Ted Tovey

205 Sydenham Street

A story that shows that sometimes seemingly bad events can have silver linings. After Ted Tovey broke his ankle in the upstairs of his house, his principal concern was whether he would have enough tobacco to last him his stay in hospital. By the end of the hospital stay, he had decided to give up smoking.


In the following story, Ted Tovey tells a story about a fall from a ladder in the upstairs of 205 Sydenham Street, and how it led to him giving up smoking.


It was a rainy November afternoon, and I decided to check the attic where we had encountered a leak as a result of poor workmanship on a roof job. I didn’t secure the ladder properly and it came tumbling down on my right leg. I knew it was broken because the thing was—the foot was headed in a different direction. Luckily my wife was home to come to the rescue and find out what was happening, and even luckier we have a doctor next door who came to check out the situation. I managed to do all this without too much pain. My main concern in leaving the house was whether or not I had my pipe and adequate tobacco to last me what seemed like an upcoming stay in hospital. I found it very interesting that they use a pillow as a splint to keep the leg from moving.

They trotted me into the operating room and gave me something between a local and a general anesthetic and I just gently went off to sleep and by the time I woke up again, they had finished operating on the leg and everything was working out fine. They returned me to the ward and by this time, the pain was quite severe so that the idea was just to keep down the pain. And for two or three days I was on pretty heavy, either morphine, or another commercial drug. I soon found out I couldn’t smoke in hospital and so there was one happy result of the broken ankle was a broken habit of smoking. I found after being in the hospital for ten days and surviving without nicotine I could see no sense in going back to it.


If you’d like to hear more stories from the Great Talbot area, walk west along Sydenham Street and look for another Hear, Here sign near the middle of the block on the north side.