Mike Ellah first joined the Ingersoll Day Program approximately 18 years ago as a client, one year after a burst aneurysm changed his life. He was on his way to work one day when he “felt as though fingers were running through his hair downward”. His next memory was waking up at University Hospital in London. Not expected to recover, Mike’s family was told that he wouldn’t live and that they should consider organ donation. Miraculously Mike survived but had a long road ahead; during his one-month stay Mike experienced difficulty recognizing his kids, had memory loss and personality changes, after which he spent 3 months at Parkwood Institute in London completing the rehab program. Thankfully Mike made remarkable progress!
One year later, Mike’s (then) wife Margaret heard about the Ingersoll Adult Day Program through St. Paul’s Church; Mike started attending the program 2 days a week to provide respite and engage him in social activities, and he has been with the program ever since. Slowly Mike transitioned from being a client to becoming a volunteer by helping out a bit here and there. He says “I’m so lucky!” and that he loves giving back and being a part of the program.
Ingersoll ADP recreationist, Kelly Maloney says “Mike is the perfect volunteer”. “When he is not here we miss him.” Mike never needs to be asked to help out. While volunteering Mike anticipates a need and jumps in – whether he is running an activity such as the Coffee News or assisting in place of a staff member who is needed to support a client’s needs, Mike works fluidly with the staff…and always with a smile and sometimes even a song and dance. “Mike brings energy and helps to make the program fun for our clients” says an ADP staff member. Thoughtful, considerate and a true part of the team, this program wouldn’t be the same without you Mike!