Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Roadmap to Recovery

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Welcome to your Roadmap to Recovery! We invite you to review the online version of this new guide for people who are newly injured and their families. We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their generous funding of this publication and to author Julie Sawchuk for her extraordinary skills and commitment to the well-being of her peers. We also appreciate our community members with SCI, their supportive families and our health care partners for sharing what they know to ease the journey and strengthen the outcome of those who find their way to these pages. Click on titles below to read our online version in chapter PDFs.

“Roadmap to Recovery is a well-researched, much-needed resource.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all new SCI patients could find this resource, so they wouldn’t feel so isolated in their experience of their injury and the system navigation required for a meaningful, best-possible recovery.  I hope this resource gets into all of the right hands.”

M. Jean Sommerdyk, M.S.W., RSW
Social Work
Adult Ambulatory Services
Parkwood Institute


» Introduction

  • Preface By Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
  • Preface By Author Julie Sawchuk
  • About The Author

Chapter One

» Chapter 1: Julie’s Journey

The Full Story

Chapter Two

» Chapter 2: Family Members

The Vital Role of Family: One Family Member to Another
A Family Member’s Story:

  • A Husband’s Perspective
  • A Mother’s Perspective
  • A Child’s Perspective

Chapter Three

» Chapter 3: Acute Care

Acute Care Days, Weeks and Months in Survival Mode
Professional Points:

  • Intensive Care Nursing
  • Talking About Surgery
  • Acute Care Social Worker 

Chapter Four

» Chapter 4: Rehab

Welcome To Rehab! … Really?? 
Professional Points

  • Nurses Page
  • Nurses
  • Physiatrist
  • Dietitian 

Mental Health
Professional Points

  • Psychologist
  • Social Worker

Professional Points

  • Physiotherapy (PT)
  • Occupational Therapy (OT)

Peer Support


Skills To Know Before You Go Home

Chapter Five

» Chapter 5: Homeward Bound

Going Home–or Making A New One
The Importance of SCIO Regional Services
Medical Home Team
Professional Points: Personal Support Worker
Equipment & Supplies 

  • Mobility Devices 
  • Supplies 
  • Medications 

Chapter Six

» Chapter 6: Legal & Insurance

Legal and Insurance Matters
Professional Points: Case Manager
Professional Points: Lawyer
Professional Points: Insurance
WSIB: Workplace Safety & Insurance Board

Chapter Seven

» Chapter 7: New Normal

Embracing A New Normal in Health, Family, Sports, Work and Travel
Sport & Recreation
Return To Work
Government and Other Types of Financial Assistance

Chapter Eight

» Chapter 8: Glossary & Resources

Glossary of Acronyms
Glossary of Terminology

Peer Perspectives

» Peer Perspectives: 

  • Diane’s Decision
  • Michelle’s Story Folding Socks Just For Fun
  • Michelle And YouTube
  • A Conversation with Mike and Karen
  • Michelle on Going Home
  • Julie: PSW Support Means Independence
  • Gabriella Carafa On Sex and SCI
  • Camilo Acero: Becoming a Father After SCI
  • Lubna Aslam: Giving Birth After SCI
  • Dave Willsie—Life From Sport
  • An Interview with Diana McCauley, Manager, SCIO Employment Services
  • Alireza Tehrani Proves a Second Career is Possible
  • Peter Athanasopoulos, Director of Public Policy, SCIO

Julie’s Journey

» Julie’s Journey: 

  • A Dorm Room   

  • A Post-Recovery Perspective

  • Bladder & Bowels

  • Going Home

  • HBP is AD in SCI from UTI

  • Robot Goals

  • T4 Sisters

  • Four Years and Still Working On It

  • Just Keep Swimming

  • Sturdy Underwear

  • Super Dave

  • New “Sporty” Friends

  • Catheters

  • Sleeping in The Dining Room

  • Pain Management

  • On The Road Again

  • Fancypants

  • Me, The Case Manager

  • Future Costs

  • Time Is Still A Factor

  • Try Everything


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