A few days before her high school prom in 2016, Natasha was in a horrific car accident that almost took her life.
Natasha sustained a traumatic brain injury in her accident and in the early days, she heard the word “never” a lot. She was told she would never walk again, never speak again, never breathe unassisted, and never eat on her own again.
Determined to prove everyone wrong, Natasha came to Holland Bloorview in the summer of that same year. She was an inpatient and lived at the hospital for eight months.
“It’s true, when I got here I couldn’t hold my head up, I couldn’t move at all. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t speak I couldn’t even breathe on my own,” Natasha recalls.
She took part in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social work, recreational therapy, and cognitive therapy – all of which helped her recover physically and emotionally.
“I’m talking, breathing, eating on my own and I’m going to walk,” says the 20-year-old with confidence. She wants to say to everyone who doubted her, “Ha! Look at me!”
While all of these therapies played a major role in her recovery, Natasha’s favourite is music therapy, which she continues to do as an outpatient.
An important part of Holland Bloorview’s care for almost 70 years, the hospital offers a variety of programs for clients like Natasha that use music to encourage the development of social, motor, communication, and sensory skills.
“Music therapy continues to help me because it’s a way for me to re-enter the arts world through music,” she says, noting that before her accident she was heavily involved in dance and theatre.
“It helps me to express my thoughts and feelings regarding my accident and injuries or just my thoughts and feelings from the day,” Natasha adds. “This is especially true when I can’t find the words to use to describe them. I can just let it all out through music.”