Leah has been an EA in School District 33 for 30 years. She has worked tirelessly with students in our community with various disabilities and challenges. Whether it is in the classroom or providing behavioural interventions or giving students with complex challenges the opportunity to engage with her horses, respite and home-share services to disables adults in the community. Leah has dedicated her life and free time helping others. Now, she and her husband are in need of our help.
On January 27th, Leah’s husband, Kris went in for spinal surgery to help alleviate pressure on his spine. Surgery went well, but when Kris awoke, he was paralyzed from the neck down. He went from being an independent and self sufficient individual, to being fully dependant on others. Kris is awaiting transfer from Royal Columbian in New Westminister to GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver for the next several months. The prognosis for Kris is currently unknown but he will not be able to work for the foreseeable future, if ever.
Leah and Kris’s home needs to be renovated so that Kris can return home and be able to move around in a wheelchair. As Kris was self-employed, he does not have disability coverage nor is he eligible for PWD (Persons with Disabilities) funding as he is married. As many of you may know, being an EA is not a lucrative career choice. We decide to enter this field because we have a passion for helping students, not for the income it provides. The costs for the renovation have been estimated upwards of $30,000. Some of the renovations include, ramps, an elevator, concrete pad, widening doorways, bathroom accessibility, etc. Kris will also need an electric wheelchair and a retrofitted vehicle he can be transported in.
Leah has been driving to and from New Westminister daily since Kris was admitted to hospital earlier in January. She will continue to travel, but now even further to Vancouver.
We all know that times are challenging for all of us, but all the staff at the school Leah works at are coming together to ask our community to help our friend. Any amount would be appreciated. Let us show Leah and Kris how much we care and support them.