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IN PERSON: Maria Gallucci
Chef & Restaurant Owner

61-year-old Maria Gallucci was well-known in her southern Ontario community for her small, yet highly-popular Italian restaurant. As the sole chef of her 15-table establishment, she and her team of servers made sure that each patron received impeccable service and delicious food at every visit.

Maria’s favourite thing about having her own restaurant was creating seasonal menus and personally shopping for the produce at her local farmers’ market.

One such visit to the market started out as usual, with Maria greeting the local farmers and stopping at each booth to examine the fresh fruit and vegetables.

As she was strolling through the market, Maria unknowingly walked through a slippery patch of floor that was slick with the juice and skin of crushed tomatoes. Maria slipped and fell hard onto the floor, landing on her back.

Two other shoppers and a farmer at a nearby booth rushed to her aid. They tried to help her up, but Maria was disoriented and in pain. When it was obvious that Maria could not sit or stand on her own, an ambulance was called.

Ethel & James


The doctor at the hospital took an x-ray and determined that Maria’s fall had caused a hip fracture and would require surgery.

He also noted that she should prepare for a lengthy recovery process that would include weeks of bed rest and months of rehabilitation before a full recovery could be expected.

Maria was very upset. As a single woman and business owner, she was immediately concerned about her restaurant and how she could possibly spend months in bed recovering from surgery while her business suffered. Maria had no one to turn to for help and she did not have disability insurance.

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