Tag Archives: Robert Lendvai

Life Goes On

It’s the old cliché that we’ve heard a million times, but sadly it is true. The clock nor the calendar stand still for anyone! People must get on with their lives, their work, their families, their day-to-day routines, their social gatherings, their celebrations, their appointments … their “busy“. Slowly the impact of Tracy’s accident is fading for some. Priorities shift. It’s amazing to think that it was only 3 months + 1 week ago on labour day weekend that Tracy’s life changed – along with our entire family.

The difference for Tracy is that the impact of that fateful day is more real than ever. Each day brings unknowns. Each day brings new challenges. Each day staying healthy, well, strong in her mind and her immobile body is paramount to survival. Each day she is completely dependant on others for every aspect of her life. Just imagine.

HOW TO LIVE LIFE at LYNDHURST

Tracy’s inspirational attitude comes from within her. She is tenacious and driven, but during this tragic time she has drawn great strength from the positive and powerful energy, love and compassion of people.  Visitors: families, acquaintances, work colleagues, fitness fanatics, school buddies, neighbourhood pals, ….FRIENDS….

True Friends Strengthen and Help Each Other
Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT)

GRACIAS, MERCI, GRAZIE, DANKESCHON!

A VERY BIG note of appreciation to Jane Roos and her husband Conrad for opening up their gorgeous Gallery on November 29th for a spectacular evening of art and friendship. Thanks also to a very special group of women called the MINOES (mother in need of entertainment) who have found the key to “happiness in the hood” and hosted a fantastic night of fun and fellowship Thursday December 1st.

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?

I asked Abby today if it was OK if we didn’t put up a Christmas tree this year. I know how much she loves the tree, the ornaments and the amazing smell. I felt guilty. I explained that I just didn’t have it in me to take on this task. She paused and then she said “it’s OK Mom, the tree doesn’t actually matter.”  Of course! She was right, the tree doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are all together and Tracy is alive and every day we should be grateful for small miracles each day.

GRATITUDE

Words cannot express our sincere appreciation. Here is a growing but not inclusive list of those we wish to acknowledge and express thanks to:

  • Crestwood Preparatory College and all of Christian’s teachers
  • Peter DeMarco of Demarco Peprich Canada’s leading florist
  • Super-start realtor Carol Anne Warrington for taking care of the sale of Tracy’s home and providing a full commission deduction
  • Michael Kalles from Harvey Kalles Real Estate for graciously returning the company’s commission on the sale of Tracy’s home
  • Uptown Landscaping – Daron Robertson and his team of green thumbs for looking after Tracy’s house
  • Greg Clees at Clees Catering and team of foodies
  • Suzanne Martin – Speech Language Pathologist
  • Robyn’s Cookies makes of Toronto’s best chocolate chip cookie
  • Bedford Park School Moms
  • Stevie Krupski and Silvia Prime
  • Victoria Williams
  • Snowhawks – Heather and Mitch and their amazing ski and snowboard school
  • The incredibly talented Jane Roos of Jane Roos Gallery for a beautiful art-filled fund raiser
  • Track Fitness for hosting a great spin fund raiser
  • Moksha Yoga Uptown for sharing their studio for a sweat and spin fund raiser
  • Pure Fitness and Deirdre Casey aka Irongirl for a fantastic spin fund raiser
  • Extreme Fitness and VP Jaqueline Walters for their continued support and ongoing fund raising
  • MINOES for a very touching and heartfelt fund raiser
  • Milton Davis and the team at Davis Moldaver LLP
  • Sue Henderson from Suetables and her beautiful necklace fund raising effort
  • Mike Bullard and his team at Newstalk1010 for turning his show into a laugh-filled benefit for Tracy
  • Rick Hansen and his 25th Anniversary Relay Team for including Tracy in the Toronto leg of the relay
  • Craigleith Ski Club for supporting our family
  • Michael Carmichael from CityBuick for incredible spin fundraiser for Tracy at his dealership
  • 11x Ironman champ Lisa Bentley for leading CityBuick Spin for Tracy and for  reaching out to so many of her friends and clients

Love and joy, les :-) xo

 

I Wish I’d Never Met You

THANK YOU

First of all a HUGE shout out of THANKS to Deirdre + all the “spinners” at PURE FITNESS yesterday!!! What an awesome fundraiser with truly special, loving & generous people.

