Courage Award recipients overcome devastating injuries
Lincoln Grayson, Nicholas Mudryk, Jerry Wilson and Renaye Wade honoured for courage
Four Albertans were honoured for their bravery today by the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
Lincoln Grayson had suffered major, life-altering injuries when what started as a normal bike ride for a 13-year-old Alberta boy turned to tragedy in July 2014.
"Over the handlebars and yeah, just woke up in the hospital a couple of weeks later," he said. "C-3 fracture and I broke my nose, and my upper jaw from cheek to cheek."
The spinal injury took its toll, leaving the boy paralyzed from the chest down. He had to learn how to breathe and eat again, but perhaps the biggest challenge was coping with his new reality.
"I just remember thinking, if this is how my life's going to be, no reason to be bitter about it," he said. "Apparently I've got courage then."
That courage was recognized Thursday with a 2015 Courage Award.
Nicholas Mudryk, 15, experienced a severe headache and vomiting at a hockey practice, which turned out to be a major stroke.
The entire right side was affected and he faced intense rehabilitation to regain his balance and relearn how to walk and speak again, all while maintaining his zest for life, humour and thoughtfulness.
Former firefighter Jerry Wilson, who is blind, experienced seven weeks of utter silence during cochlear implant surgery, but was still able to smile. The surgery was a success and he can now hear again.
Renaye Wade was waiting in a stalled car when she was hit by a distracted driver. Many of her bones were broken and two years of memory were lost due to a brain injury.
She fought through painful rehab and eventually became an advocate, starting Renaye Against Distracted Driving which helped in the effort to raise fines and demerit points for distracted drivers.