Kendra Erhardt 2019 Courage Award Winner

Kendra has spent the last few years travelling the world, earning a geology degree, completing her yoga teaching certificate, skiing and otherwise enjoying life. In March, while skiing in Jasper, she fell and hit a tree at 70 km/h. The accident left her a paraplegic.

After a month in the ICU, Kendra came to the Glenrose Hospital where she was by far the youngest on her unit. Instead of isolating herself, she identified what she had in common with the other patients and quickly became a source of encouragement to everyone around her. When she spent time in the pool, she promoted it to others on her unit as a great way to get physical activity. Kendra’s go-getter attitude served as inspiration to many at the hospital, including her care team. They were continuously impressed with the advanced skills she was able to master quickly, including her vertical transfers and dressing herself in her wheelchair. Her determination to learn and excel was contagious and she achieved milestones during her inpatient stay that are far beyond typical, including living alone in the Independent Living Suite.

Since going home Kendra has continued to read and research about living with a spinal cord injury. She is active with her friends and in her community and continues to knock down any barriers put in front of her.

“She came into the hospital with the goal of learning as much as she can while she was here. She always had a radiating and contagious energy to everyone around her – not just from her colourful elephant pants.” Crystal Shum, Physiotherapist

Watch Kendra’s Courage Award video here.

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