The community of Petersfield, Man., is rallying behind a man who was severely injured in a head-on crash on Highway 9 in the rural municipality of St. Andrews last weekend.
Chris Waterman, 40, is recovering in hospital in Winnipeg following the crash that closed Highway 9 near Clandeboye, Man., for several hours on Feb. 11.
Waterman was heading southbound in a pickup truck on the highway around 1:15 p.m. when he was hit by a northbound SUV that had come into his lane trying to pass another vehicle.
The driver of the SUV, a 57-year-old man from Winnipeg, was killed in the crash.
Waterman was rushed to hospital where he needed surgery to stabilize his back, says Vivian Desjarlais, who is helping to organize a fundraiser to help Waterman's family.
Desjarlais says Waterman will need further surgeries to repair the damage to his legs from multiple breaks and dislocations.
She says his family is coming to grips with the fact the young father may not walk again.
"It's a huge change to their family," said Desjarlais. "They are looking forward — they are not a family that looks back.
"They are working with the staff and have an optimistic view on all of it."
A social will be held April 7 at the Petersfield Community Club to help pay for renovations to adapt Waterman's home so he can return to the community to continue his recovery as soon as possible.
"We would like to have him back in our community and back in his home," said Desjarlais.
Desjarlais says she has been overwhelmed by the support that's been pouring in, including financial donations, food and silent auction prizes for the social.
"Look at everybody who is out here caring and thinking of him," she said. "I really hope that the love that he sees from us and the effort that we have made aid in his recovery.
"At the very least we hope it lifts his spirits."
Waterman's sister, Mandy Gibson, has also has also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the project. It had raised about $8,000 as of Monday morning.
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