Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Right Place, Wrong Time

"About a month ago, I fainted when I stood up in a hot bath, fell and hit my head leading to another brain injury. I'm getting a tiny bit better ever day but it's been a slow go."
"I'm on indefinite bed rest and I admit it was frightening for me to have to cancel everything. It's hard to hear that lying in bed is somehow going to help in the long run when you know your family needs you now."
"But my body has slowed me down against my wishes and this time instead of pushing against it, I took a leap of faith. I am resting and my family and friends have been my saviours."
Kellylee Evans, Ottawa jazz singer, Juno Award winner
Kellylee Evans
Ottawa jazz singer Kellylee Evans is the focus of a gofundme fundraiser after a head injury left her bedridden and unable to perform. (Ottawa Sun File photo)
This entertainer's tours abroad are on hold for now. Her role as mother to three young children has been placed in abeyance. Her professional career will wait. She has suffered an experience whose outcome has been to outline how fragile we are in our oblivion respecting the harm that may be done when ordinary, everyday events intersect with phenomenona whose impact on us we rarely suspect could be capable of sidelining our lives for significant periods.

In June of 2013 Kellylee Evans was busy at her kitchen sink. Holding a wet sponge, standing at the sink while an electrical storm raged outside her kitchen window, and she standing directly before it. The wet sponge touched the kitchen sink, like many such sinks, a metal one. Lightning struck, probing its route through the plumbing of her house, and it sought her out, a heedless victim.

"There was a flash, I could feel a surge go through me, you could feel this energy, everything seemed to stop. The rumbling thunder was immediate . . . I knew I had been hit."  Who might begin to guess that a bolt of lightning could invade a home and search out a link, transforming someone's life? "It was just bang, this huge jolt. Like the biggest carpet shock you've ever had. I screamed and everyone came running."

Her husband, her children, all responded. But there was no visible sign that she had been harmed. And after the initial shock had passed, it was assumed that there was no harm done. She slept that night a straight twelve hours. And then she felt a "fluttering or racing" of her heart accompanied by a loss of sensation on the left side of her body. And her memory seemed impacted; she experienced difficulty forming sentences, was slightly dizzy with laboured breathing and found it difficult to speak.

"A singer needs her breathing . . . she needs her voice. That’s all there is to it", she said shortly after the event. All these symptoms mandated a trip to hospital. An MRI disclosed nothing awry. Her "breath issues", said the doctors, likely resulted from her chest muscles tightening in reaction to the lightning shock. She went from using a wheelchair to the use of a cane to get around. And then the symptoms gradually dissipated.  And she resumed her normal lifestyle. 

Until three months ago when she suffered a concussion when she fainted getting out of a hot bath. And that is when her doctor stepped in to inform her that she would be best off voluntarily bedridden until she fully recuperated. "Her doctor insisted she cancel all tour dates and has instructed her to be on bed rest indefinitely. She's been told to keep her eyes closed and not look at a computer, so working from her bed is not an option for proper healing", explained her friend, Toronto singer Amanda Martinez.

Who started a crowdfunding webpage on Ms. Evans's behalf, with a goal of raising $30,000 to enable the now-single-mother to cover expenses for groceries, shelter and medical requirements. As of this day the goal has almost been achieved.

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