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Tornado touches down in Little Britain with devastating consequences

SHAWN LACKIE, Special to The Standard

KAWARTHA: For most of us, July 15th was just another summer day. But for the Stacey family in Little Britain, it was far from that. Life-changing, in fact. What started out as a routine day ended in shambles with the family farm and home torn to shreds. To the point, it will need to be torn down completely.

Coldwell Banker RMR realtor Carey Stacey was in her home, with her son Owen when the madness hit. Here is Carey’s take on things. “Owen saw the tornado coming, so I told him to go downstairs; I followed. He went to the far wall where we had practised before, and I didn’t make it down the stairs before the sidewall of the house and chimney fell on me. I ended up head first with the chimney crushing my left ankle, back and other parts. Owen came over once everything was done falling and dug me out. And [he] had to lift huge and heavy pieces from the chimney. After I could move myself out with his help, he called 911.

“Our neighbour Aidan Quinn came down the stairs, with the roof caved in, and saw my head bleeding. [He] kept putting paper towels on it and held my back straight with instructions from [the] 911 dispatch[er]. That guy help[ed] me for probably over half an hour. The roads were totally blocked with trees. I will never be able to repay what Aidan did for my family and me. He will always be my hero. Even when I wanted to lie down because I was in so much pain, he held me tighter.

“They took me out the basement window on my bathroom door. Took me to Port Perry [Lakeridge Hospital] where I got to see Sheena Glass-Brown, who was awesome, and then [they] sent me to Sunnybrook Hospital Trauma Unit.

“I ended up with four broken vertebrae, L1-L4, and L3, [I] also had a hematoma and was bleeding. The doctors were not sure if I would have to have surgery. My ankle was completely crushed. The Doctors tried to reduce it three times to at least have it aligned the right way, but it wouldn’t work. They ended up having to do surgery on it Friday night, July 16th at 8:30 p.m. The doctor told me he would have to put in a lot of plates, pins, and screws. After I read the operation report, he sure did, and it is aligned right. There is hopefully a good chance I won’t have to have another surgery on it.”

Needless to say, Carey suffered a life-threatening situation. She ended up with: a hairline cut on her head that required three staples, she broke her transverse processes on vertebrates L1 to L4, three fractures on vertebrae L3 and a hematoma, a crushed ankle that required multiple screws and plates, a broken wrist, a baseball-sized lump on her right arm, her right ankle was swollen like a football and very bruised but fortunately no fractures and lots of cuts and bruises.

Family friends, Tonia and John Mason, organized a GoFundMe account, and to date, it has raised almost $40,000 to help the Stacey family, but there is a long way to go. Carey’s rehab and the fact the home and barn will need to be rebuilt from the ground up means some heavy expenses. They have insurance, sure, but that might not cover everything. When Steve went to the Emergency Relief Fund for Tornadoes, he was told they didn’t qualify because they weren’t located in Barrie. That’s a head-scratcher.

The family is united in finding better times. Carey is resolved to do what it takes to get better physically after this life-threatening situation. The community, as always, has been awesome. Small towns seem to have the ability to rally around their fallen friends. Little Britain is no exception. Here’s to brighter times ahead for this family.

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