Two remarkable stories

My Nikkel's Worth column

In the past week, I heard two different stories, both with extremely difficult circumstances, but in both cases, the end result is other people will be helped out as a sort of “silver lining”.
One story was about Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk, as told by her mom, Sandra LaRose, and how she had a horrific accident when her car was hit by a train near Weyburn last October, and she subsequently died of her injuries.
It was very hard to hear about this young lady’s death, as she passed away the day after she turned 17.
As a dad of three daughters, I just cannot imagine having to deal with such a tragic loss of a young woman taken far too soon, and hearing what a giving and helpful girl she was.
It was thus very gratifying and touching to hear that a legacy of her generous heart was her fervent wish to be an organ donor in the event of her death — and you may be sure she had no idea that wish would be fulfilled so soon.
She was moved by Logan Boulet of the Humboldt Broncos, who also wished to be an organ donor and subsequently helped people after he passed in the tragic bus accident. Thus, Kailynn’s organs were able to help three different people with her kidneys and liver, plus her pancreas was sent on for medical research.
And, as her mom pointed out, the timely assistance of the STARS helicopter enabled the doctors to keep her body in a condition where the organs could be used.
The death of her daughter was not the outcome she had wished for, but Sandra loves that her daughter was able to help others out with her organs, and with the assistance of STARS, she was able to be with her for one more week.
The other remarkable story I heard this week was from a survivor of electrocution, Curtis Weber, and how he suffered massive injuries that took him seven years to recover from.
He spoke at the 4-H Farm Safety Day on Saturday, and was very open and frank about what he went through.
Curtis was a member of a crew building steel grain bins, and he was hit with 14,400 volts in three cycles — meaning this massive jolt of electricity hit him three times.
He was in a coma for six weeks, and spent six and a half months in hospital with third and fourth-degree burns to 60 per cent of his body. He lost one arm just below the elbow, and a leg just below the knee.
Curtis recovered with the use of prosthetics, and is now just as active as when he was injured (at age 17), and he makes his living travelling around the world and across Canada talking about workplace safety and the dangers of electricity. In spite of what he suffered, he is helping people of all ages, urging them to stay safe.

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