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03 September 2019

Hey Jude

Hey Jude
By Berton Woodward

Jude Krause remembers the moment clearly. It was nearly two years after he had suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm at age 11 that left the right side of his body with little movement. “I woke up one morning and I felt something weird,” he says. “I thought, ‘I know I can walk.’ I told my parents, ‘Hey, I need to show you something.’” And sure enough, he walked slowly around the living room.

Those hesitant first steps were part of a long and very determined Man in wheelchair with woman at picnic bench smilingprocess for Jude, now 21, as he dealt with a serious, and totally unexpected, brain injury that initially also robbed him of speech. For six years, he worked with the talented professionals at One Kids Place Children’s Treatment Centre in his hometown of North Bay, Ontario. His mother Julie, now a single mom who works full-time as an aircraft maintenance engineer, says she can’t praise highly enough the support that One Kids Place provided.

“We could not have come home from the hospital if we didn’t have these people,” she says. “Our needs were extremely high. I would have had to pick up and move to Ottawa to get treatment. This is not a very big town—about 50,000 people—and it’s a very large surrounding area. We are very lucky to have this expertise.”

Jude started out needing to learn language again as well as try to regain movement in his right arm and leg. He received occupational therapy, speech therapy and physiotherapy and was fitted for a wheelchair, as well as getting support in school. He admits he had a negative attitude at first. “I was very frustrated that I had had this injury, and I didn’t appreciate all that they were doing for me,” he says. “But over time, I appreciated it. The service was life-changing. I never expected to get to where I am now.”

Today, Jude speaks fluently and attends North Bay’s Canadore College, studying in the Strength and Sport Conditioning program with an eye to teaching physical and sports skills to young people with disabilities. He uses a wheelchair to conserve his energy, and he continues trying to improve his right-side movement and his pronunciation. But he works out tirelessly in the gym—and for the past year has competed in mixed martial arts competitions, both for people with disabilities and for all. “It’s a challenge, but I like it,” he says. He also worked as a counsellor at One Kids Place for a camp run by the Nipissing Association for Disabled Youth.

Given Jude’s progress through One Kids Place, says Julie, “we really understand how much we’ve been given and how much we’ve benefitted. It has been an extremely positive experience.”
 
Learn more about Jude’s story.