A Fundraiser in Support of Paul De Lio | Toronto Teacher Mom

A Fundraiser in Support of Paul De Lio

Thursday, June 01, 2017

On April 30, 2017, Paul De Lio, a teacher colleague of mine, collapsed at home and was rushed to the hospital where he was later placed in a medically induced coma and put on life support for 15 days. This energetic and dedicated educator, who many on our staff would come to know as incredibly funny and kind, fell ill due to an Invasive Group A Strep bacterial infection that lead to septic shock and, subsequently, toxic shock which placed him at risk for organ damage in his lungs and heart. His kidneys are functioning at 0% capacity and he undergoes regular dialysis.

Due to necrosis of his toes and the absence of blood flow in his feet, I was saddened to learn that Paul would have to undergo surgery to amputate both of his lower legs, just below the knees.

Fortunately, he successfully completed the surgery at Scarborough General Hospital over the  past weekend and, while visiting with him last night, I was happy to see that he was looking much better and still had his sense of humour and winning smile. Recovery from the surgery will take about 2-3 weeks and the doctors remain hopeful that his overall recovery from the damage due to the infection will improve. However, Paul still has long and difficult road ahead of him. 

While he only worked at our school for a short time, Paul left a lasting impression. On a personal level, he and I connected over the fact that we both speak French, Italian and Geek. No, that's not a typo. He was pretty much the only member on our staff who I could talk to about Search Engine Optimization. His funny stories and endless jokes were a welcome addition to a busy and sometimes chaotic work day. And his commitment to children was made evident by both his professionalism as a physical education teacher and his after-school work as a soccer coach. In short, Paul is one of the nicest and smartest people I've had the pleasure of working with.

For this reason, I have chosen to share his story with you. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there were "an average of 1,728 cases of invasive group A strep a year from 2011 to 2015, or about 4.9 per 100,000 people." Yet, this is the first time I've ever heard about it. And then I read about other cases in Ontario, including the story of another teacher in our school board named Tony Volpe, a very fit man against whom I've played many a game of staff volleyball (and lost). Luckily, he walked away with a clean bill off health. I only wish Paul had been as lucky.

Fundraiser in Support of Paul De Lio

If there is one thing that reassures me that Paul will make it through this life-changing ordeal, it is that he is surrounded by an ever-supportive group of family and friends. This weekend, there will be a fundraiser event at North Beach Indoor Volleyball Academy in support of Paul. If you live in the area and want to catch the Champion Leagues Final, consider popping by between 1pm and 9pm. There will be face painting, a jumping castle and a magician for the kids, and plenty of amazing raffle prizes to be won, including: 
  • a large screen TV
  • a stainless steel BBQ
  • signed TFC jerseys
  • Blue Jays tickets
  • Toronto FC tickets
  • an espresso machine
  • a signed Gordie Howe jersey
  • a signed Mats Sundin Jersey
  • ladies perfume gift sets
  • a custom poker table
  • and more!
Tickets are $20 per person. If you are unable to attend but would like to help out, please consider sharing the Fundrazr campaign that has been set up in support of Paul at fundrazr.com/FORZAPAUL. Any donation, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated by Paul and his family.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who have already retweeted and/or contributed. It means so much!

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  1. This is so sad...thanks for sharing. I will keep Paul in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery :)

  2. I feel so bad for Paul. Strep is such a horrible virus. I have heard terrible things about it. I really hope that he heals fast and is back to perfect health ASAP!

  3. I know this is an old post, but how is Paul doing today? I hope he continues to thrive. Katherine Moore

  4. Oh my gosh that is horrible. I am so sorry to hear this. It is scary


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