The power of community

Paul Herridge
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Children can be quite resilient and remarkable little human beings. 

Two stories that attest to that very fact have come to The Gazette’s attention in recent weeks. Both come from the St. Lawrence area and happened on the very same day.

Five-year-old Rebekah Winsor of Little St. Lawrence has captured the attention of the entire Burin Peninsula with her story of survival.

On the Friday before Canada, Rebekah was rushed to the Burin Peninsula Health Care and later airlifted to St. John’s. The next morning she underwent emergency brain surgery for a bleed on her brain.

She spent the next week in the Janeway in an induced coma, finally woken up last week, only to face a long road to recovery ahead. 

The other story involved friends Michael Slaney, 9, and 10-year-old Andrew Slaney, who were outside when Andrew tripped and fell, slicing open an artery in his wrist on a broken bottle.

He, too, was rushed to the hospital in Burin June 29, the same day at Rebekah.

Michael remained calm, put pressure around the cut and walked Andrew to the nearby home of Glen and Susan Hodge, who took the injured boy to the hospital in St. Lawrence. In Burin, doctors repaired the artery and a cut on his hand.

It goes without saying that people so young should never have to go though such terrible things. It also offers a reminder of just how quickly things can go wrong.

But it’s also quite wonderful to see the outpouring of support and generosity that even complete strangers of capable of when they do.

Within days of Rebekah’s emergency, a Facebook page had been created and more than 2,000 members had joined. A trust fund had been set up at Scotiabank. Several fundraisers were organized to help out.

That’s the real power of community – one The Southern Gazette is proud to serve.

Whenever someone is in need, you can always count on people to be there.

You can look to any number of fundraisers on the peninsula that always bring in amazing amounts of money. But in acts as well, like the Hodges, who responded when they were called upon.

So way to go Michael! Hang in there, Rebekah – know that everyone back home is pulling for you. And a special thanks to all the Good Samaritan’s out there.

Organizations: The Gazette, Scotiabank

Geographic location: Burin, Canada

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