Client Stories

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I am so grateful that a place like Synaptic exists
The instructors at Synaptic are great…supportive, passionate, friendly and innovative. The small class size allows for individual attention and we have lots of laughs as well! The word synaptic, for which the clinic is named, means ” to join together”‘ and they certainly live up to their name. The PWR! Moves classes have brought members of the Parkinson’s community together, to use “exercise as medicine” with a view to managing symptoms and possibly slowing progression of this condition. I go to see my neurologist twice a year….but I go to Synaptic twice a week. Dealing with PD everyday is a challenge. I am so grateful that a place like Synaptic exists. They are so important in the lives of those living with neurological disorders. They are professional, caring, collaborative and so passionate about helping others reach new heights!


No one can put a ceiling on what Logan will be able to accomplish
I was discharged from the hospital and moved home with my parents and brother. I knew that I hadn’t plateaued. I had more goals to achieve and my friends and family knew that I was capable of achieving so much more. That’s when Synaptic came into my life. At least 2 to 3 times a week, I go to Synaptic for an intense exercise therapy program that are tailored to my goals. I love the régime. Each day I start out with a stretching routine, and then we focus on a different exercise therapy such as, core strengthening, muscle strengthening, standing, crawling. There is a machine called Therastride that was donated by a Calgary Philanthropist. This amazing technology enables me to walk on a treadmill with support, to help rewire and retrain my brain signals. They incorporate therapy with a fun and positive atmosphere.


A positive environment that would improve her independence and well being
Stephanie has been a client of Synaptic for nearly two years. When she first came in for her assessment at Synaptic six months after being paralyzed in a car accident, Stephanie knew that Synaptic offered her something that nowhere else could – a positive environment that would improve her independence and well being. Stephanie was paralyzed at the C5/C7 level in a car accident with a moose in August of 2014. She left the hospital eight months later and began a rigorous workout schedule at Synaptic. At this point even feeding herself was physically exhausting but by the end of the summer of 2015 she was feeling stronger and with this strength, her pain and exhaustion significantly reduced. Beyond the physical improvements, Stephanie finds that Synaptic has also provided a supportive community from the moment she left the hospital – both from the trainers and the other clients. For one, Uyen and her team have never set limits on Stephanie and her goals. Instead, Synaptic has facilitated her in gaining function she did not realize was possible and has supported her in her own creative approaches to life with a spinal cord injury. Further, the approach at Synaptic to getting clients out of their wheelchairs and focussing on the whole body is something Stephanie has not experienced in any other therapy setting.


We are in his corner in the fight to win the battle of recovery
Erik's favorite color is blue, his favorite team is the Calgary Flames, and like most Canadians he lives for hockey. He loves dogs, his friends and family. He is a nineteen year old boy, who never thought he would sitting in Denver Colorado, at a rehabilitation centre, celebrating the moment he was able to wiggle toes. On April 30th, 2015, on a beautiful day in Mexico, Erik arrived to his resort looking forward to an amazing vacation with his friends. Little did he know, that within moments of his arrival, his life would change in an instant. Erik suffered a C4, C5 spinal cord injury resulting in the loss of function in his legs and arms. Often, when tragedy strikes, a person's smile will disappear. Not Erik's because he is fighting to win. He is taking it day by day and staying positive. His warm sense of humor fills our clinic every time he comes in. It is little wonder, why so many of his family, friends, and members of the community have come together to support his recovery. Erik will be honest with you, he misses what most boys his age would miss. Relationships with girls, lacing up his skates and joining his teammates on the ice to play the game that had been his life. The journey has been hard, but he is staying positive. He is not taking anything or anyone for granted. He is looking forward to driving again, maybe even walking his dog in the park. His hopes for the future are that he will be a motivational speaker. Maybe, he will even write a book. Although, it was tragic circumstances that brought Erik to our clinic.We are in his corner in the fight to win the battle of recovery.


