Fundraiser set-up following ATV accident that left one dead, another in hospital

ST. STEPHEN – On Saturday, June 12, an ATV accident claimed the life of one man and left another in the hospital with extensive injuries. Now, the community is coming together to make sure that the family of survivor Chris Purdy is able to meet their financial obligations while he is recovering. His wife, Christina Purdy, has taken a leave from her job at Canadian Tire in order to be with him at the hospital daily, and without this financial help, she would not be able to do this.

Family friend Chrissy McGregor has set-up a fundraiser to help the Purdy family with their expenses, and said she is amazed by the generosity of the community. Purdy will be hospitalized for treatment and/or rehabilitation for the next several months.

“He has severe injuries…He was the passenger. The other person did not make it. It wasn’t something that we were expecting, that’s for sure. Both of them were really good guys,” said McGregor.

As a result of the accident, Purdy has several broken bones in his face, along with a broken neck and broken back. He has already had surgery on his back, but lingering paralysis remains a concern. But, McGregor said there is always hope, and everyone who knows and loves Purdy is keeping that hope alive. She said he is in pretty good spirits, considering, and that he and his wife are “very, very thankful” for everything that the people in the community are doing for their family.

Dave Leavitt was killed in the accident, and McGregor, whose husband has been friends with Leavitt for 20 years or longer, said they hope to be able to honour him as well as help the Purdy family. On Thursday, June 17, a funeral was held for Leavitt. He worked for Holland Power Services, and several Holland Power workers and their trucks were there for the service. Two bucket trucks raised their buckets and crossed them over Milltown Boulevard in front of the Catholic church to create an archway over the road.

“Any help we can get this family is huge,” said McGregor. “His wife has been crying because of how appreciative they are. They’re awesome, genuine people. ‘Davey’ as we called him, was the same. He was a family first man who took care of his own and someone who would do anything he could for anyone.

“I’ve talked with both families, and Davey’s family is hurting for Chris’ family, and Chris’ family is hurting for Davey’s family, on top of what they’re both going through. They’re still thinking of others, even in the time of their worst heartaches.”

McGregor said Christina is trying to be a mom to her kids while being at her husband’s side for every step of his recovery, so the fundraiser was created to ensure there’s no financial stress on the family. She said although his wife does work, it was always Purdy who was the main breadwinner, and not having that income is “definitely devastating” on top of everything else.

“We don’t want them to have to worry about paying their bills or money to travel back and forth to be with him,” said McGregor. “What we’re doing is we have a ton of local businesses who have donated prizes. I know there are some spa services, oil changes, things like that.

“We’re selling tickets, and I have an email address set up so that Chris’ wife Christina has access to it. She goes in, she checks the messages, and downloads the funds directly to their bank account. Then, I go in and I look at the transfers and I record those for the tickets.”

McGregor said Purdy told Christina he was worried about her and their family. When he said it, she went online and opened up the email address to show him the fundraiser. She began reading the names of the many people who have already donated funds or prizes, and told him to “concentrate on getting better and coming home, because we have a whole community of people that are helping us to make sure that we’re taken care of”.

Tickets are $10 each, or six for $50, and when you purchase a ticket, your name will be entered for all of the prizes. If your name is drawn, it will be put back in for the next drawing. There will be individual draws for each prize, and there are thousands of dollars’ of prizes available, including a trampoline from Canadian Tire. The grand prize will be awarded at the end, but the date hasn’t been decided as they are waiting to learn more about Purdy’s recovery. This prize is $1,000 worth of construction services from McGregor Construction Ltd., owned by McGregor’s husband, Shane.

“We will continue to accept donations of draw items, and we’ll continue to accept transfers for tickets. As we learn more, we’ll keep everyone updated on his progress and his recovery,” said McGregor.

Donations can be sent via e-transfer to purdyfamily@sourceonebliss.com. For more information, please visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/1008831696322682 and the website at www.purdyfamily4.wixsite.com/my-site

Many people have been contacting McGregor to thank her for everything she is doing for the family, but she wants to stress that it is not just her, but is a group effort. Without help from the community, everything that is being done would not be possible.

“I don’t want to take any credit because it’s the donations from people,” said McGregor. “I’m getting donations from people saying, ‘I just want to help’. Some people can’t afford to buy tickets, so they’re donating items that they make. I see the names, and I see the amounts.

“We’re not a rich community, and people are, I know, putting this family before themselves. People just want to help and give whatever they can. I just want to stress that this is the community. I’m doing the Facebook group and accepting donations and doing the organizing, but our community has come together to make sure the family is taken care of.”

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca