The Ship’s Captain Needs to Speak with you Immediately
A sticky note containing nine words changed peer volunteer, Tammy Paterson’s life forever. “The ship’s captain needs to speak with you IMMEDIATELY.” Late at night in 2012 – while away on a cruise – Tammy’s son phoned and tearfully told her, her other son Nic, was critically injured while snowboarding. He was being airlifted to a trauma centre, and she needed to give up parental rights to the neurosurgeon. Frozen with fear, Tammy took the first flight out. When she arrived at the ICU and saw Nic, Tammy described “all the things she feared” appeared right in front of her. At 16, Nic had sustained quadriplegia. Immediately, questions arose; how would she get him through this? Who could she speak to who’s shared this experience? How could she find tools to be the best mother she could be? Then, Tammy had nobody to turn to for answers. For this reason, six years later, Tammy decided to become a Peer Support Volunteer at SCI Ontario so she could be there for others. According to Tammy, “families should never be left alone with this heavy burden,” and she feels privileged being able to help them through incredibly difficult times. Click the link to read Tammy’s story and to find out how Nic overcame addiction to join his mother as a peer volunteer.