Let’s Try This Standing: Car accident victim’s one woman show a triumph.

by John McKiggan

(Review by Mark Raftus)

Being a personal injury lawyer means we see countless cases where injured victims overcome huge odds in their recovery. It is rare that the details of these inspiring stories become public.

But a new play running this week at Neptune Scotiabank Studio Theatre provides a glimpse into the experiences of one motor vehicle accident victim and how she dealt with, and prevailed over, the injuries she suffered in the collision.

The play reveals that on December 3, 2010, Gillian Clark was walking along the sidewalk of Spring Garden Road in Halifax. As she passed in front of the many store fronts an SUV suddenly reversed up over the curb onto the sidewalk. The SUV accelerated in reverse crushing Gillian between the SUV and the wall of the store. Gillian suffered serious and permanent injuries including a severed femoral vein and multiple fractures to her right leg and pelvis which required extensive surgeries. She had a near death experience. She was only 19 years old.

Gillian was hospitalized for two and a half months and required numerous surgeries to help repair her numerous fractures. Gillian is left with permanent scarring on her right leg and lower abdomen, with chronic swelling of her injured leg. She is coping with significant psychological consequences as a result of the trauma from the collision.

Gillian was a university student studying Fine Arts (Theatre) at Dalhousie when the collision occurred. She was an active and athletic young woman who played university varsity soccer. She was dedicated to her schooling and had an active, enjoyable social life.

As Gillian recovered in hospital tended to by family and friends she longed to return to her true love – the theatre. To help her manage her day-to-day mental adjustment to the limitations she was now experiencing in her life and to convince her loved ones that she was healing both physically and spiritually Gillian wrote the script for “Let’s Try This Standing”.

Gillian’s performance is a tour-de-force and can only be described as a triumph of the human spirit to overcome a life altering negative experience. Gillian’s honesty, courage and sense of humour in the face of life threatening injuries and grueling rehabilitation are revealed in how she unabashedly shares her most intimate feelings as she struggles to adjust to her new normal and plow through the recovery maze which continues to this day.

Gillian is an inspiration not only to her family and friends but to all who meet her. Gillian shares with the audience that she “will be all right” with more than a hint of melancholy. Despite the understandable yearn for yesterday that accompanies this statement one does truly get the feeling that through her strength of spirit, determination and resilience she indeed will be all right. As Gillian shares: ” I fought off a brick wall and an SUV at the same time”! As this entertaining and moving one woman show proves, she fought them off and won.

Gillian’s story is inspiring, moving and entertaining. Do yourself a favour and make a point to see it this week at the Neptune Scotiabank Studio Theatre from January 14-17, 2016.

Full disclosure: We had the honour of representing Gillian and we are one of the proud sponsors of “Let’s Try This Standing”

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