Okanagan family gets support from strangers after limb amputation | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan family gets support from strangers after limb amputation

Jason Rivoire at Kelowna General Hospital after having a foot amputation.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Deb Vindasius

Positive thinking, faith and an outpouring of support from friends and strangers are what is keeping a family in the Okanagan moving forward in the wake of a horrible accident.

Just over a month father and fiancé Jason Rivoire fell while working on a house he and his family were building on the Arrow Lakes, shattering his foot into fifty pieces. He was taken to the hospital in Nakusp and was later transported to Kelowna General Hospital to see a vascular doctor. His foot had to be amputated.

“Surgeons put in a plate and screws but a week later during a dressing change a bacterial infection was discovered and it just continued to get worse from there,” Rivoire said. “Doctors kept increasing my antibiotics but eventually I was told my foot could maybe be saved but it would never work the same.”

Rivoire said a family meeting was held and the decision was made to amputate.

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With their investments in the new house they were building, Rivoire and his family have been relying on the kindness of others to support them while he has been in hospital. They are originally from Ontario before they moved to Peachland and do not have immediate family members here.

“It is hard to put ourselves out there and keep asking for help,” said fiance Deb Vindasius. “We are usually the ones helping others. Definitely the most beautiful part of this experience is the showing of support we are getting from others, some I have never met.”

Vindasius said friends in Peachland have been providing them with a temporary place to stay and a friend in Rutland is caring for their teenage son and getting him to school there. After putting her plea for help out on social media earlier this month, a stranger is lending the family a trailer to live in while another has offered them a free place to hook-up for the winter.

“We will be living for free in Glenrosa for the winter, to be close to the hospital,” she said. “This guy said we could have our dogs with us as well for no extra charge, which is very important to us.”

Rivoire said his religious faith has helped him get through the ordeal.

“I know God has a plan for me so whatever happens I know the outcome will be better,” he said. “I always look at life like the glass is half full. God knew he could take my foot away and it wouldn’t break my faith. Good things have come out of this.”

Vindasius said her fiance is driven and determined.

“He has always been,” she said. “This is what got us this far as a family. There is never time to feel sorry for ourselves, we are going to get done what we need to, it is not a matter of if but how.”

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The family, including son Tristen, has to wait for swelling to go down and stitches to heal before they can start looking at a prosthesis. They said they are very happy with the care they have received at the hospital.

“This will be a great life lesson for my son,” Rivoire said. “You can lose a leg and keep on trucking. He copes with humour and sees his dad as He-Man.”

They plan to get back to their house near Nakusp to finish the build and complete their move in as soon as possible.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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