James Edward Knight
August 11, 1965- March 6, 2023
James Edward Knight was born on August 11, 1965, in Portsmouth, England. At one-month-old, He emigrated to Canada on September 11, 1965, with his mother, Irene Evelyn Knight (nee Shaughnessy) and his sisters, Barbara Alexine and Carolyn Margaret, who were just shy of their second and fourth birthdays. His father, David Peter Knight, was already in Canada, anxiously awaiting their arrival.
In February 1967, a high temperature led to convulsions. While overnight in the hospital, James suffered a stroke which affected the right hemisphere of his brain. The stroke left him severely physically and mentally disabled. Against medical advice, James was brought home to live with his family and dog, Sheba, in Scarborough, Ontario. His family never gave up on him, including taking him to Philadelphia to participate in the Doman-Delacato Patterning Program, which aimed to help brain-damaged children improve their brain functioning. This program involved having 200 volunteers come into the home every week. Over time, James slowly learned some life skills, such as feeding himself with his left hand. He enjoyed camping, swimming, and music. He loved to drum with any object he could find, including a pen. He also enjoyed attending a day school program.
Since 1980, James has resided in group homes where he received exceptional care. These homes were located in Pickton, Midland, Keswick, and finally, Rossland House in Oshawa.
In James's final home, at Rossland House, he had his own room and lived with three housemates with 24-hour staff. He loved the Adelaide Day Program and enjoyed eating spaghetti, chilli, curry, and pizza with a tall glass of milk.
On March 6, 2023, James died peacefully at home in his bed. He will be cremated, and his ashes will be taken to Portsmouth, England, to be scattered alongside his many family members, including his sister Barbara who died July 4, 1999.
Many thanks to the incredible staff who cared for him in such a kind and loving way at Adelaide Day Program and Rossland House. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice.