February 20, 2015


Kristina Shelden, Resource Coordinator, PIRC

Change is good

Some fantastic changes are happening at Murphy Battista’s Personal Injury Resource Centre!

First off, DJ, my wonderful co-resource coordinator, has become a father! On Jan 31st he and his wife Emily brought into this world beautiful baby girl Everley. To make sure he gets a sufficient dose of Daddy goodness, he’s taken some time off and will return for only a couple shifts a week.

As for me, allowed by the endless generosity of my amazing employers (sorry for the gushing, I can’t help myself, they’re so good to me!) I am about to embark on a 2 month long trip to Southeast Asia!

In order to maintain our service hours we’ve hired two new resource coordinators to keep the help flowing from our centre.

Additions to the PIRC Resource Team

It gives me great pleasure to welcome and introduce Sean Lynn and Kyle Gieni as the newest members of our resource team.

Sean Lynn comes to us from a background helping people in difficult situations. Early in his career, Sean spent two years in Hong Kong helping people with addictions detox and rehabilitate themselves. Upon his return to Canada, he worked for years with developmentally delayed adults providing personal and medical care and organizing general recreational activities. His focus is on inclusion and making sure his clients have every opportunity open to them. He also spent three weeks in Albania working with a faith-based organization supplying aid to refugees fleeing the war in Kosovo. Currently, he is working toward a Chaplaincy.

During all of this, Sean has lived with a C4-C5 spinal cord injury he suffered in a serious car accident in 1987. Initially, Sean’s permanent injuries were comparatively minor and only his left arm and chest were noticeably affected.

Unfortunately, in ’99 Sean began to notice a decline in his physical functionality. He went for an MRI and never heard back. He assumed no news was good news but he continued to notice deterioration. A year later he chose to follow up, and after first discovering they had accidentally lost his paperwork, he found out he in fact had a syrinx in his neck – a rare, fluid-filled cavity within the spinal cord – which was causing pressure on his spinal column. Over the next few years he underwent surgeries to try and stave off the slow but continual loss of function.

In 2011 he went in for his final surgery. He walked in, albeit with a limp, but came out in a wheelchair.

Despite the slow progression of functional loss – and perhaps because of it, says Sean – he has found the situation to be less traumatic than one might assume. Because it happened slowly, he has slowly adjusted along with it. I’m certain he must have his days, like we all do, but in the end his compassionate and caring nature shines through. His personal and professional experience, combined with a natural desire to help, make him a great fit with the PIRC and Sean is looking forward to sharing what he has learned with the PIRC community.

Kyle Geini is destined to become our resident sports enthusiast. Kyle suffered a T4 spinal cord injury after falling off of his bicycle due to faulty breaks. Now, he plays floor ball for Canada, sledge hockey for BC, and participates in other recreational activities like swimming, frisbee, and disc golf. Last year he participated in the Scotiabank Half marathon supporting his sledge hockey team and completing it in his manual chair.

Kyle knows the challenges of living with a spinal cord injury while maintaining a passion for continuing in activities post injury. He has experienced a lot in his life and has a lot to share with people. If you have any questions about adapted sports, day-to-day living, or anything about what you’re going through, Kyle is a great resource.

Kyle also comes from a history of helping people. He currently works with Parachute, a national, charitable organization dedicated to preventing injuries and saving lives. As a motivational speaker, he has spoken at more than 30+ schools, and has more in the books. In fact, he leaves for Calgary next week to speak again about making smart decisions and taking smart risks. For more information about Parachute and what Kyle does, you can visit their website at www.parachutecanada.org.

Here at the PIRC, we’re not exactly peer councilors, but we’ve all been through the medical system, deal with personal injury and disabilities, and have a level of understanding that surpasses your average Joe. In short, we get it and we have a pretty good idea what resources may prove most helpful at specific stages of the recovery process. We’re all happy to chat about our stories, should you want to, but mainly we’re here to help you (and your families) in any way we can. From setting you up with legal advice to simply offering a place of respite from whatever ails you the PIRC is your community resource.

I’m confident Kyle and Sean will be a perfect fit!

To find out more about the resources the PIRC please check out our webpage or, better yet, stop by to meet our new resource coordinators.

Now, as for me, off to Southeast Asia I go! I wish you all the best and a beautiful end to the winter season. And please, stop by any time to meet our new resource coordinators.

P.S. I’m hoping to check in from time to time (technology permitting) to update you on my travels.

Editor’s note: Where in the world is Kristina Shelden? Bali apparently. You can check out her travel log on her blog HERE or follow her on Twitter @WanderQuad.


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