Dr. Michael Fehlings hosts and organizes The Charles H. Tator-Barbara Turnbull Spinal Cord Injury Symposium each year to honour Dr. Charles Tator and Barbara Turnbull, who shared a special doctor-patient friendship, for their enormous contribution, energy and drive in the area of spinal cord injury research. This event aims to bring information about cutting edge spinal cord injury research to the wide community of those interested in the area, with special attention to including those living with spinal cord injury, their friends and families.
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. More information about Barbara’s foundation can be found here.
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 in this field, leading efforts to prevent brain and spinal injuries, and also as a teacher and mentor to countless neurosurgeons and researchers.