Tracy’s sister Lynn grabbed a quick video of Tracy this morning. We’re all so happy to hear her voice again.
Tracy’s sister Lynn grabbed a quick video of Tracy this morning. We’re all so happy to hear her voice again.
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
RE: RECOGNITION OF OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE & NURSE – Katie Weaver, CCU nurse at Sunnybrook
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!
Before I share my latest visit stories with you, I have a note from my parents Mack and Joan Dort.
NOTE FROM MY PARENTS MACK AND JOAN:
Thank you! We are so grateful for all of your posts, notes, emails and prayers. They have meant so much to us. After a long day with the boys, or in the hospital with Tracy, or for Dad alone in Ottawa working – being able to sit down and read comforting, kind and reassuring words from friends and family helps us to get through each day. God bless!
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
3. VISIT – Email Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org 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”.
TRACY’s Friday Adventure
On Friday afternoon when we got to the hospital the nurse asked Abby and I to leave because they were going to move Tracy from her bed to the “chair”, and then we could take her for a walk – outside! Again! She had done it the day before with her friend Bette. We were excited, even though it was a rainy day.
When we went back in after they moved her, the nurse was adjusting the oxygen tank on the back of the chair. I started assessing the “chair” and decided it was to be renamed the “Little House on the Prairie” wheelchair. Picture it. A very high back with HUGE wheels – like wagon wheels, no sides or arm rests to speak of. But! We didn’t care we were going outside!
The nurse started wheeling Tracy down the hall only to discover that the wheels on this chair were like a bad IKEA shopping cart, left was right and right was left. We bumped and grinded down the halls – giggling along the way, to the elevator and eventually outside. Our nurse was sweet but timid, so Tracy wanted me to let her know she is “adventurous” and to “go for it”. And that we did. We stopped and Tracy sat for a few minutes looking up at the cloudy sky, she said “wow, they are moving so fast”.
We turned around to go back in and realized a little too late that we were going a little fast! Oops!…. and poor sweet Tracy started to topple sideways out of the chair (remember no arms or sides…J.) Abby rescued her and we adjusted her back into her chair. She took it all in stride with a smile on her face while we profusely apologized.
It was in that moment – of her falling sideways – that “it” really hit me!
MOVING TO B5!!!
We learned today that after a roller coaster ride in CCU, tomorrow Tracy will be moved to B5. All the docs and nurses are amazed at how quickly she has progressed! 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.
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.
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…”
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.
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:
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.
Thank you all for the incredible outpouring of love and prayers for my sister Tracy. We have all been overwhelmed by your compassion and caring!
It will be a week tomorrow that Tracy had her cycling accident. Tracy remains in the critical care unit at Sunnybrook Hospital where she will be for several months.
Our family has rallied! Mom and Dad flew in from Ottawa on Sunday night, Lynn flew in from St. Louis on Monday afternoon, followed by Darren on Thursday night, and luckily Robert and I live here – so I was able to be with her after she was airlifted to Toronto on Sunday.
Mom and Lynn are living at Tracy’s house taking care of her boys – Christian 13, Malcolm 11 and Thomas 7. Lynn has done a terrific job of organizing the boys with back to school and trying to normalize things with routine. She is amazing! Thankfully Gladys – Tracy’s nanny/housekeeper – remains a constant. They are a loving handful those 3 little guys!
We are all taking shifts sitting by Tracy’s bedside at the hospital. The good news is that Tracy is still Tracy! She is definitely giving all of the nurses and doctors a run for their money. She does not like the intubation that is helping her breath, and has much anxiety. She is keeping us all on our toes! We’ve developed a way to communicate with her – it’s a bit tedious and slow, and she often gets frustrated with us but it is working – for now.
What you can do:
TRUST FUND: We are going to be setting up a Trust Fund for Tracy and her boy’s care. Tracy is a single Mom and her ex-husband does not provide her or the boys any financial support. . We hope to have the information for yoU by the end of this coming week.
GOOD OLD CANADA POST SNAIL MAIL: Please send cards and notes – and write down a memorable time you spent with Tracy – funny, touching, or otherwise. Include a photo. If you don’t know Tracy directly but know someone in our family – include the information about the relationship. We are going to take them to the hospital and read them to her – so please keep them UPBEAT! MAILING ADDRESS: ATTN: Tracy Kyne c/o Lynn Pang, 121 RANLEIGH AVE, TORONTO ON M4N 1X2
NO FLOWERS please.
VISITORS: We are allowing close friends and family to visit. The CCU is a very restricted area. If you would like to visit Tracy please send an email to me – Lesley.email@example.com. And if/when the time is right we will make arrangements. We hope to eventually to use Skype and Facebook.
FOOD: Thank you! Yes we have already received some yummy packages along with many other generous offers to provide food for family and boys. We are accepting the offers but are trying to manage it. She does have a freezer.
With love and appreciation,
Lesley and Robert