Courage Award Winner Addyson

You never think that it will be your family that is rocked by a medical misfortune. The Parsons family never dreamed of the journey their young daughter, Addyson, would travel and the way that their lives would change for the foreseeable future.

It began with a blurry right eye. Addyson asked her sister to take a look to see if there was anything obstructing her vision, thinking that it was something simple to fix. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong so Addyson’s mother took her to the optometrist, but that only raised more questions. The Parsons family was then sent to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Doctors did a CT scan and, in the early hours of the morning, doctors told Addyson’s mother, Angel, that Addyson had a brain tumour. This is information no parent or child should have to hear, but it was something the whole family was determined to overcome.

At first Addyson didn’t quite know what was going on. She understood that surgeons would soon be removing some tissue from her brain, but to her it seemed like it would be a small operation that would be a big help. Unfortunately, her tumour was actually the size of an orange and removing that much tissue left Addyson’s entire right side weak.

This is where her journey to recovery with the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital begins. She arrived at the Glenrose in a wheelchair, seeming fragile to those who hadn’t met her yet. They were quickly proven wrong when Addyson displayed incredible positivity and determination to heal. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but with the help of staff at the Glenrose and her own inner strength she also knew that she would regain her outer strength.

Addyson’s right arm wouldn’t stop shaking and therapists looked for ways to regain some of the control that she lost. They encouraged her to build up her strength by using it as much as possible, even though it was the last thing that she wanted to do. To keep her focused on using her right arm, Addyson’s left arm was put in a cast to encourage use in her right arm. Therapists also wanted her to feel empowered in her own wellness journey. They had Addyson start a list of activities that she could do with only one hand and involved her in her treatment plan.

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