A Mother Remembers Her Son
On March 24, 2011, Kyle Read’s 18th birthday was celebrated in Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH). It’s a day his mother, Elaine Read, remembers not only for her son’s milestone age, but for another milestone moment: this was the first day Kyle was able to eat solid food in nearly three months.
Kyle had been the passenger in a car accident on the 1st of that year and had suffered an acquired brain injury. He had to relearn everything – how to walk, talk, and eat – and was left with short-term memory loss. He spent a total of six months in hospital recovering and relearning, two of them at NHH.
Elaine was happy with the care Kyle received at NHH, and the location – only about half an hour from her home in Hastings – made a world of difference for her. Before Kyle was transferred to NHH, he had been in a hospital in downtown Toronto. Elaine had stayed close by and found the change in environment, and bustling city added stress to an already stressful time in her life. She was grateful to have Kyle closer to home when he moved to NHH and was thankful for the friendly staff and excellent care he received.
When Kyle was finally able to move home, his stepfather, Jim Bryan, left his job as a mechanic to stay home and care for him. With the support of his family and medical professionals, Kyle was able to overcome obstacles and accomplish goals he set for himself: he graduated from Campbellford District High School (CDHS) in 2014, started running 5km races, worked at Sharpe’s Food Market, volunteered for the CDHS Breakfast Club, and learned to both skate and snowshoe.
Sadly, Kyle passed away on January 25, 2019. Along with his mother and stepfather, he left behind his loving sister, Sarah, and her partner, Mitchell. In memory of Kyle, Elaine chose to make a donation to NHH Foundation as well as to the other hospitals where he had been treated.
For Elaine, giving back to those who cared for Kyle was a way to honour the memory of her smiling, rosy-cheeked son.