“FAMILY MEETING”

On November 15th we were all invited to a “family meeting” at Lyndhurst in the morning. We weren’t told very much – other than it would be an opportunity to have all of Tracy’s medical and therapy “team” around the table in one room. Lynn, Mom, Dad, Robert, myself & Tracy of course – all cleared our calendars and prepared our questions and notes for the big day.

Finally, we would have an opportunity to discuss the many questions, challenges and struggles in a mediated and managed forum with professionals giving us input and collaborating on the solutions. Sounds great, doesn’t it?? HA!! Well, what actually happened was not what we had anticipated – what actually happened was a very formal and rigid – 30 minutes – of each professional around the table stating the facts about Tracy’s entrée to Lyndhurst and their prognosis relative to their line of work.  There was physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, psychology, nursing, recreational therapy, Dr. “B”and Dr. Judy. Dr B lead the meeting and it was at a fast pace. There wasn’t much time for questions or interactions as it was made very clear that there was another family coming in at exactly the 30 minute mark!!

It was a whirlwind – disappointing to say the least. We felt ripped off. My poor mother just wanted to say something at the end and was cut off as she sobbed an incredibly heartfelt “thank you.” The real goal of the meeting wasn’t for “us” but for them to give us “the date” – of Tracy’s discharge. The actual purpose seemed to be for them to check all the proper bureaucratic “boxes,” and communicate the date that we should be ready to assume Tracy’s care!

DR. LEO DA COSTA

On Tuesday November 22nd Tracy had an appointment with Dr. Dacosta at Sunnybrook Hospital. He is the neurosurgeon who operated on Tracy’s neck and spine the day after her accident – the person responsible for “putting Humpty back together again.”

I volunteered to go with Tracy to Sunnybrook to meet with Dr. D, because I knew she wanted to start at the beginning. She wanted to see all the scans and xrays that we had seen pre-op, post-op and now. She was on a mission to educate herself on her spinal injury. To gain some understanding and figure out why she’s favouring her left side? Was her head on an angle because of the surgery? Would another operation fix it? What was the deal? We finished getting her ready to go that morning and got into the Dignity ‘van’.

We first went to the Xray clinic because they wanted to take another xray of her neck  After that we made our way to Dr. Dacosta’s office – which by the way has two sets of doors WITHOUT handicapped buttons or automatic door openers!?? Huh? He called us into his cramped quarters and gave us his FULL attention. He listened, replied and interacted with Tracy with admiration. I could tell he was amazed, maybe even in awe of her. He shared the details about the hardware holding Tracy’s neck together.

There are 8 screws/bolts – 4 on each side of the front of her neck with a bar going horizontally across the middle section. On the back there is a plate going vertically holding the graft from her hip in place between the vertebrae. He went on to explain just how badly torn and ripped apart her muscles and tendons in her neck had been, and how difficult it was to put her back together again. He seemed to marvel at the fact that she is breathing on her own. It became clear that he did not want to operate again. The risks are way too high. She would need to focus and work through the pain in her neck and start building up strength in her right side. He reminded her that she’d been lying in a hospital bed for the past 2 months and even an able-bodied person would need time to rejuvenate the muscles and work to gain strength. She should be patient.

She was unbelievable during this appointment. Just before we got up to leave, she said “thank you for saving my life,”  to which he replied “I wish I’d never met you.”

DECISIONS

Where to live? Sell, buy, renovate, build… stay or go? So many questions and so many decisions. Have you ever thought about the considerations and accommodations needed for a wheelchair? And then, take that one step further and think about the added accommodations or technology needed for someone in a wheelchair who cannot use their arms or hands? Imagine the myriad of simple tasks that become overwhelming feats. And then layer that with 3 young boys who want and need mothering, nurturing, discipline and care…Now add that to the mix!! I know in my heart that we will work through all of this and find the solution, and Tracy will continue to amaze and inspire us all.

