BAY DE VERDE BOY RE­CEIVES NA­TION­WIDE WELL-WISHES

Face­book post at­tracts get-well let­ters ahead of surgery

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

BAY DE VERDE, NL — One young boy from Bay de Verde has a lot to look for­ward to in the com­ing weeks, de­spite hav­ing to get his tonsils out.

Car­son Loveless, a 14-yearold boy with autism, re­cently got news that he would be head­ing to St. John’s to get his tonsils re­moved.

Loveless had his surgery sched­uled for Fri­day, Dec. 1. How­ever, no mat­ter how ner­vous he or his par­ents may have felt prior to the surgery, Loveless as­sured ev­ery­one he would come out of the or­deal bet­ter than ever for one sim­ple rea­son – he had friends around the world who would be wish­ing him well.

After hear­ing this, his neigh­bour and for­mer school teacher Valda AuCoin de­cided to take to so­cial me­dia to en­sure that Loveless had a happy and suc­cess­ful re­cov­ery after the surgery.

AuCoin turned to Face­book, where she made a pub­lic post ask­ing for any­one who stum­bled across it to write a let­ter of well wishes to Loveless and mail it to him, so that he could open and read the notes dur­ing the rel­a­tively lengthy hospi­tal stay that would fol­low the surgery.

“Car­son is just al­ways so happy, and surgery can be stress­ful for any­one, re­ally,” AuCoin told the Com­pass a cou­ple days prior to Loveless’ surgery. “He told his mom and dad ‘I’ll be okay, I have friends all over the world,’ and I fig­ured, through the power of Face­book and the in­ter­net, I could help make that a re­al­ity.”

AuCoin’s Face­book sta­tus was shared over 100 times by fam­ily and friends, and has reached peo­ple as far as Cal­gary and On­tario, who plan to fol­low up with AuCoin’s in­struc­tions and send Loveless a get-well note.

As of Fri­day morn­ing, the post has just over 150 shares, with dozens of com­ments from peo­ple across the coun­try con­firm­ing they’ve sent Loveless a let­ter.

Since some let­ters may take sev­eral days or even weeks to ar­rive, Loveless will likely have some let­ters com­ing to him even after his re­turn home, but AuCoin said this will only add to his de­light.

With sev­eral let­ters al­ready mak­ing their way to Loveless’ ad­dress prior to the surgery, the notes had al­ready be­gun to do their job. His mother, Sherry Loveless, took to Face­book to thank those that have sent let­ters, stat­ing they helped quell his nerves the night be­fore his surgery.

“Car­son was feel­ing a bit up­set and ner­vous about his surgery … so he de­cided to open the get-well wishes that he re­ceived so far,” she wrote in the post. “It sure put a smile on his face and made him feel much bet­ter.”

AuCoin said she’s happy to see the re­sponse so far, adding she knows Loveless will be over over­joyed to see just how much truth there was to his state­ment about hav­ing friends around the world.

“You see and hear about so many bad things, es­pe­cially on Face­book, it’s like there’s no end to it,” said AuCoin. “But I think this is a good ex­am­ple of what Face­book can be used for. This young man is go­ing to have so many let­ters to open, all wish­ing him a safe re­cov­ery, and I think that’s amaz­ing. He de­serves ev­ery one of them.”

FACE­BOOK PHOTO

Car­son Loveless (right), 14, en­joyed read­ing get-well let­ters sent to him from all over the province.

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