Our Testimonials


Success Stories - Matt K.

A TLC graduate shares his thoughts about his experiences in our program

My name is Matt K. I was born on May 13th, 1985 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My family moved to California when I was four years old. I was raised in California and lived there until I was 23.

I lived a fairly normal life. I graduated high school and began some classes in university. In 2007 my family separated, with my dad moving to southern California and my mom and sister moving back to Winnipeg. I decided to stay in Central California in the bay area.

In August 2007 I was in a major car accident in which I sustained a serious brain injury. I was in a coma for two weeks, and everyone was afraid I was going to die. My mom got a call in Winnipeg and the staff at the hospital told her about my accident and that I was in critical condition. She flew down to California and she thought she was burying her son. She sat by my side and slowly I started to show signs of life. Suddenly one day I sat straight up.

When I woke up from the coma I was very weak. I could not walk and could barely speak. I was displaying very strange behaviours and almost what could be described as hallucinations.

My mother was certain that the drugs I was being giving were having an adverse reaction. The doctors would not listen to her and dismissed her as a worrisome parent. It wasn’t until I was in Canadian treatment that it was determined I was having a terrible reaction to the drug Haldol. It took my Canadian doctor to realize I have a paradoxical reaction to medications.

My US health insurance would not cover the proper healthcare for me. I was going to be sent to a locked down mental health facility since they did not know what to do with me and my insurance would not cover most treatments. The doctor told my mother she was going to have to forget about her son because the place I was going to be sent wouldn’t allow visitors or even phone calls to patients. My mom had to act quickly before I was sent to this facility; she called my family for help. My grandparents pulled together the money to have me put on a life flight to Winnipeg. Plans where put in place for me to get treatment at Riverview Healthcare Centre.

I was in Riverview from September to December, 2007. At Riverview I was weaned completely off of all medications. I received excellent care during my stay at Riverview; I was in physiotherapy and occupational therapy. As the end to my stay at Riverview drew near once again my family was in the position of not knowing what to do with me.

My recovery progress was going well but I was still not able to live independently. The staff at Riverview referred me to the Transitional Living Centres (TLC) program. An interview between the manager of TLC, one of their primary workers and me was set up. Mr. Markos Tegegn came to Riverview to meet me, explain the program and make sure it would be offering the help I needed. My mother went ahead and made sure I was going to get the funding from WRHA-health coordination program to attend the TLC program. I packed my things and moved from Riverview Healthcare center to an apartment in the 1010 Sinclair building.