TORONTO —; It is a new environment with a new therapist and new routines, but after just a few days, Barbara Butler is settling in just fine at West Park Healthcare Centre.
“I love it here,” she said.
However, getting there took some serious pushing.
READ MORE: GTA woman says she is being discharged from hospital early against her wishes
The Butlers’ lives were shattered in late 2014 after complications following routine surgery for a torn ACL nearly killed Barbara.
She survived, but was left quadriplegic, and was making progress this fall with intensive rehabilitation at Lyndhurst Centre.
When the centre told her she was being discharged, her family fought back. They felt it was due to tight budgets and insisted she was not ready to go home.
After Global News told their story, days before her discharge date of Oct. 27, Barbara was able to stay until there was room at an appropriate facility.
“Because of your help, I was able to rattle some cages,” said her husband.
One of their concerns was the complexity of Barbara’s condition, but the head of West Park said that wouldn’t be a problem.
“We bring together the physicians, nurses, a range of therapists all based on what the needs of the patient are,” said Anne-Marie Malek, President and CEO of West Park Healthcare Centre.
Butler just moved in a few days ago, and is already hard at work.
“She wants to be able to run with her kids again and give them hugs, so we will keep working until she can do that,” said Monika Watters, Butler’s sister.
But there is still a long and costly journey ahead.
A local sound studio, Pirate Toronto, donated time so Chuck Butler could record a love song he wrote for his wife.
He hopes to sell it on iTunes to raise funds to cover a multitude of costs, from extra rehab, to making their home more accessible.
They have already started an online fundraising campaign that has raised more than $57,000.
With the help of friends, volunteers and donations, they have done enough renovations to get Butler home for two days over Christmas.
Her husband said the tree is ready and waiting.
“We put everything on but the star, so we will be waiting for the star to go on the tree,” he said, looking over to make sure Butler wasn’t crying.
Soon, she couldn’t hold back the tears.
“It’s very special to me to have a star at home for them to share,” she said.
Barbara said she is thankful to so many people who have helped out along the way to try to make things just a little bit easier.
“It’s been hard for me, for all of us,” she said. “So hard.”