On Friday, November 17, students taking Grade 11 Phys Ed or GLE/GLS travelled to Sunnybrook Hospital to partake in the P.A.R.T.Y. program (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth). This program was developed to teach youth about trauma and preventable injuries.
Throughout the day we listened to many motivating and engaging guest speakers, toured the hospital and participated in workshops.
The guest speakers showcased all different parts of the trauma experience. One speaker who is an Occupational Therapist chose a volunteer, Gabriel Browning Rodriguez ‘21, to provide a demo of what happens during a trauma recovery. She demonstrated different recovery tools and showed empathy for the amount of time it takes trauma patients to heal because they often have many broken bones.
We also heard from a Toronto Police Services officer who told us about the dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving. He surprised me by sharing that more people die from distracted driving than drunk driving, which is something I find under-reported.
The most inspiring speakers were two trauma survivors. They shared their stories about living with permanent brain damage. They taught us that even when things are going well the unexpected can happen. It was inspiring to see how people can lose all of their memories but manage to recover and function and live relatively normal lives.
Aside from listening to speakers, we toured the ICU and the operation area. While in the operation area, it occurred to me how many different people work to help others with brain trauma both inside and outside of the operating room.
We also acted out different “Say No to Drugs” scenarios which sparked a really interesting discussion about realistic strategies to get out of an uncomfortable pressure situation. One strategy is to carry around a cup full of water to avoid people offering you drinks.
Overall, the day spent at Sunnybrook Hospital reiterated to me the importance of always being fully aware of my surroundings, especially in cars.