After being shot at the age of 18 during a convenience store robbery, which left her paralyzed from the neck down, Barbara Turnbull went on to become a journalist and a tireless advocate and research activist for those living with spinal cord injury.
Dr. Charles Tator, who treated Barbara when she came into the ER after the shooting, has a legacy which includes establishing the first dedicated spinal cord injury unit in Ontario, providing excellence in the care of individuals with spinal cord injury, directing an internationally acclaimed basic and clinical research program, leading efforts aimed at preventing brain and spinal injuries, and also as a teacher and mentor to countless neurosurgeons and researchers.
Dr. Michael Fehlings hosts and chairs The Charles H. Tator-Barbara Turnbull Spinal Cord Injury Symposium each year to honour Charles Tator and Barbara Turnbull, who shared a special doctor-patient friendship. The event recognizes their enormous contribution, energy and drive in the area of spinal cord injury research. The symposium is an excellent platform for researchers, students, as well as members of the community to come together and exchange ideas that continue to advance the field of spinal cord injury patient management.