A brush with loss of life, brutal accidents and a very long climb back again: A little ‘Legend’ shares her miraculous tale


Sour Patch.

That is the to start with factor Shea Kerin acquired to style right after six months of feeding by a tube. Seated with her household in a Scarborough film studio, the 12-year-previous spoke about the milestones in her recovery right after miraculously surviving a vehicle crash which killed her more mature brother in December 2020.

Then, her spouse and children planned a funeral at the same time as medical doctors planned Shea’s life-conserving operation. Now, the Port Hope female is generating strides in her restoration and is the central character in the new House of Legends campaign by SickKids Basis to acknowledge the tales of its sufferers.

The marketing campaign is the ultimate section in the method dubbed SickKids VS, which started 6 several years in the past. Household of Legends both of those hearkens back again to the stories of before individuals and capabilities new ones, like Shea’s, which draw awareness to the battles, resilience and victories transpiring inside of the hospital’s 4 partitions.

In July, in that darkish Scarborough studio, Shea stood atop a mountain of crutches and wheelchairs. Beside her was a black car, flipped in excess of — a recreation of the accident when Shea and her brother Cormac had been struck by a car or truck whilst waiting for their college bus on a snowy morning.

Cormac died at the scene. Shea was taken to SickKids. She experienced many injuries, but the most really serious was what her mother describes as “internal decapitation.” Her head was attached to the leading of her neck only by a several nerves, a problem so major that most people under no circumstances make it to healthcare facility, in accordance to Shea’s neurosurgeon Dr. George Ibrahim.

Her head experienced to be place into a unit to hold it in position while Ibrahim and orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Lebel meticulously planned a medical procedures to reattach her head to her spine without having worsening her other accidents.

The medical procedures took all working day, but was thriving. Shea emerged alive, however unresponsive. She couldn’t wander, chat or try to eat, and “it’s tough to know how a person will recuperate just after this sort of a substantial damage,” explained Ibrahim.

In excess of time, even though, Shea begun responding, subsequent instructions and communicating. With enable, she began to get out of bed and wander.

And that summer day, Shea stood tall and poised as a crew filmed her and other affected person journeys. As an alternative of using compensated actors, the marketing campaign draws on true sufferers to notify their tales, with the consent of their family members.

“They’re genuine children who have had serious stories, real ordeals that we can only begin to consider to have an understanding of,” explained Lisa Charendoff, affiliate director of local community stakeholder relations at SickKids Basis. “By coming right here, we want them just to have a wonderful time, to really feel distinctive and to really feel appreciated for what they are doing and to have an encounter that they can convey to people about and say, ‘Look, I’m in that motion picture.’”

Requested about milestones in her recovery, Shea’s hand shoots up. Just one of her initial achievements was eliminating her “halo,” a metallic contraption which safeguards the spine and neck after medical procedures.

“It was large,” she said.

An additional stage was abandoning the feeding tube and tasting food items yet again, in Could 2021. By February 2022, Shea was feeding on solids.

For her dad and mom and older sister, the biggest milestone was when she returned home, in July 2021. Shea was again in college by September.

“She has created a remarkable, amazing recovery,” Ibrahim stated.

Her family members has been altered by the encounter. “We’re just a ton additional appreciative of the issues we have,” explained her father, Brendan.

As for Shea, her journey proceeds. She spoke in whispers — that is all her neck muscle tissues make it possible for appropriate now. But following all the things she’s been via, Shea does not let that faze her.

She whispered a easy still potent information to readers:

“Never give up.”

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