Ac­tions are rec­og­nized

Trio cred­ited for sav­ing Vance Easter’s life

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE -

Some­how, in the midst of the shock and panic, Jewel Easter said her first-aid train­ing kicked in.

“All I re­mem­ber is: ‘cold wa­ter,’” she said about her de­ci­sion to run for the wa­ter hose and to spray her fa­ther af­ter the flames from a hor­rific weld­ing shop ac­ci­dent were put out.

The cool spray helped cool his body as Vance Easter and his res­cuers waited for emer­gency per­son­nel to ar­rive.

Jewel re­calls how calm her fa­ther re­mained through­out the or­deal.

Vance Easter sus­tained third de­gree burns to 70 per cent of his body on Sept. 24, 2011 when a piece of slag rup­tured his hose line, turn­ing it into a flame thrower aimed right at him.

He spent a few days shy of a year on the Hal­i­fax burn unit be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal in Char­lot­te­town. He got home for a few days at Christ­mas 2012, and was of­fi­cially re­leased from hos­pi­tal in April 2013.

Jewel and two passersby who rushed to Vance’s aid, were re­cently pre­sented with cer­tifi­cates in recog­ni­tion of their role in sav­ing his life.

“Quite hum­bling. Bit­ter sweet,” Jewel said of the recog­ni­tion.

She re­calls the suf­fer­ing her fa­ther en­dured af­ter the ac­ci­dent and cel­e­brates his on­go­ing re­cov­ery.

“He’s al­ways find­ing some­thing new to fig­ure out,” she mar­vels.

Robb Wick­strom, a di­rec­tor with the Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety of P.E.I., at­tended a recog­ni­tion cer­e­mony in the Easter fam­ily’s yard and con­firmed that the three, Jewel, Austie O’Meara and Glen Camp­bell, have been nom­i­nated by Vance for life­sav­ing awards and will be re­ceiv­ing their awards this fall.

While ap­pre­cia­tive of the recog­ni­tion, both Camp­bell and O’Meara said just see­ing Easter walk and joke around is re­ward enough.

“It’s just some­thing spur-ofthe-mo­ment,” O’Meara said in de­scrib­ing how he and Camp­bell rushed to Easter’s aid.

They had been at Easter’s Western Weld­ing shop ear­lier in the day and were just driv­ing back past when they saw Easter, in flames, run­ning from the shop to­wards the house.

Camp­bell rolled him on the grass and O’Meara grabbed a deck um­brella to help smother the fire.

Re­mark­ably, Camp­bell and O’Meara, who were trav­el­ling to­gether, had meant to go home another way that day.

“His strength and willpower to come back from some­thing like that is un­be­liev­able. He’s the real sur­vivor,” said Camp­bell.

Easter, who suf­fered two heart at­tacks and two strokes and en­dured sev­eral surg­eries dur­ing his lengthy re­cov­ery, re­turns the praise.

“I am sure proud of these three peo­ple and they de­serve ev­ery bit of recog­ni­tion across Canada.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.