HOK #30: Tyler Lisacek


Meet Tyler Lisacek.

“I grew up in North Glengarry, and moved to Ottawa in 2011 to attend Algonquin College. I moved to Westboro last year. When I was 13, I was riding my bike home along a straight country road and I was hit by a truck doing 98 km/h. I spent one and a half months in a coma, and had damage to all four lobes of my brain. When I awoke, and realized I was in a hospital bed, I worked up all of my energy, and opened my eyes. I saw a woman I did not at first recognize. When I finally realized it was my mother, I heard someone by my bedside say ‘Let’s go for lunch.’ I didn’t want them to leave, so I dug down deep into my soul and used all of my remaining energy to say a garbled form of ‘Hi Mom.’ My stepfather describes that moment as better than 100 Christmases, and 100 birthdays. I was like a computer who had lost his internal hard drive, and had to relearn everything again. During physiotherapy one day, I asked when I was going to begin to learn how to walk again. The people around me said ‘Oh, you’ll never walk again.’ I replied, ‘That is not happening.’ I started working on walking the next day. The day I walked by myself down the hall, all the nurses stopped what they were doing and applauded. I set a goal of attending and graduating from College.

I was right hand dominant before the accident, but a shake in my arm after the accident has forced me to learn to write with my left hand. I started out in graphic design, but I was unable to draw anymore, so I focused on photography, and switched to that program. I graduated last year. Now I spend my time speaking to various groups of people with my doctor, and my parents in a group called Think First. We educate people on brain trauma, and share my story with others. I’m a really stubborn person, and I believe that is one of the main reasons I’m here today.” Collected by Ellen Bond

Humans of Kitchissippi is a special street photography project designed to introduce readers to some of the people who live, work, and play in Kitchissippi. Each instalment of HOK contains three elements: a photo, a name, and a quote from the subject that reveals a little bit about who they are. View our growing collection of humans right here.

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