Let's help Nelson walk again

Pictured from left to right, meet my Dad, Nelson, then there’s me, Camelia, my sister Megan, and my mom, Liz.
In many pageant interviews I have been asked ‘Who is your role model?’ My answer has always remained the same: My Dad is my role model. For those of you who know him, I’m sure you’d agree with me when I say my Dad has the kindest (and funniest ;)) heart. His generosity seems unlimited, always doing everything he can to help improve the lives of others, with a goal to make a difference and crack a smile or laugh in everyone he encounters. His joyful energy and happiness remind me of the child inside all of us that wants to shine through the barrier of fear that we hold ourselves within. But my Dad has no fear. He is not afraid to be the kid overly excited about a plane, to fart whenever and wherever he pleases, or to lick the bowl after finishing his ice cream. 
Another strong characteristic of my Dad is his resiliency and strength to fight and overcome medical battles.
When I was 9 years old I attended the first hockey game I ever watched my dad play. He was being his usual self during the warm-up, falling down on purpose to joke around and make me smile, as that’s what most Newfie’s do. However, when the game started he had another fall. Skating at full-speed he was tripped by an opponent only to fly over the net and land on his chest with his legs still in the air. He laid there motionless until his teammates helped him up. He reported his hands felt as though they were on fire. He was helped by his teammates back to the bench and decided to call it a day. I met him in the change room and that’s where the pain and paralysis worsened. He couldn’t move. His hands were still on fire. I undressed him from his hockey gear then ran to find someone to call an ambulance. Together we rode to the hospital where I then ran to my Mom’s work to tell her what had happened.
After my Dad was rushed to surgery to repair the injury to his C5/C6 vertebrae, the surgeon pronounced him a quadriplegic. With my Dad’s faith in God, he refused that diagnosis. He prayed for healing and fought for the ability to walk again, and after some time he was able to walk. And he walked and walked until a second episode 7 years later when a bulging disc in C4/C5 prevented his mobility and he required surgery once again. His perseverance persisted, and he recovered. He did not let his injury prevent him from living his joyful life and engaging in his meaningful, fun activities like fishing, golfing, and travelling.
He walked many steps until Sunday, September 12, 2021. On this day my Dad was doing what he loved to do and ended up taking a blow to his neck with the vibrations from a golf swing. Three hours later he was paralyzed from the neck down. He was rushed by ambulance to the Penticton Regional Hospital and following the CT scan indicating serious damage in his C3/C4 region and he was flown by plane to Vancouver General Hospital for immediate surgery. The name of the surgery: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACF) with implant reconstruction and anterior cervical plating.
Post-surgery the surgeon has declared catastrophic damage with unknown chance to regain any sensation or movement. He is paralyzed from the neck down, he cannot feel anything and cannot breathe on his own. With increased swelling around his spinal cord, a second surgery was performed on September 16, 2021 to release pressure and to add more screws, titanium plates, and rods on both sides of his spine from C3-C6 to improved stabilization. He requires a tracheotomy to breathe and a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) for a feeding tube in his stomach. He has been using his eyes and eyebrows to communicate while people guess what he is trying to say, and one thing he has expressed is his desire to live. 
His new home for the next few months is the ICU Unit in Vancouver General Hospital before he is transferred to the Spinal Injury Unit. After a few months he will be transferred to a spinal injury rehabilitation home for another few months, and this home will also be located in Vancouver.
Funds raised will go towards rehabilitation, equipment (i.e., motorized wheelchair, communication devices), and home modification expenses. In addition, my Mom and sister reside in Penticton, BC and I reside in Edmonton, AB, and funds will also support our travel expenses and loss of salary to visit my Dad as Vancouver will be his new home for quite some time now.
My Dad’s mission in life has always been to make people smile, and he has succeeded countless times. If you’re able to support, with energy, vibes, finances, and/or prayers, please help spread the love and help my Dad win this battle once again and bring him back to his feet. We are hoping and praying for another miracle and we as a family are sincerely grateful for any and all contributions. Although the words “thank you” do not even come close to expressing our utmost appreciation, we heartfully thank everyone for your support and for those who have already supported us.

I love my Dad, and I love you all for supporting him <3 
“With every step I take I think of you” ~ Camelia Vokey ~
His brothers and sisters in Ontario:
At my Dad's request, he asked that this photo be released. This is pre-tracheotomy:
  • Glenn Petznick 
    • $500 
    • 18 hrs
  • Cynthia Richard 
    • $20 
    • 1 d
  • Debra Sexsmith 
    • $200 
    • 1 d
  • Brenda Brambleby 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • Carmen So 
    • $40 
    • 2 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Camelia Vokey 
Edmonton, AB
Liz Vokey 
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