Every parent has nervously watched their child climb too high, run too far or ride their bike too fast. We’ve all warned them to be careful, come back or slow down. Never do we believe that something might happen but, sometimes, accidents do happen. And sometimes accidents become tragedies.
For eleven-year old Hailey Cheng, July 17, 2018 will be a day that she and her family will never forget. A day that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
Hailey and her fifteen-year old brother Darren were lucky enough to spend a week with family in Calgary this summer. Taking full advantage of a beautiful summer day, they decided to hike to Troll Falls in Kananaskis. Disaster would strike while they enjoyed the view at the top of the falls. Hailey slipped on the wet rocks and in a few terrifying seconds, went over the edge of the falls, smashing against the rocks, before landing in the pool of water below.
Hailey was rescued by Alpine Helicopter Rescue, who transferred her to a waiting Stars Air Ambulance. She was flown immediately to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.
Hailey’s injuries were catastrophic: a fractured skull, one collapsed lung, the other lung partially collapsed, her back was broken (T-11 - T12), and worst of all...her spinal cord had been severed.
Hailey will never regain the use of her legs or have any feeling from the waist down.
The first 72 hours were spent under close observation in the ICU as the pressure from Hailey's skull fracture caused cranial swelling. After several days, Hailey managed a small smile for her parents.
Here, Hailey is being transported from the Calgary Children's Hospital to the Edmonton Stollery Children's Hospital by air ambulance.
Hailey is a little reserved, a tad shy and has a truly kind, sweet nature which makes her immediately likeable. She is very smart and works hard at her schoolwork.
Hailey was scheduled to begin Junior High this fall and was anticipating the move from Pine Street Elementary school to Sherwood Heights Junior High school with the usual mixture of excitement and nervousness.
For now, until approximately the beginning of December, she will stay at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital with part-time schooling there as well.
Hailey has been fitted with a wheelchair for her petite size and has been having daily rehabilitation to increase her upper body strength. She wears a stiff body brace and will continue to do so or many weeks to protect her spine.
In the meantime, Hailey’s home will need plenty of renovations to accommodate her needs: they live in a two-storey home with the typical doorway widths that won’t allow wheelchairs to go through. In fact, their entire home will require a great deal of costly renovations to accommodate Hailey’s limited mobility. Please know that all proceeds made will help her remain in her family home and ease their impending injury-related expenses. We are reaching out to our amazing community of friends and family to help support the Cheng family with these modifications to their home, as well as rehabilitation costs. Your generosity and positive thoughts are gratefully appreciated by the entire family.
Recently, Hailey was given a spirit-lifting day pass - she enjoyed spending some time with her family and friends away from the hospital setting.
Thank-you for reading Hailey’s story. And thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any donations made to Hailey's cause.
The above picture was taken in 2017, when Hailey won First Prize for a poster-creating contest!
Hailey and her family - here is Darren, Hailey's beloved brother, her fabulous father, David and her much-loved and loving mother, Yeun.
A truly lovely and close-knit family!
All proceeds will go directly to the Cheng family and will be used for the extensive home renovations needed on their home for Hailey to return home. This Go Fund Me page has been entrusted to close family friends who live in Sherwood Park, with the Cheng family's blessing.
- Erez Yaakobi
- Maggie Jin
Organizer and beneficiary
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