In 1995 Dr. Howard Rocket’s life changed forever when he suffered a massive stroke. Dr. Rocket survived. Survival however, was just the beginning.
We caught up with Dr. Rocket to learn about his experience along the road to recovery and his efforts to support Toronto Rehab’s life-changing work.
How did Toronto Rehab aid in your rehabilitation?
Through intense compassionate therapy, Toronto Rehab guided me back to independence. Not only did I learn to speak, sit, stand, and eventually walk again, but more than anything, they gave me back my self-confidence and personal dignity…in short, they gave me back my life!
How was your rehabilitation taken to a new level twenty years later?
Twenty years after my stroke, Dr. Milos Popovic and Toronto Rehab invented a functional electric stimulation device. This device helped me relax my totally paralyzed left arm and hand, allowing me to have partial functional movement and be able to wear a five fingered glove instead of a mitten. Amongst other things, this gives me the ability to hold and retrieve my credit cards… which is incredible! This again increased my self-confidence and personal dignity!
You helped fund the Rocket Family Upper Extremity Clinic at Toronto Rehab.
Last year, a second Clinic opened its doors. What is the main objective of these Clinics? The main objective of the Rocket Family Upper Extremity Clinic at the University Centre and Lyndhurst Centre is to help people who have had strokes or spinal cord injuries regain some upper limb function, and restore their sense of self-worth and self-respect.
How have you raised the funds?
Funds were raised personally and through the Rocket Ride 4 Rehab. Over the last four years, we have raised over 800 thousand dollars!
Why should people support Toronto Rehab?
It’s simple. Everyone will either directly or indirectly need the services provided at Toronto Rehab at some point — and all the money goes to help people get their lives back! What a gift!