When Maddison Tory was in the hospital following heart surgery at 13, she felt like she lost her voice. From her perspective, the doctors and nurses only saw her for her symptoms and not as a whole person. “After my 100th time in an emergency room, I broke my silence and yelled,” Maddison said. “I made them look past my symptoms, my age, [and] my diagnostic picture. I made them realize I was more than just what they were seeing. Because of it, I was properly diagnosed.”
“After my 100th time in an emergency room, I broke my silence and yelled."
At the hospital, Maddison saw several scared children and their families. She distinctively remembers feeling like giving them all a big hug. Since then, Maddison’s made it her mission to improve the quality of life for children suffering from illness, injury, and mental health issues. “After recovering from heart surgery, I realized the importance of not only physical health but childhood mental health and well-being,” she said. “In the hospital setting, happy children are also hopeful and have better health procedure outcomes. With happy and healthy children come stronger families and communities.”
Maddison is the Founder of Maddi's Mission HUGS. This organization has empowered hundreds of hospitalized children to celebrate with superheroes or princesses, hug a teddy bear, or make a wish on a unicorn, to support their mental health throughout their illness. She also authored a book, Your Secret Superpower: Ignite your SPARK, and serves as a board member and co-chair on the Children and Youth Advisory Council at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
As an exceptional Gen Z’er making an impact, Maddison was honored for her work in Healthcare through The ConversationaLIST. Maddison said that losing her voice made her realize its power. In her career, she has spoken up on behalf of children, empowering them to control their experience and care. “They have a right to have their voices heard and their bodies taken care of,” Maddison said.
“I hope my legacy will be a healthcare system that treats more than just disease but rather treats the whole person.”
Looking ahead, Maddison has some big goals for the future. She plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric cardiologist and volunteer on medical trips throughout her career. “I hope my legacy will be a healthcare system that treats more than just disease but rather treats the whole person,” she said.
Maddison resonates with The Conversationalist’s mission because of the various opportunities to have difficult conversations and break open her echo chambers within the community. “The Conversationalist lets me be a part of a platform with like-minded, passionate Gen Z'ers from around the world,” she said.
For Maddison, building a unified is about knowing when to listen and pass the mic to others. “Unification is about global synergy, equality, and working together to be catalysts for positive change,” she added.
To break open her echo chamber, Maddison has hard conversations where she asks questions and researches topics to understand different perspectives.
“Ask questions and reflect on the other person’s opinions and statements. Step outside your own story and consider other perspectives.”
She believes that difficult conversations are imperative for growth.“Take time to listen,” she said. “Ask questions and reflect on the other person’s opinions and statements. Step outside your own story and consider other perspectives.”
TC couldn’t be more grateful to Maddison Tory for her big heart and mission to inspire and advocate for those without a voice. Keep up with her on Instagram, and follow Maddi’s Mission HUGS to learn more about her incredible work and how you can volunteer or make a donation.