Nadia is sixty-four years old and a retired nurse. She was born at The Salvation Army Toronto Grace maternity hospital in the former building on Bloor Street. She is another one of our Toronto Grace babies.
In the fall of 2016 Nadia was working part-time in a nursing home in Niagara Falls, Ontario. At the time, the pain in her left leg was bad and getting worse, and her inability to walk without the use of a cane was interfering with her work. She continued to persevere but eventually it became too difficult. “I still love nursing,” said Nadia, “and I was planning to work until I was seventy but I decided to retire.”
She moved to Toronto and went to see an orthopedic specialist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre (SJHC). A specialist there assessed Nadia and told her that she did not require surgery. Instead, she was prescribed medication to help her cope with her pain.
After returning home, though, she found that the pain medication was not helping. Nadia was quickly losing all her ability to walk. She recalls falling at least three times, because her left side completely gave out. “The pain became so severe,” said Nadia, “that if you just touched me I would scream!” She eventually called an ambulance and was taken back to SJHC.
The health care team at SJHC took X-rays and determined that Nadia had end-stage osteoarthritis of the left hip. “Basically”, Nadia said, “my hip was complete mush.”
“When I started as a nurse thirty years ago, we didn’t have mechanical lifts like in today’s hospitals,” said Nadia, “ I guess that doing all that manual lifting and repositioning of patients and being on my feet for hours probably had something to do with my hip injury.”
On March 18, 2017 she had an operation for a hip arthroplasty (total hip replacement). After her surgery, the health care team at SJHC recommended that Nadia be transferred to The Salvation Army Toronto Grace Health Centre (TGHC) for rehabilitation. She was admitted to TGHC on March 29, 2017 and is grateful for SJHC’s recommendation.
Nadia has worked as a nurse in Canada as well as in the United States, and she feels the health care at the TGHC is excellent. “What I love about the TGHC are the people. The people working here are very supportive. They told me when I first arrived that I would walk after my rehab. Honestly, considering how I felt at the time I didn’t believe them.”
Nadia was unable to walk when she first started her rehabilitation. Still, she never needed a mechanical lift and learned to transfer from the bed to a walker and from there to a wheelchair. Nadia’s progress was quick, and within two to three weeks she was able to leave the TGHC by herself to visit her daughter, who was in a coma, at SJHC.
“I’m able to walk with a cane now,” said Nadia, “because of the whole team at TGHC — the doctors, nurses, social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist — everyone. I can’t stress how doubtful I was at the beginning of my rehabilitation that I was going to walk. They really do take good care of their patients.”