Trent Ernst, Editor
Last weekend, Tumbler Ridge suffered a gut punch when Aaron Inkpen was seriously injured in a quadding accident.
This week, Tumbler Ridge has again stood up to help, raising over $13,000 in just six days to support Aaron and his family, who are not only dealing with being evacuated from Fort McMurray, but with their son being seriously injured.
Aaron was involved in a bad accident over May long weekend and was air lifted to Vancouver, BC. He has six broken ribs, open fracture humerus, pelvis fracture, dislocated shoulder, collapsed lung, liver contusion, and, most concerning, brain injuries.
According to his family, who have been posting updates on his condition, his stay in Vancouver is going to be lengthy. “Doctors have estimated at least six months,” they say.
Aaron remains in a coma, they say, and, while his condition hasn’t improved markedly in the last few days, it hasn’t gone down, either.
Because he is squirming around constantly, he has to be restrained so he can’t pull any tubes out.
While he hasn’t gained consciousness, he is breathing on his own, and his neurological function fluctuates meaning he isn’t always following commands but he does sometimes.
“They’re basically trying to find a happy medium between painkillers/sedation, and assessing his neurological function. “If he is too medicated he can’t respond accurately and if he isn’t medicated his blood pressure spikes because of pain.”
Aaron has pneumonia in his right lung but, again according to his family, he is responding to commands to squeeze hands and even opened his eyes a few times.
“We still don’t know the extent of brain damage done or how long of a recovery road Aaron is in for but we are feeling more optimistic. We talked to a doctor today and he said Aaron’s size pretty much saved his life and that not a lot of people survive an impact like that.
“The doctors say he isn’t out of the woods yet but his progress is encouraging! All in all things are good for now and only time will tell when Aaron is ready to wake up from this.”
In an effort to help the family, Megan Vivian has created a gofundme page. But she is not the only one who has stepped up to help the family during this crisis. Katy Lehmann has made up #inkpen strong stickers and tee-shirts. Candace Fowlow has done up a trio of baskets to raffle off to raise money.
At the most recent men’s night at the Golf Course, Christopher Fowlow got a hole in one, winning $2300, which he immediately donated to Aaron. All together, the golfers raised $3000 at that one men’s night.
While the accident has been painful for his family and friends, it has also shown the depth of concern that this community has for people in their times of need.
Even while many are dealing with not having jobs, they are still pitching in to help in any way they can. Donating money. Donating prizes. Buying shirts. Making stickers.
It’s unfortunate that it is often the worst things that bring out the best in people. And make no mistake, this has been hard on everyone involved. But the outpouring of support has been heartening to watch. The way that people are willing to pull together and stand #Inkpen strong.
If you want to help the family, you can donate online, at www.gofundme.com/25ujrpg, or go to Lake View Credit Union and donate to account 100001933639.