Jeanne Carrière

Bouncing back on every level

On December 15, 2021, I fell 85 metres. I broke six cervical vertebrae and was in a coma. When I came out of the coma in Hôpital Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, on Christmas day, I learned I had been left a quadriplegic.

At the end of winter, I was transferred to the Institut de réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay-de-Montréal (IRGLM). When I arrived, the joy of a first shower in nearly three months and being able wear something other than a hospital gown put me back in touch with normal life.

“My occupational therapist at the IRGLM showed remarkable creativity.”

In terms of rehabilitation, I had a long way to go. For example, my stability in my chair only lasted a few seconds. And I was scared of falling and hurting myself again. There was also a huge amount of work involved in performing day-to-day tasks such as personal hygiene, getting dressed, and getting from the wheelchair to the bed. But my occupational therapist at the IRGLM showed remarkable creativity. Among other things, because my hands weren’t functional, she had to invent methods so that I could feed myself. 

With her and the physiotherapist, we developed a rigorous one-year program. Why such a tight schedule when this kind of rehabilitation takes more time? Because it allowed me to meet a deadline to resubmit an application for a film contest that I’d been accepted into at the time of my accident.  

“An Olympian process in which I saw myself as an athlete.”

As part of psychological journey at the IRGLM, this goal helped to constantly motivate me in a process that I qualify as Olympian and in which I saw myself as an athlete.

In October 2022, I was already able to get back to work. With my finger joints, I wrote my project proposal for the contest. 

Unfortunately, I had to return to the IRGLM the next winter following a skiing accident and an infection caused by my collision with a tree. However, after two years of quadriplegia and the close relationship that had been built with the staff there, I knew the aspects I wanted to improve. 

The proximity with the team has transformed into a friendship over time. For example, it’s always a pleasure to spend time with my caregiver. Each time we see each other, we laugh, chat, sing, and so on.

Supporting the REA Foundation allows accident victims to recover thanks to the precious help of the devoted people who accompany us each and every step of the way. 

Jeanne Carrière, 28 years old, scriptwriter and director