Monday, December 9, 2013

Where is she now?

Two weeks before the end of her Grade 10 school year, Irene Tran—a bubbly teenager who excelled academically and was an accomplished pianist—was rushed to hospital with a ruptured brain aneurysm.

When she came to Holland Bloorview for rehab, Irene was paralyzed on the right side, struggled to speak and had lost the ability to read, write and do math.

Irene’s dreams of going to university were derailed. She couldn’t return to the academic stream at her school. Instead of graduating from high school in two more years, she had to put in five more to earn her diploma.

Everything changed, Irene says, but it wasn’t all bad. Now, seven years later, Irene’s at university in early childhood studies and works part-time at one of Holland Bloorview’s integrated nursery schools (see photo above).

Before her injury Irene says she had a rigid way of viewing success. "I’m going to university and I’m going to grad school by the time I turn 22," she remembers saying.  

"After my rehab I began volunteering at Holland Bloorview in the school and in recreation therapy. I found I really like working with children and with kids with special needs. Then job opportunities came up because of my volunteer experience.

"...I never would have gone into this field prior to my injury because I didn’t have exposure to people with disabilities."

Read about how Irene managed life after brain injury in the winter issue of BLOOM magazine, out at the end of January. E-mail me if you'd like to receive a copy


Sometimes good things come out of the bad
So happy to hear Irene is doing so well and I know the children are lucky to have someone who gets it. There sometimes seems to be few of us that do and can be rolemodels for these kids

I know my son is in the next classroom, but we still feel pretty lucky to know you Irene. I didn't know your story until now, but am looking forward to reading more in the January issue of the magazine. See you in class. ;)
Kate (Imaani's mom)

Thank you!

Kate, I will have the pleasure of working with Immani in January as my primary students and I will be visiting next door for the month. I look forward to it :)