Mike's Story: Burn survivor turns adversity into opportunity
In June 2002, Mike Hodgkinson was repairing furniture when fire engulfed his second-floor apartment. Mike was forced to jump four and a half metres to his neighbour's driveway in order to save himself.
The devastating accident left Mike with third-degree burns to more than 60 per cent of his body. Only his face, neck and hands were spared. He suffered serious spinal and pelvic fractures, making it nearly impossible to walk.
Six weeks after his accident, Mike arrived at St. John's Rehab Hospital's specialized burn rehabilitation program. Faced with both emotional and physical challenges, Mike's previously active and independent life seemed forever changed. Mike explains: "even walking a few hundred metres to the corner store was an unattainable goal."
With the support of St. John's Rehab's exceptional multidisciplinary staff, Mike persevered and soon found the hope and strength to recover from his traumatic accident.
Today, 44 year-old Mike has made an amazing recovery. He can walk and has recently regained his ability to run. He is married and leads a rewarding career teaching special needs children in a school in Kuwait.
"The 43 days of incredible therapy, support and caring were essential in helping me re-acquire the skills necessary to lead the independent and rewarding life that I am now blessed with."
Mike has turned his challenges into incredible opportunities. On December 22, 2009, Mike participated in the Olympic Torch Relay through Tillsonburg, Ontario. Half of the town, including his family and friends, showed up to cheer him all the way. Mike celebrated his own amazing achievement and gives hope to those who are also faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.