Carter KidsAbility's 2019-2020 Cambridge AmbassadorCambridge Ambassador (2019-2020)

The phone rang waking me just after midnight.

My son Carter, age eight at the time, had been in a serious car accident. Any parent’s worst nightmare.

Carter’s injuries were severe requiring surgery to repair his broken neck.

After nine hours in surgery, Carter remained in a coma for the next 24 hours. When he awoke, there were a lot of tears and confusion. They let me climb in the bed and console him and that was when we first realized he was unable to move. He couldn’t feel me holding his hand, or his Grandma rubbing his foot.

The doctor told us the damage was so severe to his nerves and spinal cord and that Carter would remain quadriplegic. I needed some time to process that my son would never be able to walk or use his arms again. He could only move his eyes and his mouth. But, after weeks of intensive therapy in hospital he felt a flicker in his foot that gave us all hope.

After several months of more intensive treatment to help move his arms and legs, Carter was determined not to go home in a wheelchair. He worked hard to build up his strength and regain control of his body. In only five months, Carter was discharged with only a walker and a referral to KidsAbility.

When you go to KidsAbility, you get a whole team of people. I had no idea about all of the support provided. Having all of these services in one place makes it so much easier for families. You are not alone.

We met with a Social Worker, Recreational Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist. We worked on setting up our goals and a schedule. Carter had a long road ahead of him but the patience, understanding and emotional support from our amazing team at KidsAbility is what got us through this critical time.

With KidsAbility therapy, Carter continued to gain strength and more mobility in his arms and legs. His favourite therapy sessions involved the zip line swing chair at the Cambridge site playground.

KidsAbility also helped with the trauma of the accident that comes with a wide range of emotions. The social work team at KidsAbility supported me as I navigated the many government forms required for his care and to this day, continues to help Carter.

Carter’s therapists provide him with the constant changing stimulation he needed, as well as the emotional support he required some days all while pushing his boundaries and helping him get stronger every day.

But we wouldn’t have KidsAbility if it were not for community and financial support from donors. This support helps children like Carter who successfully graduated last December from the Spinal Cord Injury program offered by KidsAbility.

Carter is now 10, attending school, almost full-time, with friends and without the use of a walker! He is walking independently, runs and plays with his friends and has even been able to re-learn riding a bike through the iCan Bike program! Carter has started to learn to play the drums and wants to pass the swim test so he can go down the waterslide at his local pool—something that his KidsAbility’s Recreation Therapist is helping him to achieve.

Carter has a smile that lights up any room. He has a bright future ahead thanks to you and KidsAbility. Our family is truly grateful.


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