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Family looking for wheelchair donation

Amy Woolvett THE COAST GUARD On December 21, 1995, days before Christmas holidays were to begin, a Cape Sable Island family’s life was altered forever after an accident that took one life and left another in a wheelchair.

Mervin Nickerson stands behind his son Elijah. Mervin worries about his sons need for a new wheelchair but does not have the income himself to provide one. Carla Allen Photo

“My wife and I and Elijah were going shopping in Barrington,” begins Mervin Nickerson as he remembers that fatal morning, “the roads were quite slippery and we got all the way around the creek in Newellton and there was a head-on-collision with a man from Baccaro.”

The story is not easy to tell and he pauses and takes a breath before continuing. “My wife, she died in the accident, I was bruised up quite a bit and my son Elijah well he was hurt pretty bad.”

When they were brought to the hospital in Halifax, Elijah was suffering from a ruptured spleen. He was operated on but according to Nickerson the doctors could not stop the bleeding.

The accident left Elijah quadriplegic at the age of 35 with absolutely no use of his legs.

The reason for Mervin to tell his story is because now, years after the accident, his son Elijah is in dire need of a new wheelchair. “It’s getting too old now,” explained Mervin, “he’s had it since 1996 and can’t really get around easily with it.”

Mervin explained how he had requested aid from various sources and kept getting the same answer, we’ll see what we can do. “Except they never did,” said Mervin.

Life since the accident has been difficult for the two men.

At first Elijah received home care by Nurse’s everyday and now home support every other day and Mervin admits taking care of his son is difficult. “We’re just living off my pension so it’s hard to get him the things he needs,” admitted Mervin.

Even the wheel chair ramp that had been built to accommodate Elijah is now rickety with age.

He hoped by telling his story to the community, he might find a donation of a wheelchair or replacement, so his son can still be provided for what he needs.

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