As many in the Valley already know, one of our Comox Valley young people, Trevor Ashwell, was in a tragic accident June 2.
Trevor took a summer job treeplanting, making money to go back to the University of Victoria. On his day off he and friends were swimming in the river in a Kamloops city park.
Trevor did a shallow dive, hit a sandbar and severely damaged his spinal cord. Luckily his friends spotted him floating face down. They performed CPR and got the ambulance there quickly, miraculously saving his life and preventing brain injury.
Trevor now faces the immense challenge of moving through the rest of his life as a quadriplegic. Because the injury was so high on his spine, he no longer has use of his arms or legs and requires assistance to breath.
Trevor will sorely miss many of his passions, including biking, swimming, surfing and Ultimate Frisbee.
Trevor celebrated his 21st birthday this month. His future will be very different from his past, but it has the potential to be just as vibrant and successful.
His counsellor at G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver, where he has spent the last few months, is a 63-year-old quadriplegic who is married with two children. Trevor recently met a woman with an injury similar to his own, who is working on her doctorate in history and running a small business.
Trevor is already moving independently in his power wheelchair by using his mouth. He will continue to benefit greatly from specialized technology that will help him regain his independence and improve his quality of life. His computer opens up the world to him.
Our national health-care system has provided Trevor with lifesaving and caring support in so many ways over the last five months. However, from personal assistants, to technologies that will enable him to develop his full potential, there will be significant costs ahead.
Trevor will come home to Comox in the next few months, with the intent of returning to the University of Victoria in the future. At his graduation from Highland, Trevor received the award for top science student.
Friends of Trevor are putting on the Trevor Ashwell Benefit on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Little Red Church at 2182 Comox Ave. (across from the Hospital). Tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the Laughing Oyster and Blue Heron Book Stores.
It will be a wonderful evening of music thanks to the many gifted Valley musicians who are donating their time and talent. Sue Medley, Anela Kahiamoe, Des Larson, Alan Jossul, Iain Cameron, and Nathan Senner are going to make it a Sunday night to remember.
The very entertaining Highland Improv Team will keep us laughing between acts. There will also be delicious homemade bake goods and refreshments.
Trevor is very blessed to have parents Dave and Monica and siblings Robyn and Jesse who have totally immersed themselves for the last five months in his new reality.
The benefit is an opportunity for our community to help them; to support one of our own. Donations are very appreciated and can be made to the The Ashwell Family in Trust for Trevor Ashwell trust fund at any Coastal Community Credit Union.
— Friends of Trevor Ashwell