Our Stories

"Yes, I can do it."

Albert Toomey (left) gained confidence and his First Aid Certificate from a course offered by Resettlement Intern Matt Carrol (right).
Albert Toomey, 2015

I was born in Cobourg, Ontario in 1958. Back then, it was a little wilderness town where the millionaires from the US came to vacation.

In November 2014, I was walking home from work. There was a car blocking the sidewalk, I stepped off into the street with my bag of groceries, I slipped, and down I go.

I lay on the ground where I had fallen and I could not move my arms and legs, I could only move my head. I thought, I’m going to the hospital; I’m not ever going to be able to work again.

Well, I went to the hospital. I had to take a week or so off work, and I hate taking time off work. The day before I was going to go back to work, I got an e-mail. I called back, and it seemed from the way I talked over the phone, I was rude. It went from there – I got suspended, next thing I know I’m out the door.

So I was out of a job. I had money saved up, I was trying to find work, it was close to Christmas, people weren’t hiring, then between January and March there wasn’t a lot of hiring going on.

I just couldn’t afford to keep my apartment. It was the first apartment I’d had on my own – just a little place with a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, a closet – but for me, it was the ideal space. To lose that was hard. I felt like the carpet was pulled out from under me. It was devastating. I had to sell my furniture. I put so much into things that were just thrown out.

So I came to Good Shepherd. When I came here, I started working with Akua, one of the Resettlement workers. I still wanted to be able to give back, I wanted to work, so I took advantage of all the resources Good Shepherd has to offer.

The First AID Course boosted my confidence a lot when I passed it. I thought I was going to fail. I have a learning disability in reading and writing, and I get frustrated easily. I walked out with a lot more confidence – I can do it.

I pick things up better with hands on. That’s why I liked the First Aid Certificate course, it was really hands on. Now I can say, hey, yes, I can do it. Anything is possible if you just put your mind to it.

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