The AWE Project

Celebration of Life Thank You Extravaganza - Part 1

Most of us have never gone through a near death experience.  And though we may be grateful to be alive, people who have cheated death after a tragedy or illness, tend to hold a slightly higher affinity towards life.  

June 14, 2005  Leslie Bridger almost died in a bicycle accident. Every year since,  Leslie takes the time to celebrate this date, referring to the day as her re-birth day; Leslie's way of expressing gratitude for life.

This year, 2015, on the tenth anniversary of her accident, Leslie decided to rev-up the celebration.  It would be more in-depth, more elaborate and ultimately more special.  This year Leslie would throw a party, a Celebration of Life Extravaganza.  The event would prove to be unique because of the people Leslie invited.

The accident that almost killed her, had left Leslie with a traumatic brain injury and severe damage to the left side of her body.  At one point, her family was told Leslie would likely have to be looked after for the rest of her life;  that she may never function in society again.  

Once Leslie made it to the hospital , through the initial surgeries and touch and go moments of life or death, she then had to start over.  Under the guidance of many healthcare professionals, Leslie re-learned how to walk, talk, cook, drive and even how to look after herself, go shopping  and do banking; simple tasks most of us take for granted.  It took focused determination and months of working with specialized therapists, but eventually Leslie made a remarkable recovery.

So it was here, from this pool of people, that Leslie developed the invitation list for her Celebration of Life Event.  The physician who happened by moments after the accident to provide life saving first aid, the firefighter first on the scene, the paramedics who accompanied her to the hospital, the neurosurgeon, the nurses, doctors, therapists and others that administered care.  And of course, her family and friends.  Because Leslie was living in Ontario and her family was in Newfoundland and Labrador, the first people at the hospital were close friends. Friends that formed a web of support, bathing Leslie in love and healing energy as she moved through the long dark night of recovery.  

It is all of these people.  People who cared.  People who showed up. People who answered the call.  They are the reason Leslie is still here.  Not just alive and kicking, not just surviving but thriving. 

So on June 14, 2015, Leslie officially and publically celebrated and honored the many unsung heroes  who contributed to her recovery and helped give her, her life back.

The following video was shown at the Celebration of Life Event.  It is part one in a series of videos that will follow this journey of gratitude.  It is the story of the accident told by the actual people who were there, that responded to the humanity of a tragedy.  The people who felt they were just doing their job, when in fact they were saving a life.


Sep 03, 2015 • Posted by Katie

Ive been waiting to see this. Im so delighted to see Leslies wish to express her gratitude to the individuals who helped her that day become reality. This is proof that love is all that matters. Leslie please continue to spread your love and positivity… it truely is contagious.

Jul 23, 2015 • Posted by Daphne

One amazing, grace-filled story. You are a blessing to so many today. Thank you for sharing your story. Happiness, peace and joy abounds when we align with and engage with source energy and when we help others to reconnect with it as well. Thank you Leslie for delivering great joy and hope into the lives of many whom you continue to touch. You are pure goodness.

Jul 23, 2015 • Posted by Darcy

That was awe-some! What a great job you did on this. It’s the result of everyone’s love and talents that not only made this and moved me but also saved you… allowing you to pay it forward and “save” so many more! I’m blessed to know you and so grateful for life in all its miracles and perfect imperfections

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