Know Your Heroes: Tess Devji

Know Your Heroes showcases the many different people and roles that make up #TeamUHN. We celebrate these people, who strive to make the world a healthier place every day.

Name: Tess Devji
Title: Occupational Therapist
Number of years working in health care: 18
Hometown: Ottawa

I decided to get into health care because, since I can remember, I have always had the desire to help people in some capacity. My parents tell me that since I was 5 years old I have always been asking people (family and strangers too) “Are you okay? Can I help?” We are truly blessed to have access to health care in this country and I am proud to be part of the healthcare professional community!

My role here at UHN is as an inpatient occupational therapist at Toronto Rehab’s Lyndhurst Centre. My role includes maximizing independence in self-care and instrumental activities of daily living, as well as mobility for people living with spinal cord injuries.

COVID-19 has affected me by reminding me more frequently how important it is to live every day in the moment, and to the fullest, as well as to continue to be kind to one another, and appreciate the necessities in life.

The thing I love the most about my job is being a part of a patient’s team, being motivating and providing intervention, as well as supporting them as best as I can. I also love working with and learning from my amazing colleagues!

The most incredible thing I’ve seen at work is the look on patients’ faces and the feelings they express when they are able to do something on their own for the first time again – like brush their teeth!

I’m inspired by my parents. They were fortunate enough to move to Canada during political unrest in their home country. Throughout their journey, they have shown and taught us how to be adaptable, respectful, remain positive, work hard, and give back to the community.

One of my personal heroes is my sister because she continually provides unconditional love and mentorship to her family and friends. She is a fantastic role model in all aspects/roles of her life.

I’m sometimes worried about the state of the world/humankind. I hope that we can continue to work on improving social injustice and climate change to name a couple of things.

I’ve found joy recently from reflecting during this time. I was able to figure out one of my “me time activities” that had slipped away: writing and journaling. These have continued to bring me joy again and also provide a form of stress release.

One of my favourite books that I like to pick up and read again from time to time is Life Is Short, Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta Laroche. One of my favorite quotes by Loretta is: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift – that’s why they call it the present.”

My ideal day off is reading, taking a stroll by the water, and would be hanging out with Drake courtside to watch the Raptors’ game, and meeting up with my loved ones for an authentic scrumptious meal!

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