I was waiting for the Art Gallery to open this morning when a man about my age an a boy about 8 came along. The boy was pretty excited about going inside and the man was trying to take a picture of him with his cell phone.
"If you show me how, I can take a picture of the two of you, " I offered.
The man accepted as the boy said "You'll take a better picture since my dad is blind". The man showed me which button to push as his son continued "But he's only blind in the left eye."
They smiled for the picture as the man explained he had an aneurism many years ago that took the sight from his left eye.
"But it's fixed now," he said.
In the few minutes it took for the gallery to open I learned that the man was a single dad, on disability, and he and his son had come all the way on the bus to get to the Art Gallery for the Easter Egg Hunt. It was an hour and a half ride on the bus, as they were coming from just outside the city and because of his disability he can't drive. I told him that I have MS and I'm interested in all things neurological. I asked him about the aneurism and how it was "fixed".
The doctors did an angiogram to discover the aneurism, and with a similar procedure as angioplasty on the heart, they inserted a needle through the arteries to his brain to inject a biological glue to seal the aneurism. He told me that he had been told that this works in only a few cases and he's had it for 10 years.
"You're quite lucky," I told him. "Who's your neurosurgeon?"
"You heard of Ivar Mendez?" he asked. I smiled and said yes. I didn't tell him how much admiration I have for Dr. Mendez as a researcher, or as an artist, or that I have blogged about his efforts to get the Brain Repair Centre up and running in Halifax, or his drive to use technology in brain repair.
"I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world," he said. "I see him twice a year for a check and he asks if I want them to remove the aneurism. I say no, 'cause why open my skull and dig around in my brain if the glue holds? But it's congenital so me and my son get checked out regularly."
The man didn't know it, but the self proclaimed "luckiest man in the world" had just met one of the luckiest women in the world.
The single dad, Michael J. Fox, and me. We have three different neurological conditions. And we are three of the luckiest people in the world.