|Hometown:||Beardy’s & Okemasis Cree Nation|
Since the day Parker was born all he wanted was to help out his family and be just like his dad. Tyrone, Parker’s dad, an avid horseman, loaded up the truck like he always did while Parker and his brother Rod got settled into the car. The plan was to go pick up feed for their race horses as they always had. What they didn’t know is this trip would not be like any other.
On July 26, 2022, Laura-Lee, Parker’s mom, said her goodbyes to Tyrone, Rod, and Parker expecting them home in a few hours like normal. It was on Highway 11, just after Macdowall, that tragedy struck. While driving back to their home on Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation a car traveling on the wrong side of the double lane highway collided with Tyrone’s truck.
Laura-Lee, while waiting for her boys to come home, was greeted with a phone call instead. The person on the other end of the line explained that there had been an accident and that her husband was killed instantly upon impact but they didn’t have any information on her two children at this time.
After an hour Laura-Lee received another phone call, this time explaining that Parker was being airlifted to Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH). It was explained to Laura-Lee that Parker’s seat belt had damaged Parker’s small intestine and he had lost a lot of blood.
Upon arriving at JPCH, Laura-Lee found out that her son had undergone a blood transfusion while being airlifted and was being whisked away for emergency surgery. As Parker’s damage to his small intestine was significant, the doctors explained to Laura-Lee that they would need to remove about a foot of the small intestine that was damaged. The next day, Parker went into his second surgery in order to fuse his C2 and C3 vertebrae.
Parker was placed into a coma to recover in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at JPCH. When Parker awoke, he learned that now he would be using a wheelchair and that his life as he knew it would be significantly different than what anyone in their family knew.
What no one could have anticipated or expected is how Parker would recover. Although Parker’s life has been altered physically, his mentality towards life has never wavered.
Although it is uncertain if Parker will ever walk again, he has taken his new life in a wheelchair in full stride. In this situation it would be easy to wonder “why me?” but that’s not Parker. From the moment he was able, he was moving as if he had been in a wheelchair his whole life, never asking once why he can’t walk.
On August 26, 2022, after 31 days as a patient at JPCH, Parker was discharged. The road to recovery is still a long one for Parker and his family. Parker still visits JPCH regularly, attending appointments three times a week for physiotherapy.
Today, even with his injuries, Parker is back to doing the things he loves. He was able to ride a horse again with the assistance of his mom, he’s able to play with his brother Marshall, and most importantly, he’s able to live an incredible life because of the medical team at JPCH.
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