Photo of Helga, an older adult woman standing in front of a building with palm trees in the background

In a 2016 issue of Sinai Health Magazine, Helga Humphrey shared her story of recovering from a fractured spine, a journey that started in Mount Sinai’s Emergency Department and then a seamless transition to rehabilitation at Bridgepoint. We followed up with Helga to find out how she’s doing, almost three years later.

Helga Humphreys, 80, spends time in Mexico each winter, going on long walks on the beach promenade and enjoying the sunshine. But just four years ago, Helga wasn’t sure if she would be able to continue taking these winter getaways. One summer morning in 2016, Helga slipped and fell in her Toronto apartment. She arrived at Mount Sinai’s Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Centre by ambulance and was diagnosed with a fractured spine.

Within just a few hours, Helga received the diagnosis, was treated by a specialized geriatric emergency medicine nurse and then transferred directly from the Emergency Department to a rehabilitation unit at Bridgepoint. She started her rehabilitation journey that same day. Helga says everything went so smoothly, “I was so amazed, I couldn’t believe it.”

Since her rehabilitation, Helga has gotten back to doing the things she loves, including travel. When she’s back in Toronto, Helga has resumed taking swim fitness classes five times a week. She also volunteers twice a week cooking and serving meals in a local program for seniors. “I truly am enjoying an active, independent lifestyle that many people over 80 don’t get to enjoy,” she says.

Helga’s story is an example of how Sinai Health is actively working towards a system where Emergency Medicine is deeply connected to the rest of the medical system, where diagnosis, treatment and transition are handled seamlessly so that patients receive the right care at the right place at the right time. You can read the original story about Helga’s experience and about how research at the Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute is helping to enhance care for patients our patients.

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