When Michael Hiltz’s herniated disk led to cauda equina syndrome (CES), it triggered the start of an unexpected health care journey for the 46 year-old. CES is a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots that send and receive messages to and from the legs, feet, and pelvic organs.
Michael’s journey started at his local hospital in Owen Sound, then he went to London Health Sciences Centre for surgery, then to Parkwood Hospital for rehabilitation. When he first arrived at Parkwood he was in a wheelchair, but by the time he was discharged March 20 after six weeks of therapy he was able to walk using crutches.
“When I first learned I had CES I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but through the fine care provided at LHSC and at Parkwood I have hope I will be able to walk without crutches soon,” Michael says.
Michael, who plays the guitar and sings around the house, wrote a song called Hall of Fame for Nurses to express his gratitude to all the staff who helped him with his recovery. “I am so grateful for the way the nurses looked after me – they kept my spirits up when I was at LHSC and Parkwood, and I’m sure that helped with my healing.”
Michael sang the song to the 4AE care team just before he was discharged, and travelled back to Parkwood to perform it live during nursing week celebrations in May.