Mateo Corrales is training for what may be the most meaningful run of his life.
On June 20, he’ll take part in Je bouge pour Ste-Justine, a five-kilometre run to raise money for the hospital — the place that quite literally saved his life.
Corrales was 15 years old when he and a group of friends were on the roof of an abandoned building.
When the group thought they were about to get caught, he stumbled into a high-voltage area.
“One thing led to another and I got electrocuted by 25,000 volts and half my body burnt,” he said.
Corrales, now 17, says he remembers the accident clearly. He was on fire and was conscious throughout.
He was placed into a medically-induced coma and underwent multiple surgeries, and his road to recovery was long and difficult.
“So I told myself, if he ever survives this accident, I would make sure that he would get out of the hospital standing and walking.”
Corrales was a patient at Ste-Justine for about four months.
He had to learn the basics again — how to move, sit up, stand, brush his teeth and walk.
He worked day and night, with his family, physiotherapist and many others by his side, to get back to his old self.
“He’s very resilient,” said Farmer. “He took this bad accident, this bad negative thing in his life and he brought it to a very positive thing.”
During his rehabilitation, Corrales never skipped a beat.
Even after missing his first semester of Grade 10, he told himself that he would catch up so he could graduate with the rest of his classmates this year.
“Sometimes, personally I was overwhelmed,” said his mother, Tina Massarelli. “I was thinking, as a mom, sometimes it was too much. But I supported him — whatever he decided, that went.”
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed his plans to attend prom, Corrales is excited for the next chapter in his life.
He’ll begin Cegep in the fall and is hoping to follow in the footsteps of one of the people that helped him through his accident.
“My future plan is to become a physiotherapist,” he said.