Courage Award Winner Una

For years Una had been experiencing challenges with her legs, yet tests left the problem undiagnosed. Annually, she travelled to her home country, Jamaica, to visit family and to volunteer helping others. While in Jamaica her legs were feeling progressively numb and weak; she constantly felt like she was falling forward and could not straighten up. Eventually she reached a point where she was unable to walk. She called her family to inform them and booked an emergency flight home. Gracious strangers and fellow passengers aided her at the airport and on the plane. She arrived back in Edmonton with severe lower back and shoulder pain and within days was finally diagnosed with severe spinal canal stenosis.

Following surgery, Una found she could not walk or care for herself. Her knees hurt, her feet burned and she constantly felt like she was on pins and needles when moving between sitting, lying or standing positions. The severe pain impaired sleep and functioning. Una pushed through the pain and chose to look forward. Even though she was afraid to fall and felt a total lack of control, she put her trust in the Glenrose therapists, always choosing to try harder and repeating therapies many times before achieving success. Una displayed great perseverance, worked hard, saw the positive and believed. She received over three hundred visitors which gave her motivation in her journey and in turn to help others. Fellow patients came to seek her out, because, as Una says “I listen. It helps me and them.”

“Una, your smiles, upbeat personality and ability to offer thoughtful, generous comments to those around you came to encourage many. As the proverb says ‘a joyful heart is good medicine.’We admire how you use laughter to push through with intense determination, even while enduring pain.” Sandy-Lynn, Forrest, Karen & Team

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