complain, but rather to compliment someone extraordinary. There is one person in particular who has shown incredible compassion and gone above and beyond her call of duty – Nurse: Katie Weaver. She is superior, and has answered her calling.

We have been camped out – in shifts – by Tracy’s side all the days of her stay. She’s had some ups and some downs. We learned quickly who we could count on. We knew that that if Katie was Tracy’s nurse, we could count on her to take the best care of Tracy possible. Katie would take the time to explain things to us in terms that we understood. She spoke to Tracy as a person, a friend and a peer. She never spoke down to her or tried to undermine or dismiss her needs. She is a consummate professional. She exemplifies the Sunnybrook values – excellence, collaboration, accountability, respect and engagement.

She cared for Tracy “when it mattered most”.

Thanks to Katie’s positive attitude and motivating spirit, Tracy is now in B5 and progressing much more quickly than anyone expected. We firmly believe that Tracy’s progress in the recent days should be credited to Katie.

Just a few examples of Katie’s exceptional caring, last week she managed to find a chair that would allow Tracy to go outside and breathe the fresh air-  even if it was brief, she was the first one to wash Tracy’s hair, she’s taken her precious break time to sit with us (Tracy’s family), to console and counsel us, and the list goes on  – all the while overachieving as a medical professional.

We have many more days ahead at Sunnybrook followed by Lyndhurst, and we want to be sure along the way that we recognize those individuals who deserve accolades for not just “showing up”, but rather going the extra mile.  Katie Weaver is one of those people!


Lesley Dort-Lendvai