GIFTS

Christmas is fast approaching – the stores, TV, magazines, radio, and advertisements are all telling us to shop, buy and spend on “gifts.” This Christmas has taken on new meaning for our family. I definitely don’t have the same motivation to buy “things.” I seem to be questioning what it’s all about. Is it really about the “stuff?”  If you knew you could ask for any gift this Christmas – anything you wanted, what would it be? My response today would be much different than it would have been in Christmases past. Today if you asked me that same question…. I promise I wouldn’t be greedy and ask for Tracy to be able walk, or to rewind the clock and take away her injuries. I would say “please God give Tracy strength, courage, peace and hope” …I might say “please let her have some movement in her hands, or her arms” … “please let her find happiness and purpose again.” Those are some of the “gifts” I might ask for today. This Christmas celebrate the “gifts” we all take for granted every day.

Les

Hoopla

Media Attention

CBC, CTV, Global, Rick Hansen, NewsTALK 1010’s Mike Bullard have all interviewed, videotaped, photographed and spent time with Tracy over the past few weeks. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s National Newspaper, even put her on the front page as part of a major report on catastrophic injuries. She has become an awesome spokesperson and advocate for those living with spinal cord injuries. She enjoys the limelight, thrives on the attention and rises to the occasion each time. It is what has fuelled her each day. It has given her a reason to have her hair blow dried and her make up applied. It keeps her mind occupied and off of the pain, the paralysis, the prognosis and the future.

So, what happens when all the “hoopla” dies down. Where will her thoughts go when the lights, the cameras and the reporters go away? What “stage” of grieving is she really in? Could it be denial? We talk of her strength, her spirit and her being inspirational. But are we – her family – also in denial? Are we fooling ourselves?

September 4th to November 13 – 70 days, 2 and a half months, 10 weeks – that’s all it’s been since she had her accident. Is that enough time to process that for the rest of her life she will be confined to a wheelchair? Is it enough time to understand how dependant she will be forever more on others for everything. Can she really have grasped the notion of her “new normal”? And how will she cope if or when she does? Or am I wrong, and she’s already moved past this? I do hope that’s the case.

There’s always Hope

There are many people we’ve met since this happened, some who have been injured or paralyzed themselves, some who practice in the field of SCI patients, and others who are related to, or know someone with paralysis – but one common thread in the conversation is you’ve gotta have HOPE! It’s the “Secret” – that life is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you believe and put your mind into a positive space you will achieve your goals. The doctors are not always right and have often been proven wrong by tenacious, strong minded, determined patients who overcome the odds and can now use their arms, use their hands or even walk!! We have hope for Tracy and I know she has the drive to prove all the textbooks wrong!

Gratitude

I realized that I have not said THANK YOU in my recent posts. I want you all to know how incredibly grateful we are for the generosity and compassion of everyone around us – friends, family and strangers. We can’t thank you enough for your: donations, your visits with Tracy, your support, your prayers, your notes, your calls, your willingness to pitch in and your caring. It is this positive energy that helps us all to keep going. We could NOT do it without you! Words don’t seem to express our enormous feelings of gratitude and appreciation. God Bless

Lynn

I want to send a shout out to my sister Lynn Pang. The oldest of the Dort girls. Lynn has moved to Toronto from St. Louis, given up her life to become the main caregiver for Tracy’s three boys. She has been cooking (so good!), caring, driving, nurturing, nursing and loving Tracy’s boys since the accident. She helps with homework, meets with teachers, organizes activities and plans ahead for all things kid- related. She has become their advocate and their protector. I don’t know what we’d do without her selflessness.Thank you Lynn! xo

Robert

I would be remiss if I also didn’t mention how much my wonderful husband – Robert Lendvai - has done to help Tracy. He’s the marketing genius/social media expert behind this website and her Twitter profile. He’s the one who set up the online donation mechanism, he’s become the finance manager, the car salesman, the PR/Media Manager, the go-to for all things fundraising. He has lifted me up on the bad days and cheered me on, on the good days. He’s always thinking about how he can help and what’s next on the list. I can’t thank him enough! How lucky I am. xo

