When David was 4 months old he was bitten by a mosquito that carried Western Equine Encephalitis (new window) also known as Sleeping Sickness. The disease is usually passed on from birds to horses, but in some rare cases it can be passed to humans. In mild cases of Sleeping Sickness a person would get flu like symptoms; cold, chills and a high fever. In the more severe cases, brain damage, coma and even death can be a result of this disease. David temperature was 105F for a five to seven day period, which caused brain damage to the left side of his brain which controls the right side of the body. The doctors did not expect David to live. At age one David was 12 pounds and paralyzed. David has said there were two key points to why he survived Sleeping Sickness, “first was the will to live and second was loving parents, brothers and a sister that didn’t care that I was so terribly sick and wanted to provide a loving home”.
Throughout his childhood there were many doctors that David saw, that told his parents he did not have much of a life to live. Some even said, “As long as he was fed, content and able to shit his pants, that is the best he could hope for”. This was not an acceptable diagnosis for his parents who spent countless hours helping David with therapy which helped him to walk, talk and to advance his motor skills. From the ages of 3 to 19, David had five surgeries.
David’s disability affects his everyday life as he is not as mobile as he once was. This is very frustrating for him. David has slowly started walking again and is hoping to get most of his mobility back.
David joined the Employ-Ability Program in 2009 and has been working at Home Depot (new window) since April 2010. He met his employer at the Neil Squire Job Fair in 2010. He first applied for the Sales Greeter position online, which he found on the website SaskJobs. He had to send his cover letter and resume in and complete an online multiple choice quiz. He had a second interview and then a third with the store manager, Gail. After that third interview Gail called him to offer him the position of Sales Greeter. David enjoys his position at Home Depot (new window) and plans to be there for a long time.