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Mary Rea received the worst call of her life on Christmas Eve in 2009—her husband Mike had just found their 10-year-old athletic daughter Laura unconscious at the base of a tree, which she had hit while downhill skiing.
The series of events that followed was enough to put any family through the ringer. “We really thought she was dead,” admits Ms. Rea. “She was rushed to the Ste-Agathe Hospital, where they stabilized her. By 6 p.m. we were in the care of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Laura’s injuries were so extensive she was placed in an induced coma.”
Laura remained in her coma through Christmas and New Year’s, and awoke the first week of January, 2010. Following her accident, she underwent eight operations, including for her ruptured bladder, her broken hip bone and for her crushed eye socket and ear. Doctors say her helmet saved her life.
“After I woke up from my coma every doctor I spoke with was so encouraging,” says Laura. “They always had a positive attitude and always made everything seem like it would be easy and okay.”
It took a team of experts to put Laura back on her feet. Doctors, neurosurgeons, ENT specialists, nurses and physiotherapists all worked to get the active child back into competitive soccer, swimming, and track and field. “That was my biggest challenge throughout this ordeal—I really missed my sports,” Laura relates. “It took me a year and a half, graduating from a wheelchair, to crutches, to a cane, to walking, to running and then jumping to get back to what I love. I am very thankful.”
Laura is so grateful to be back to her old self that she has even decided to give back to the Hospital that saved her life. “When I was asked if I would volunteer to be the Pedal for Kids spokesperson, I didn’t think twice,” says Laura enthusiastically. “I love The Children’s and I want to help in any way that I can.”