‘Some­times I’m blessed with all pow­ers’

War Amps helps Syd­ney boy with miss­ing arm stay ac­tive


Be­ing born miss­ing his left arm hasn’t held Zack­ery McDon­ald back from be­ing an ac­tive eight-year-old who, like most kids his age, likes to play on his trampoline, on his PlayS­ta­tion and with his cats.

But the as­sis­tance of the War Amps has pro­vided de­vices that make some tasks a bit eas­ier for the Syd­ney boy. McDon­ald is a mem­ber of the War Amps Child Am­putee Pro­gram and is el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance with ar­ti­fi­cial limbs and recre­ational de­vices.

The War Amps re­cently pro­vided a tum­bling de­vice, which has a flat base, al­low­ing McDon­ald to do floor moves, in­clud­ing push-ups. He in­sists he has done up to 200 at a time but his mother Patsy Hall said the num­ber is closer to two dozen.

Blessed with a healthy imag­i­na­tion, the Grade 3 Brook­land Ele­men­tary stu­dent has an open-ended re­sponse when asked what he likes to do in his spare time.

“Depend­ing on what I’m think­ing, some­times I’m blessed with all pow­ers — some­times I’m rich, some­times I de­stroy things. Pretty much 24-7,” he said.

His mother said McDon­ald at­tended his first War Amps seminar when he was six months old. He con­tin­ues to go ev­ery year and they pro­vide much-needed sup­port and the chance to be around other chil­dren who face sim­i­lar chal­lenges. Pros­thetic arms alone can cost up to $10,000.

“They fly us up to Fred­er­ic­ton, they pay for our meals — ev­ery­thing is in­cluded. They are def­i­nitely an as­set,” Hall said.

The of­fi­cer’s ac­tions do not con­sti­tute a crim­i­nal of­fence and do not jus­tify any charges un­der the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, which also states the fam­ily of the vic­tim has in­di­cated they con­sider the in­ci­dent an ac­ci­dent.

The man who was struck by the po­lice ve­hi­cle on Perry Street had been help­ing a young boy who had fallen out of a sec­ond-storey win­dow in a neigh­bour­ing house.

The boy suf­fered what ap­peared to be a se­ri­ous head in­jury and the man had called 911.

A num­ber of other peo­ple had gath­ered in the area, in­clud­ing the boy’s grand­par­ents, and the scene was some­what chaotic, ac­cord­ing to the Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team re­port.

The three po­lice ve­hi­cles and am­bu­lance that ar­rived were parked on the street, which was nar­rowed by large snow­banks.

Two po­lice of­fi­cers were in a po­lice sport- util­ity ve­hi­cle speak­ing by phone with the Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity Ser­vices re­gard­ing pos­si­ble is­sues re­lated to the boy’s care at home.

Dur­ing the call the am­bu­lance ap­peared to be back­ing up to take the boy to the hos­pi­tal. The of­fi­cer driv­ing the SUV be­gan to back up to al­low the am­bu­lance to leave more quickly.

At that time, the man who had called 911 was stand­ing be­hind the SUV, ap­par­ently help­ing with traf­fic, ac­cord­ing to the Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team, and was not seen by the driver of the po­lice ve­hi­cle.

The SUV backed over him, and then went for­ward. De­spite im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance pro­vided by the EHS per­son­nel, the man died at the scene.

Go online to http:// sirt. no­vas­co­tia. ca to view the full re­port.

NANCY KING/CAPE BRE­TON POST Zack­ery McDon­ald, who was born with­out a left arm, re­cently re­ceived a spe­cial tum­bling de­vice that makes it eas­ier for him to do some of the phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties he en­joys, such as hand­stands and ride his bike. McDon­ald, seen here with his mother Patsy Hall, re­ceived the de­vice with the help of the War Amps.

Po­lice blocked off ac­cess to Perry Street in North Syd­ney on April 4 af­ter a man died af­ter be­ing struck by a po­lice ve­hi­cle that was re­vers­ing to make way for an am­bu­lance.

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