Versus the Odds: Rob Cairns’ prolonged journey property

OTTAWA —
It is a day Rob Cairns will often recall.

“Dec. 9, 2007,” he claimed.

Nevertheless, it is a moment in time, he’d favor to forget.

Cairns was 37 years previous, a father of two, up right after midnight doing work in the basement.  He was installing a audio procedure, so his younger son and daughter could enjoy their Tv set displays in the early morning.

“I stubbed my toe and I went head initial into the leisure unit,” reported Cairns.  “And when I did that, it sounded like a thousand knuckles cracking and I woke up on the flooring.”

For hours, Cairns was by yourself in the dark, drifting in and out of consciousness.

“I went to go myself and I couldn’t. Experimented with to pull myself up, my arms. Almost nothing,” he said.

Cairns experienced damaged his neck and would endure seventeen several hours of surgical procedures.  He would endure, but his injuries was life-modifying.

“They knew I was a quadriplegic due to the fact the C5 and C6 seemed like a highway map. It was just shattered,” mentioned Cairns.

For close to two a long time, he would be in hospitals, rehab centres and long-term care.

“I was 22 months in clinic in full right before I received my 1st condominium,” Cairns claimed.

Cairns’ lifestyle commenced once more, but in August 2019, he experienced an an infection.  When his overall health deteriorated, he was placed on a ventilator to hold him alive.

“I was 216 days in the ICU,” reported Cairns.

His situation deemed “continual”, Cairns was admitted to Bruyère Continuing Treatment, home to a specialized software of care for patients with very long-expression ventilation needs.

“We experienced expectations we would continue to keep him comfortable, but I never assume we expected he’d go dwelling,” claimed Paula Doering, a senior VP of Clinical Systems at Bruyère.

Cairns experienced other programs, and he was tenacious in pursuing them. He preferred to go dwelling and urged the team at Bruyère to wean him off the vent.

“They had never ever taken anyone off a ventilator,” mentioned Cairns.

“And he pushed our group to say, ‘You know I want to get off this point and you’re likely to assistance me do it,'” said Doering with a smile.

With bravery, and remarkable initiatives by Cairns and his caregivers at Bruyère, the vent was successfully eradicated.

“I had tears in my eyes for Rob,” mentioned Doering, her voice breaking with emotion. 

“I was just so happy of Rob and proud of our whole staff. It was a very first,” she said.

Rob Cairns

Just after one year and one particular week, the affected person who lots of thought went to Bruyère to die, went home to live.

“I remember leaving my space and all the nurses were lined up,” stated Cairns.

“They ended up clapping their fingers and cheering. When I got outside, and the sunlight hit my experience it was like ooooh this is liberty. It felt unbelievable,” he explained.

Currently Cairns life fortunately and fairly independently in a Barrhaven apartment, tailored to his requires.

“It is a fresh new begin,” said Cairns.

As he opens an oven doorway to begin cooking a food, he smiles.

“I haven’t been able to do this in 13 yrs,” Cairns claimed.

Cooking is just one of several issues Cairns can do in the apartment on his possess.  Wider doorways, remote openers, and reduced countertops make for a place that has vastly improved his good quality of lifetime.  

Stores, buying and his two kids are close by.

Rob Cairns

There are aid employees on website who enable Cairns get in and out of bed and assist him when he desires to shower.  But to a excellent diploma, Cairns’ personalized space means he and assistance pet, Daphne can enjoy the simple pleasures of household.

“I’m not completely ready for long-term care and they’re not all set for me simply because I like to do my own point,” reported Cairns.

Fifty-1-calendar year-old Cairns is ready to are living. And given all he’s been by way of, he says that’s almost everything.

“Why need to I sit in the chair and permit the globe go by,” explained Cairns.

“I just have gained 4 hundred lbs . of steel.  I’m nonetheless Rob Cairns.”