Ten years post injury I am a university graduate, live life independently, drive independently and have a career
"Imagine waking up from a deep sleep to find out that you had missed your 21st birthday. You are unable to breath on your own, and you can't even spell your name. You are paralyzed from the shoulders down. That was me 10 years ago." In 2005 I was driving to Calgary for a dance rehearsal on a gorgeous Sunday morning. I never made it to Calgary and had no idea that I may never dance again. A no fault motor vehicle accident left my car overturned on the side of the highway, I was inside hanging from my seat belt, and unconscious. With uncontrollable seizures, and pending traumatic brain injury and a high level spinal cord injury stars air ambulance dropped me off at foothills hospital. I had little brain activity and unable to sustain life on my own. The prognosis of survival was no more than 1% should I ever make it out of a barbiturate comma. Not to mention what my quality of life would be. With c3-4 c6-7 spinal cord injury diagnosis my family was told that I may not walk again and would be completely dependent on full time care and may not even breathe on my own. Ten years post injury I am a university graduate, live life independently, drive independently and have a career. I think that is pretty fantastic for someone who had less than 1% chance of survival. When I was in the hospital I was asked what my goal was. I said I wanted to be on stage again dancing. It was suggested that I make a more realistic goal. Last year when I began walking again I found my old dance shoes, put them on and strutted across the floor at Synaptic with the high walker. Maybe not an ideal stage prop but certainly on my way to where I intended to be.


Synaptic helps people achieve their goals and helps them regain their lost strength and abilities
My mobility and strength are the things that have most changed since my accident 2 years ago. I now rely on a wheelchair to help me do things daily. Before starting Synaptic at the beginning of July I was only able to walk short distances and needed a lot of help from a walker. Since starting Synaptic my strength and stamina have greatly increased. It has made it much easier to do daily activities. I am now able to walk up short flights of stairs on my own with handrails on both sides for support and balance. I am able to walk greater distances on my own than I imagined I would be able to gain in such a short amount of time. My core and balance has also improved. I like going to Synaptic, the people are friendly and they don’t give up on you. Synaptic helps people achieve their goals and helps them regain their lost strength and abilities. After I am done physio I feel strong and healthy but also tired.


Rehabilitation and recovery is a long road and it becomes part of who you are
Synaptic became part of my life after an ATV accident in September 2014 left me with a severe spinal cord injury. As I learn to navigate the bumpy sidewalks, entrances into pretty much everything, and the lack of awareness that surrounds people with disabilities, I find myself even more thankful for the support and friendship I found at Synaptic. I get to work with amazing people as the client services director. Everyone refers to me as the spirit of the office, which of course I take as a huge compliment. Rehabilitation and recovery is a long road and it becomes part of who you are, I find what matters is making the most of this wheeler coaster ride.


I’m so grateful for my family and what they have done for me since my injury
As a 16 year old coming up on the end of my grade 11 school year, I had so much ahead of me in life that I wanted to accomplish. I was active in figure skating, dirt biking and school activities. I never thought my life would take this turn and make me the person I am today. On June 9, 2009, a beautiful sunny day, I was a passenger in a car accident during a school trip where I was ejected through the sunroof and found in the ditch nearby. I was taken to Foothills Hospital where I would spend the next 5 months with a final month spent at Red Deer Hospital. I wasn’t told about my injury right away as I had a trachea in and could not speak for some time. Those first couple months I honestly thought I was just too weak to get out of the bed on my own. So when a nurse accidentally filled me in on the news, naturally I panicked. I couldn't see my future and had no clue what the life of a quadriplegic entailed. I had to adjust to home life quickly as I returned to high school in February 2010 so I could graduate with my class that I had gone to school with since Kindergarten. I took the classes required to earn a diploma. After graduating, I wasn't sure what type of program I was interested in taking in college so I took time to upgrade some courses. Afterwards, I applied to Red Deer College for the Education Assistant program. I took this course over 2 years and really enjoyed it. I met a lot of new people and felt like I was apart of something. I finished the practicum and completed the program a year ago and am now on a substitution list for a school division. I’m so grateful for my family and what they have done for me since my injury. We still take several trips like we did throughout my childhood so I never feel like I am holding them back from experiencing new places and I wouldn't be able to do it without them. I really enjoy and appreciate my time at Synaptic when I go to work out. I have special friendships there that I have made over the last 2 years with the staff and other clients. And although I don't have a new injury, I still feel like Synaptic is so beneficial to my well being and overall health and strength as a quadriplegic.