garrick the dj

Toronto DJ sees an outpouring of support after devastating spinal cord injury

An accident left a Toronto DJ with a serious spinal cord injury compromising the use of his arms and legs and putting him in recovery for months.

Garrick the DJ has been a fixture in Toronto for about 20 years — DJing at some of the city's biggest events such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian Screen Awards, Invictus Games and Pride Toronto.

But an accident has put the energetic DJ in hospital for months and in recovery for over a year.

Garrick tells blogTO, the accident happened while he was on his way to work at a part time job (while waiting for lockdown measures to end) near Dupont Station on July 19. He was walking and misjudged a curb on the sidewalk.

"I took a huge fall," he says. "Knee first, stomach first, chest first, face first, head first."

The fall was so hard, he was unable to get up. He is thankful for TTC staff who saw him and called an ambulance.

He went into emergency and learned that he seriously damaged his spine in the fall. Garrick says he has gone through a lot in his life including a hip replacement and financial curve balls but this is different.

"This is the biggest obstacle I've ever had to face."

The injury has left him using a wheelchair relearning how to use his hands, arms and legs.

"Right now I'm starting to learn how to eat again, how to walk again," he says.

Fortunately, Garrick has a network of support from friends and family and his girlfriend of 11 years Ornella who has been helping him get everything he needs.

"She's the kindest, warmest and loving human being on this planet."

His cousin's wife, Bridget Quinn Gordon, has set up a Gofundme, which had already raised about $20,000 by Oct. 6, to help Garrick with expenses while he is unable to work.

"The outpouring of love and donations — it's just been really amazing," he says.

Garrick is also thankful to all the nurses and medical staff who cared for him at Sunnybrook Hospital, as well as all the therapists who are helping in his recovery now at Toronto Rehab - Lyndhurst Centre.

"I'm just blessed for the physiotherapist I have, his name is Jamie," he says. "He's a wonderful man."

While he is now mainly focused on his recovery, Garrick is hopeful he can get back DJing again.

"There's no greater feeling than entertaining through music and music ignites the human spirit," he says. "I look forward to entertaining people again, it's just going to take a little time but I'm going to get there."

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