– Tomorrow is a new day –

les :-)

 

Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Please bookmark www.tracydortkyne.com as we’ll be posting future updates here.
  2. TRACY wants VISITORS!! – Send an Email 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. Tracy is enjoying all her visits. Let’s keep ‘em coming! It’s great for her spirits.
  3. WRITE – the old fashioned way – to Tracy. She doesn’t get to read your posts. Send cards, notes and pictures to ATTN: Tracy Kyne c/o Lynn Pang, 121 RANLEIGH AVE, TORONTO ON M4N 1X2
  4. 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.
  5. FUNDRAISING RIDE for TRACY – Sunday October 16th – 9:00am- Meet at Fisher Field in Collingwood – For more info: Alan Lo cyclefitoakville@hotmail.com
  6. FUNDRAISING BREATHE & MOVE for TRACY – Sunday October 23rd – 10:00 am (90 mins) Moksha Yoga Uptown To register email: Holly hchapman@astral.com

SOooo MUCH GRATITUDE – THANK YOU to everyone at TRACK Fitness and all the amazing “spinners” for raising almost $10,000 for Tracy on Thursday night!!! Truly remarkable!

5 STAGES – I want to explain why I haven’t written for a while, and my incredible husband Robert has been keeping you updated with his posts. The truth is that I was angry. I know – How selfish of me, right? But, one of my good friends reminded me the other day that Tracy and our whole family will experience the “Five Stages of Grief” – and likely not at all at the same time. According Kubler Ross these 5 stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Indeed my friend was right. We are all grieving the loss of the life Tracy had, and the life we had. The active mother, daughter, friend, sister, workout fanatic that she used to be! Why was I angry?

ANGRY – I was angry because I didn’t understand why she had to train for such a big race on a road that is a mountain. I was angry because our family is exhausted. I was angry because I didn’t feel she was appreciative. I was angry because I felt that she put her fitness first. I was angry because she left us sorting out and organizing many of her affairs. I was angry because hers was not a simple straightforward life. I was angry because the boys have already been through so much and don’t deserve any more traumas. I was angry because (…and this part I’m embarrassed to admit…) my life is not my own anymore, and never will be – and every minute of every day we are all thinking about Tracy’s care, Tracy’s kids, Tracy’s needs and Tracy’s future.

MOM – And then my Mom hit the wall and was sick late last week, and my selfish anger started to fade away as I realized how very lucky I am, and how much more I needed to step up. In a quiet moment – I reflected about it – not from my selfish angry sister perspective – but from a Mom’s perspective. What would it be like for me if it was my Abby lying in that hospital bed with no way to scratch her nose? No way to brush her own teeth? No way to brush her hair? No way to ever hug again? No way to write her own name? No way to lift a cup of water? ….no way … no way …NO WAY…. !!!! I couldn’t even think about it!!

So, I took over the early morning shift that Mom’s been doing all along, and spent Saturday morning with Tracy for her wake up routine. She was cranky and in pain, but she guided myself and the nurse through her morning rituals – brush her hair, move her up, move her over, adjust her pillow (but please take off your gloves! – the silicone gloves catch and pull her hair, and not all the nurses are obliging of this request if you can believe it!!?), wash her face, give her meds, brush her teeth, give her water (one that’s cold to swish, one that’s room temp to drink because it hurts too much to swallow when it’s icy cold), move her feet over etc etc.. We worked together and as I did all this, my anger was washed away by compassion.

TIME TO EAT – On this Thanksgiving Sunday ….just imagine not having eaten or chewed food in over a month!? Tracy’s first full official day with a “regular menu” was yesterday – so, as one would expect on Saturday morning she didn’t have much of an appetite and we had to take the tray away. But later that day she had a bit of soup for lunch, and then for dinner a little of Lynn’s homemade lemon chicken. Yay! Except today is not a good day and she’s not terribly interested in eating today. Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day!

As you share prayers of gratitude this Thanksgiving weekend, please do give praise for the food, but also remember to give praise for the smaller things – the things we all take for granted – the ability to – raise a fork to your mouth, wipe your lips with a napkin, bring yourself to the table, set the table, lick your fingers with pie on them, hold hands in prayer, pick up the dishes to clear the table ….

