Doris: You Helped Save My Life

L E T T E R  T O  C H A R L E S  l

" I  am forever grateful -

You did more for me than represent "my case".

You offered hands-on help every step of the way

in my recovery and life. "

D E A R  C H A R L E S, I will forever remember the journey you and your team of helpers (Barbi Andrews, Laura Sheremeta, others who worked on my file) undertook with me over these years in a very complex situation that not many people would have taken on as a case. I cannot shorten this letter, nor do I wish to, for you deserve to hear how you helped to save my life.

As you know, I was working full time for over 20 years helping others as a speech and language professional and already managing a physical handicap. I was in the prime of my life with my career, physical abilities, emotional contentment spiritual life and financial life.

Then a car accident had abruptly interrupted and traumatized all these aspects of my life making me unable to manage.

There were a number of other very complex physical issues that few people would have the knowledge or skill to unravel the complexity of ever having a life again. I was on my own and faced with the inability to help myself physically, emotionally, financially and could not work.

I turned to you Charles - from the moment I met you and your team, you stayed by my side with integrity, honesty, interested in my well-being in all areas of my life. You always listened quietly but with exact recall, interest, care and knowledge to try to help me and even with busy schedules you always returned my calls and answered any question I had. You included me as an equal and I knew I was free to say absolutely anything I needed to say to you and discuss even sensitive issues. You maintained an on-going education in areas of my medical history, current medical situation and career which few have knowledge of.

In addition, Barbi Andrews was always there and just a phone call away. Even when I had trouble coping, fear, upset, anger, confusion, I could always trust to speak to Barb and she would get me back on track to keep hanging on. She always kept in touch with you Charles through these times and I knew with certainty you both were right there with me and for my life.

There was a point in this journey, I did not think I could go on any longer - with the insurances, assessments, rehabilitation and constant scrutiny of the insurance world and the surgery. This was all occurring even in the middle of SARS which had shut down the city. You stayed with me and helped me to find the medical, rehabilitation and counselling therapies I needed so at a time where others could not find help, I was blessed to have the help.

With this help, I then walked through the personal fires of the human condition of being a changed person with a significant physical handicap (use of scooter, crutches), emotionally vulnerable person and no longer certain of who I was, whether I could be independent, have a life or whether I could work in my profession. You and Barb still remained constant by my side, even in this uncertain time.

Then I took the step of an attempt to return to work and with the dedicated, cutting-edge knowledge and work by you Charles and Barb, we made a step with my employer, a school board that had never been attempted before, the integration of a significantly physically impaired itinerant worker. If it had not been for the knowledge and proactive fight for my rights from my insurances and employer, I never could have done it.

You included me in the process every step of the way, even when I was at my physical and emotional low. You always made me feel valued as a human being, a part of the team. You always respected my input, my opinion and included consideration of my point of view.

I experienced the fine talents you showed as you brought the case to that day, that deciding day of meeting with yourself, the insurance lawyer, insurance representative and mediator. That day, you presented me as a full person with the reality of the years of trauma, struggle, permanent significant disability and the effects on my current life and future life. You presented me as a person and yet you held firm to the convictions of my commitment to try to live.

I have never seen anyone like yourself, who held your own in the midst of the other side not desiring initially to settle or even consider the effects of the accident. You, Charles held your own with a firm, thorough representation of important reports, experts' opinion, drawings of my physical body and included my own testimonial. You held your own with firm, informed and steady ground, even when the other side became loud and made some outrageous statements.

You held the floor, unifying the facts and at the same time representing me as an intelligent human being, trying to get a life back, even a life that would never ever again be like it was before the accident.

You, Charles, helped me to find in myself a reason to go on; to empower my efforts to do everything that was humanly possible to make a life to go on and be able to take care of myself physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially. You did more for me than represent "my case". You offered hands on help every step of the way in my recovery and life. Through this you helped me with my rights and what was needed to get any kind of life back.

Words cannot thank you and all those who helped me. The experiences I have had with your knowledge, resources and direct help will stay with me forever. In my return to work, working with special needs students, I have been able to help others in ways I never did before.

You have empowered me for a life and you have also empowered me to help others.

I never thought we could do this, but we did Charles, we did.

I am forever grateful and am proud to know you and share with others the outstanding knowledge and integrity in which you work with extremely difficult and sensitive cases and still keep the injured person feeling respected and supported.

Love and blessings, Doris Marcon