Maureen Adams. Photo credit: Contributed

BrainTrust lifeline for Kelowna single mom

Importance of Giving Tuesday hits home for Maureen Adams

Maureen Adams died and came back to life.

For that, the Kelowna single mom is thankful to have a second chance to raise her teenage son and for the existence of BrainTrust Canada to help her cope with the demands of daily life.

“Before my health issues came up, I didn’t even know what BrainTrust Canada was,” said Adams.

“Now they are helping me to regain my confidence and get through the learning curve of adapting to a whole new life.”

Adams is telling her story now in support of Giving Tuesday, a global movement held Nov. 28 to encourage giving and volunteering in the consumer oriented aftermath of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday is meant to harness the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities, to provide a platform to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges.

Related: Make this a season of giving

For Adams, her life changed on June 19 of last year when she suffered a stroke, after complaining to her son following a walk that something wasn’t right with her and he should call an ambulance.

Adams ended up technically dying, was worked on by medical staff for 45 minutes, and brought back to life.

“When I died, somebody over wherever there is, said I wasn’t done yet and sent me back. I didn’t see a white light or have an out of body experience. There are no words to describe what I went though, just that it was awfully pretty and beautiful.

“My guess is it was because of my youngest boy, who is 12, and that I owe it to him to finish raising him to be a good man like his older brothers are.”

A week later, she suffered a brain bleed that led her to be induced into a coma and flown to Vancouver for further treatment.

“I woke up from the coma scatter-brained and totally blind,” Adams recalled.

As a result of those two medical trauma events, her second chance at life came with some drawbacks. The right side of her body is constantly numb and she is still undergoing surgery for her eyesight.

“My left eye is visually challenged and my right eye I can’t see anything at all but I have a surgery scheduled for Dec. 13 regarding my right eye so we’ll see what happens,” she said.

Unable to work or drive a vehicle due to her disability, Adams says BrainTrust has helped her reorganize her life, providing assistance with her son’s schooling and encouraged her to push ahead despite dealing with short-term memory loss.

“They have programs that are helpful to me, and they are in touch with me two, sometimes three times a week,” Adams said.

“With organizations like BrainTrust, if we are healthy we don’t think about them perhaps because we don’t need them ourselves until you suddenly find yourself unexpectedly walking down that road.”

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