‘My baby is broken’
Scotchtown man paralyzed in accident continues to recover
Scotchtown man paralyzed in accident continues to recover.
The mother of a Scotchtown man paralyzed in a horrific motor-vehicle accident in Bethune, Sask., says she finally got to meet the priest who came across her son on the side of the road after the crash.
Jean Cousins said Rev. Dr. Michael MacGregor, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Saskatchewan and a priest in the Anglican Church of Tanzania, showed up at Regina General Hospital to see her son Jason ( Jay) Cousins, 35. It was an emotional reunion.
“He lives a three-hour drive away. Seeing him was like seeing an angel from heaven.”
Jay, unable to move at the accident scene, had asked MacGregor to call his parents on his cellphone so he could tell them he loves them. Cousins had spoken to her son only a half hour before, and she was shocked to answer and discover a priest on the other end of the phone.
Cousins said MacGregor gave her prayer beads at the hospital and spent time with Jay.
“He said ‘ Even though Jay couldn’t talk, he still had that same sparkle in his eye, the same sparkle I saw that day at the accident.’”
“We prayed and he prayed,” she added.
Jay was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident while travelling to Red Deer, Alta., to start a new life. He was six hours away from his destination when he was involved in the accident in Bethune, Sask. Jay is currently in the Regina General Hospital suffering from multiple injuries and is paralyzed from the chest down.
Cousins said they also recently met two women at the hospital who were travelling behind Jay and saw him swerve and get thrown out of the window of his car.
“They said it was like watch- ing a movie. They grabbed their first-aid kit and ran to him,” she said.
“They just kept talking to him and all he kept saying was ‘Mom and dad.’ He knew he couldn’t feel his legs. At the end he was getting cold, going into shock. People were running with blankets.”
Cousins said she was glad to meet these women.
“We are getting more details about what happened that day. I’m also thankful another car wasn’t involved and no one was killed. I know Jay couldn’t have handled taking another life. I’m thankful it was just a single-vehicle accident.”
Cousins said her son now has a breathing tube inserted in his throat and doctors can’t guarantee it won’t be permanent.
“It’s like being on a rollercoaster ride — every day that you walk into the hospital you don’t know what you’re walking into,” she said.
She said its heartbreaking to see her son in this condition.
“It’s like my baby is broken — he’s like Humpty Dumpty and I can’t put him back together again,” she said, crying.
“I know it’s all in God’s hands.”
Cousins — who along with husband Melvin hasn’t left her son’s side — said Jay was scheduled to have surgery on his neck on July 15 but it was cancelled after he developed an infection. He was on a respirator until July 22 and could only communicate by blinking his eyes. She said after the tracheostomy tube was put in, the doctor went in to talk to him.
“He can’t talk. They gave us a book, he points at the pictures.”
She said since the accident, Jay has been worried he won’t be able to play the guitar again.
“They don’t know how much usage he’s going to get back in his hands and arms,” she said.
“He loves music, especially loves the Dave Matthews Band.”
In the meantime, Jean said support from across the country has been amazing, with cards coming from people they don’t know.
“People are saying they are praying, keeping Jay in their thoughts. It means a lot to us.”
Their only other child, daughter Starlette Cousins- Thomas, 44, died of Crohn’s disease in February.
Cousins’ best friend Laurie Carrigan, also of Scotchtown, has set up a GoFundMe campaign people can access at http://www.gofundme.com/ywc5tw. People can also donate to the family at any branch of the Royal Bank in Canada (Transit No. 05173, branch No. 003, account No. 5029111).
Carrigan said Jean is on long-term disability and Melvin is only receiving his old age pension.
“I set this up to relieve their burden so they wouldn’t have to worry about leaving their son’s side,” she said.
“The generosity out there is unbelievable. I don’t know how they’d be doing it without everyone’s support and prayers — it would be a totally different story, it would be a tragedy.
Cards can be mailed to Jay at Regina General Hospital, c/o Jason ( Jay) Cousins, surgical intensive-care unit, room 1, 1440 14th Ave., Regina, Sask., S4P-0W5.
“We are getting more details about what happened that day. I’m also thankful another car wasn’t involved and no one was killed. I know Jay couldn’t have handled taking another life. I’m thankful it was just a single-vehicle accident.” Jean Cousins
The Toyota Rav4 that Jay Cousins was driving when he was involved in a single-vehicle accident on July 7 that has left him in Regina General Hospital paralyzed from the chest down.
Jason (Jay) Cousins, 35, of Scotchtown, is seen in the surgical intensive-care unit at Regina General Hospital, paralyzed from the chest down, following a single-vehicle accident July 7 in Bethune, Sask.