Mike Severloh

As the oldest of two children, I was raised into a tight-knit family. Each one of us is so important to each other and, though life has brought distance between us, we have always held onto each other tightly.

My wife and I were living in Vancouver, BC when my accident happened – over 2000 kilometers away from our immediate families in Winnipeg, MB. However, the night of my accident my Mom flew across the country to be by my side, followed by my Dad, sister, and nephew the next morning. Over the next months, my wife’s immediate family also came to visit.

As my brain recovered while in the hospital, I became increasingly aware of what had happened and why I was in the hospital. With it came the awareness that I was surrounded by my wife and family and that they were cheering me on.

Having family present was an important source of support for my wife. Since we live far away from both of our immediate families, having family around meant that together, they could battle the hardest times of unknowns and share in celebration of the smallest glimpses of hope.

My family was able to witness my recovery from the day I was first admitted into the hospital, to the time I spent in a rehabilitation center. This provided them with an important sense of closure, after an intense emotional rollercoaster. They had the opportunity to watch my healing progress and were able to return home knowing that I would be okay.

My family’s presence during their time spent with me was important to many different people and on many different levels: Their presence allowed me to be surrounded by those I love. Their presence helped support my wife while she experienced this emotional rollercoaster. And I believe that it was equally important to my family to be present so that they were able to witness my recovery and gain a sense of peace before returning home.

I will always be grateful that my family was able to come and support me during this crucial moment in my life, despite the financial strain that it undoubtedly caused.