Nathalie Lawson is grateful to the more than 400 people who have provided her with a little peace of mind while she oversees her daughter’s recovery.
At least for a little while, Lawson will not have the financial stress of worrying how she’s going to afford to stay by her daughter’s side while she recovers from a spinal cord injury at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
Madison, 13, a competitive equestrian rider, was on a horse June 29 at Lockton Farms in Callander when it threw her to the ground, then fell on her. Her injuries have left her with little feeling in her legs.
Madison’s coach, Paige Lockton-Wilde, organized last weekend’s horse show to help the family pay for medical bills and $4,000 worth of leg and body braces not covered by the family’s insurance plan.
The event, which included an appearance by members of the Toronto Mounted Police, raised more than $9,000.
“It’s shocking and I’m so grateful to have that peace of mind to be able to go the Rehabilitation centre with Madison,” Nathalie said from Toronto.
“We had a little bit of a savings, but it was quickly depleted in the first three weeks. What this community, especially Paige, has done is shocking. I’m overwhelmed, almost in disbelief and completely relieved that one burden has been lifted.”
Lawson said her daughter’s recovery has been slowly progressing, but lately she’s had a few setbacks, including weight loss.
“She can’t keep anything down,” said Lawson, adding her daughter has undergone several tests.
Surgery to stabilize Madison’s spine went well and Lawson said the doctors are optimistic she will walk again.
Lockton-Wilde has been getting frequent updates on Madison’s progress.
“Doctors got her to the point where she is wearing the brace and she’s starting to sit up. She was also up on her feet once and feeling is returning here and there.”
Lockton-Wilde said Madison is frustrated because she’s not able to see the progress as quickly as she would like.
“She’s a fighter, she has a good spark.”
Madison has been riding horses since the age of five and has been training with international equestrian Lockton-Wilde for the last two years.
The teen’s dream is to ride and train horses for a living and to represent Canada at the Olympic Games.