Every day we learn a new lesson. It’s what we do with it that changes us!

Much love and a huge amount of appreciation!

Les xo

Life Beyond Sunnybrook

My apologies for not having written sooner. It’s been a busy week. TGIF to everyone! I’m seeing Tracy later this afternoon and will update you on her progress. As many of you have seen – she was wheeled outside yesterday for some fresh air!! yay!!

TRACY:

Tracy’s life as many of you know was not a “Leave it to Beaver” kind of life. And so as we pick up the pieces following her life changing accident, our family is trying to rebuild a new life for her. The challenge is that we all already had full and busy lives.

Lynn lives in St. Louis with her husband Darren who works for the St. Louis Blues as their on-air colour analyst. Their two kids Sammy and Tyler are at University in Missouri, and they have two dogs who Lynn plans to bring back with her after she drives back from St. Louis early October. Lynn was busy volunteering for charities, running their house and taking care of her family.

Lynn has put it all on hold and moved into Tracy’s house to take care of Tracy’s boys and Tracy’s affairs.

Our Mom – Joan lives in Ottawa has also moved into Tracy’s house to help care for the boys. Mom works with Dad – Mack at their business in Ottawa - Marketplace Newsletters. They also have a dog named Jack who Dad is now taking care of during the week and commuting to Toronto for weekends.

Me? Fortunately for me I live in Toronto, get to sleep in my own bed and be in my own house amidst all the chaos, which makes me feel a little guilty. I have started back to work this week. My employer – MicroStrategy has been incredibly patient and understanding with my time. My daughter Abby started grade nine this year, and my husband Robert has his own marketing consultancy and actually built the website you’re looking at.

TRACY’s BOYS:

Christian is 13 and he goes to Crestwood School and is growing into a handsome young man. Malcolm is 11 and goes to Bedford Park with his younger brother Thomas who will be turning 7 in November.

A DAY IN THEIR LIFE:

In between hospital visits, phone calls with friends, trying to schedule her friends’ visits, paying her bills, maintaining Tracy’s house… There are occupational therapists, speech therapists, tutors, tennis lessons, homework, bruised knees, sore stomaches, bath time, bedtime, etc etc. All the while Lynn and Mom carry this load while trying to maintain some semblance of their own lives. It is wearing on them.

COLLINGWOOD:

Lynn and I spent 10 hours yesterday packing up Tracy’s condo in Lighthouse Point. We drove up eager to have a “break” while knowing that there was hard work ahead, and still feeling a sense of purpose fo “the cause”. Boxes in the back, we pulled up in Tracy’s big Escalade (I’m calling it the 18 wheeler), and parked. I paused and looked at Lynn with a sad sigh “I feel sad”. My memories of all the times we’d been there came flooding in…. It would NEVER be the same!

The good news is that we packed up the whole house, loaded up the car and her garage! There’s another trip in the works. Mission accomplished. And, as we were leaving I said to Lynn “on to another chapter…”

THE DYNAMICS:

We all cope with trauma and tragedy differently. Everyone takes on their roles. Each personality and psyche reacts with different emotional responses – all developed to protect us from the pain. In our family we have every kind of personality. This can make each day – each moment even more challenging at times. This journey isn’t easy.

THE LESSON:

Don’t judge. Don’t criticize. Don’t force change. Do love. Do listen. Do show tolerance. Do show understanding. Be selfless. Be kind. Breathe and pray.

TRUST FUND FOR TRACY AND HER BOYS:

We’ve opened a new account for Trust Fund donations at CIBC. You can visit any branch to contribute. Just tell them you want to make a donation in Trust to Tracy Dort-Kyne  to this account #00002 / 6047599.

You can also donate online using PayPal. Just click here. http://tinyurl.com/trust4tracy

Here’s a poem a friend of ours from high school emailed to me yesterday:

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit –

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

 

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a person turns about

When thy might have won had they stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

 

Often the struggler has given up

When he might have captured the victor’s cup;

And he learned to late when the night came down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

 

Success if failure turned inside out –

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt. –

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, -

It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.