Sean and his mom. (Submitted photo)

Vernon’s Miracle Place: A practical place for brain injured

Damage to the brain —it changes everything. It is terrifying.

  • May. 22, 2018 2:47 p.m.

Damage to the brain — it changes everything. It is terrifying.

From the moment the family of a loved one with a brain injury learns the traumatic news, they are thrown into a swirling vortex of learning about complex procedures as they are experiencing a whirlwind of different emotions about their loved one’s outcome and care.

Sometimes, the impairments may be temporary. Sadly, most often the impairments cause functional disabilities and psychosocial difficulties. Loved ones, now in the throes of emotional trauma, don’t know where to turn for help, for emotional support, and most essentially for advocacy. There is someone families can call.

Donna McFadden, founder and director of Vernon’s Miracle Place Society, makes herself and her home, called Miracle Place, available to those with acquired brain injury. She created Miracle Place, a real home, for her son when he suffered a series of medically traumatic events that left him unable to move or speak.

“My son, Sean, was labelled ‘vegetative.’ They put a “Do Not Resuscitate” order on him, despite my protests,” explained McFadden. McFadden and her son beat the horrible prognosis.

“He spent eleven months in hospital where he progressed from being able to hold his head upright to sitting upright and moving his arms and legs,” said McFadden.

However, at this point her son could not self-feed nor communicate, so he was denied access to G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre, the largest rehabilitation hospital in British Columbia.

At their home, called Miracle Place, McFadden hired expert professional care. Armed with love for her son, a strong background in physical fitness and a master’s degree in organizational change, plus her unstoppable sense of optimism for the concept that all things are possible in brain recovery, McFadden created a life for Sean. It was a life filled with rehabilitation, endless opportunities, optimism and love.

“Within a year and a half, Sean was walking on his own,” said McFadden. “The most rewarding part of all was seeing that Sean woke up happy every morning. He was content.”

Sean died six weeks ago.

As his legacy, Miracle Place is now available to individuals in need of the specialized 24/7 in-home care that those with acquired brain injury require. McFadden, along with her board of directors set up a Go Fund Me page at miracleplace.ca to enhance Miracle Place with a better access door and ramp plus more suitable decking and privacy fencing.

Please contact McFadden at 778-475-0499 for information or immediate support.

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