A Penticton woman is reaching out to the community to ask for support for her father, a man she considers her role model.
Camelia Vokey, calls her dad, generous, funny, energetic and fearless.
When she was just nine years old, her father Nelson fell during a hockey game. He landed on his chest and had to be carried off the ice. He was rushed to the hospital to repair his vertebrae, however, following the surgery the doctors said he was paralyzed from the neck down.
But as Camelia explains, not being able to walk wasn’t an option for Nelson and after some time and hard work, her dad man was again able to stand up and move.
“He walked and walked until a second episode seven years later when a bulging disc in C4/C5 prevented his mobility and he required surgery once again. His perseverance persisted, and he recovered,” said Camelia.
Nelson went on to play hockey, fish, golf and live his life as he had before the injury.
But then on Sept. 12, Nelson injured himself playing golf.
Three hours later he was paralyzed, for the second time in his life. Unable to move from the neck down, he was rushed by ambulance to the Penticton Regional Hospital and following a CT scan indicating serious damage in his C3/C4 region and he was flown by plane to Vancouver General Hospital for immediate surgery.
“Post-surgery the surgeon has declared catastrophic damage with unknown chance to regain any sensation or movement. He is paralyzed from the neck down, he cannot feel anything and cannot breathe on his own,” explained Camelia.
He has been using his eyes and eyebrows to communicate with people, she said.
“One thing he has expressed is his desire to live.”
Considering what her dad has been through, his resilience and strength to fight are why Camelia is now taking over the battle.
She is looking to raise $100,000, to help with rehabilitation, the equipment he may need, and home modification expenses. The money will also go to help Camelia’s family with travel expenses as Nelson must remain in Vancouver at a spinal injury rehabilitation home as well as assist with the loss of income.
“My dad’s mission in life has always been to make people smile, and he has succeeded countless times,” said Camelia.
In five days more than $13,000 has been raised for the Vokey family.
To donate to the GoFundMe click here.