Coping with Illness Program

35 year old single mom of a 7 year old boy, arrives in Toronto to take up an exciting promotion in a small but developing national company. She and her son have lived in a small city in Manitoba. They do not know anybody in Toronto. They will miss their extended family but tell themselves they are just a phone call or e-mail away. School started [CONTINUED]… 2 weeks ago, but no after school care has yet been arranged.

Mom is to start her new position in 2 weeks. They have just moved into a townhouse located in the center of the city, close to Mom’s new office.

Saturday night, on her way to the basement laundry, Mom slipped on the stairs and had a concussion and broken leg. Neighbours called 911 and mom was brought to hospital from where we were called.

Needless to say, mom was highly anxious. A neighbour who had a child at the school which her son was attending wanted to help but was a complete stranger to mom. Mom was asking us to make a brief assessment of her neighbour’s offer of help. We did so and found the neighbour to be sincere and capable of looking after the son. We met with mom, her neighbour and the son at the hospital so that the son knew he had mom’s blessing and approval staying with the neighbour. The school principal also became involved and we organized a drive to the hospital every day so that son could see his mom. Hockey tryouts had just begun and a hockey mom provided transportation twice a week.

We also spoke with relatives in Manitoba who needed reassurance that their relatives were being treated well in the big city We received and arranged payment for furniture delivery from Manitoba, Although a brief stay in a rehab hospital was necessary, Mom was able to return home earlier than expected because of the cooperation of public, private and volunteer resources coming together to meet her needs at home.

Although we believe that several friendships will emerge from this situation, we can think of easier ways to make friends in Toronto.