Scott Rae on the road to recovery
By Angelica Ingram
When Scott Rae entered Lyndhurst Rehab Centre in June of this year he was determined he would be walking out of the facility and not leaving in a wheelchair.
And exactly two weeks ago today (Sept. 29) that is exactly what he did.
A lifelong Haliburton resident and Hydro One employee for 24 years, Scott was on the job site on May 27 when he was struck by a tree limb and knocked to the ground.
The accident sent him to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and from there Scott spent months in rehab, working hard to regain use of his body.
Now he has returned home, to the community he knows and loves, where he is working every day to regain his overall strength and improve his mobility.
Discharged from Lyndhurst on Sept. 15, Scott said his time in rehab brought about a roller coaster of emotions.
“The first week, every time I ate a meal I’d go look out the window and cry and think what have I done?” said Scott. “I said to Sue, I’m walking out of here. I can’t be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.”
He credits much of his recovery to the doctors and therapists who pushed him, but admits he pushed himself as well.
“They had me standing up at the end of the first week,” said Scott. “At the end of three weeks one of the doctors got me up on this rollator ... once I got up on my feet everything just started coming.”
When not meeting with his therapists, Scott spent every free moment in the gym at Lyndhurst, pushing himself to get better.
His mom, Doreen, credits her son with being “a fighter.”
“That’s why he is where he is right now, because of that,” said Doreen.
During his time in therapy Scott had many visits from friends, who made the trip down from Haliburton, and phone calls.
His family, wife Sue and sons Matt and John, as well as extended family, were also by his side throughout the ordeal.
When Scott returned to the community it didn’t take long for friends and family to stop him in the street to show him their love.
“People I’ve grown up [with] and known my whole life,” he said.
While she is happy to have her son back home, it’s still difficult for Doreen to see Scott in the shape he’s in.
When asked how he feels physically, Scott replies with “like I’m wore out.”
“The spasms are getting worse now,” he said, adding that’s a side effect of walking more and more.
He has very limited mobility in his right hand and as a result has difficulty doing everyday tasks like getting dressed.
Scott, 50, hopes to go back to work for Hydro One, but is taking it one day at a time.
Since returning home, Scott does therapy three days a week, from Tuesday to Thursday, in Toronto.
While the prognosis for a full recovery is unknown at this time, as there is still paralysis in parts of his body, Scott is pleased with how far he’s come.
“I said to Sue I’d take anything right now, at least I’m still here.”
Scott says Hydro One has been offering support and even gave him tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play.
Doreen says Scott was fortunate to marry a girl from the city, as Sue has been driving back and forth to Toronto all summer, and continues to do so for therapy appointments.
Although the accident has taken its toll on Scott’s body, it hasn’t hampered his spirit or resilience, which shines through his demeanour and great big smile.
“It was pretty emotional when I left, to walk out of there. Just like I had hoped,” he said.