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Chris and Connie MacGregor and their family sitting on their porch
Chris and Connie MacGregor (seated) with their family.

A farmer. A hard worker. An independent man. This would describe Chris MacGregor, even after he experienced a stroke at age 50. 

“The stroke took everything on his right side. It took his speech. He could do nothing,” says Connie, his wife of 23 years. 

To regain movement, Chris received therapy in the Stroke Rehabilitation Program at Parkwood Institute. His care team developed a personalized treatment plan, which included therapies tailored specifically to Chris. For instance, he used the physical movements needed to climb into a tractor – something familiar to a farmer like Chris – as part of his rehabilitation program.

With grit and determination, Chris has made great strides since his strokes in 2018. He walks to the end of the laneway three times a day by himself.  And while his speech is slow, says Connie, it’s coming along. “We have a long journey ahead of us but the care Chris received at Parkwood has set him on the right path.” 

As the country’s population ages and rates of chronic diseases rise, more Canadians will experience mobility challenges like Chris has, and will see their work and family life disrupted.  As a result, pressure on the health care system will surge.

St. Joseph’s is taking direct aim at these looming challenges with the creation of The Gray Centre for Mobility & Activity at Parkwood Institute – a specialized Canadian centre made possible through donor support.

The Centre will expand and advance the medical, research and community work already happening within patient care at Parkwood says Dr. Tim Doherty, Chair/Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at St. Joseph’s and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University. 

This has been the dream of clinicians and researchers at Parkwood Institute for decades and was finally realized thanks to a historic gift of $7.5M from local couple Bill and Lynne Gray. 

“This generous donation is very exciting and will have enormous impact,” says Dr. Doherty. “It will help us to acquire innovative technologies and bring together teams of researchers, clinicians and educators in a different way to develop new methods of assessing mobility challenges and create new treatments to improve patient outcomes.”
 

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