Debra Mavin has been staying by her son’s bedside at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. She says his shattered bones will take a long time to heal, as will the trauma of the crash that injured the entire family of 6.
Dalton, 12, had surgery to put a plate and screws in his broken femur. Mavin said during the surgery, doctors put his hip back together, put a boot on his opposite broken foot, and casted both of his arms.
“He’s really traumatized. Even the floor polisher set him off — just the sound of it. He said it sounded like when they were taking him out and cutting him out of the vehicle,” Mavin said.
“I wish I could trade him spots so that he didn’t feel it,” said Mavin who suffered a broken collar bone. “He hurts and he’s traumatized, and he just wants it to go away. He wants to go trick-or-treating.”
Debra spends her time now between the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the Foothills Medical Centre’s critical care unit, where her partner Taylor Monkman is. He’s had surgery to repair his several broken bones.
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“He’s got a long road (to recovery). They said a minimum of six months off of work, let alone a normal life. But he’s so strong, he just amazes us. We keep telling him he is our hero because he’s doing so well,” Mavin said.
Monkman is an equipment operator at a coal mine in Estevan, Sask.
The couple and their four kids were on their way to see Monkman’s mom in Airdrie.
“That’s her baby. She hasn’t left his side. It wasn’t what she wanted to hear,” Mavin said.
“We were really close to getting there.”
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As they were driving east towards Brooks on Highway 1, a car crossed the median and crashed into their pickup truck on Friday.
“The three were screaming in the back, and everyone was gasping trying to just catch their breath: sounds that I will never ever forget,” Mavin said.
The couple’s three younger children who were seated in the back suffered minor injuries and were treated in Brooks. Other drivers stopped to help.
“They took my youngest two out of the back windshield and grabbed them in their hoodies, and cuddled them and help them.
“There were so many people already there helping. There were people with the fire extinguishers. We were so thankful,” Mavin said.
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The three people in the car, all in their 30s from Medicine Hat and Redcliff, died.
“They weren’t as lucky as us. We were told that we can’t help them and we needed to help our family, and I told them that they are somebody’s family too but there was nothing we could do,” Mavin said.
Friends described the couple as the kind of people who always help others before helping themselves. Mavin volunteered her time as a photographer at the Moosomin Kinette Club.
“Debra is incredibly hard working and incredibly selfless,” said long time friend Kathryn Fouillard. “They are both such kind and thoughtful people. She would give you the shirt off her back and Taylor is the same.”
The community is now rallying behind the family and friends have set up a fundraiser because the family needs to relocate from Saskatchewan to Calgary while Dalton and Taylor recover are unable to work.
“I was shocked. I was so surprised. We cried a lot just over how grateful we are and how everyone has been so good. Above and beyond what we expected. We are still trying to process what has happened and having so much love and support,” Mavin said.
Police say it appears the car that hit them may have been speeding.
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