September 16th, 2019 it was my Mother’s birthday. I was on my way to go pick up her birthday cake for later that evening. I had called my Dad a few times but couldn’t get in touch with him. I called my mother to see if she had talked to him, but she hadn’t. During our phone call, she got another call and said she would call me back. We never in a million years imagined how that phone call would change our lives forever.
My Dad had a workplace accident that occurred in Grand Falls, New Brunswick where he was run over by a rail car at 61 years of age. The rail car took off and cauterized his right arm (above the elbow) and his right leg (well above the knee), leaving him with essentially half of his body. My Dad underwent four major surgeries, multiple minor procedures and was bedridden in the hospital for six months. Neither Worksafe NB nor any of the four hospitals my Dad has been in have come across the severity of the injury that he has suffered. The physical trauma of the injury has brought with it PTSD and emotional/mental struggles on a daily basis.
My Dad is currently going for Physiotherapy twice a week to learn how to stand, balance and walk with his prosthetic limbs. His amazing team is hopeful that he will one day be able to use them to get around inside of the home, on flat ground for short periods of time. However, because of how far up the train took his limbs what he will be able to do will be limited.
Before the accident took his limbs, my Dad was a long-haul truck driver for over 40 plus years, accident-free. Driving was his entire life and one of his fears through recovery is that he would never be able to drive again. Thankfully he has been working hard and is currently in the Adaptive Driver Training Program at Stan Cassidy Center for Rehabilitation. He is hoping to have his license by the end of the year! His hopes of being able to drive again have been the light at the end of the tunnel and has gotten him through some rough periods during his recovery.
Being able to load his power wheelchair into a vehicle and do something as basic as grocery shop on his own (Which he loved to do prior to the accident), hitting the open road with no destination, or eventually visiting his grandchildren would give him the independence that he has been lacking for over a year now.
His needs for an Adapted Vehicle that he could drive himself were assessed and two quotes were sent to Worksafe NB. He was denied due to Policy 21-402 Vehicle Modifications that became effective January 1st, 2020. One of those quotes is for a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica (photo added below)that has already been adapted and would be perfect for his needs. Due to my parent’s current situation, they will never be able to afford the vehicle on their own or a newer one that would be thousands of dollars more if they are unable to purchase this van in time.
Before the accident, my Dad took care of my Mother. Grocery shopping, heavy lifting, putting wood on the fire and anything else she needed. Now my mother is struggling to do the same for my Dad who has been through so much trauma. She has neck/back pain and pinching nerves that make it difficult for her to do too much physical labour such as loading, unloading and pushing a 45 lb. manual wheelchair.
From the beginning, I have witnessed my parents having to fight to get basic necessities that he needs to live a life with independence and dignity. It’s been an extremely rough road to recovery and we are so proud of how far he has come. He has lost enough due to this accident and we would hate to see him lose this vehicle and the one thing he has been working towards since this has happened.
My family and I would like to acknowledge that the WHOLE world is struggling right now, and our hearts go out especially to those who have lost loved ones. We would also like to thank the truck drivers for keeping our stores stocked with everything we need.
Thank you, ALL essential workers.
If you are in a position to donate and or share, we sincerely thank you.
The Brake Family
Ted, Lisa, Lucas, Benjamin, Megan, and Karson.
** 2017 Adapted Chrysler Pacifica **
Ted's journey to recovery:
- Bonnie Galloway
- Ietje Kerkhoff
- Charlotte Pelletier & Annne Marie Sirois
- Stan Siderius
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