Hero mom may never walk again

Sup­port pour­ing in for crash vic­tim who crawled up snow­bank to save daugh­ter

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

A friend says an in­jured Man­i­toba woman who crawled up a snow­bank to seek help af­ter spend­ing overnight in a frigid ditch try­ing to keep her young daugh­ter warm may never walk again.

Kris­ten Hiebert and four-yearold Avery were go­ing home on Sun­day night when their car slid off a ru­ral high­way near a bridge and rolled down a steep slope to the frozen Souris River.

The prob­lem was they were hid­den from the road.

Thrown from the car into the snow, the pair hud­dled to­gether for 10 hours as tem­per­a­tures dipped to -23 C. At dawn, Hiebert dragged her­self up the snow­bank de­spite a bro­ken leg, bro­ken neck and se­vere frost­bite to her bare feet. Hiebert was found by a pass­ing mo­torist, who just hap­pened to see her hand as she clung to the guardrail, and was air­lifted to a Win­nipeg hos­pi­tal.

Her daugh­ter is in sta­ble con­di­tion, but a close friend said Hiebert has a long re­cov­ery.

“She has lots of bro­ken bones, which can be healed, but it’s the frost­bite that’s on both of her feet, as well as her in­ner leg,” Mor­gan Camp­bell said Thurs­day. “Those are very touch and go. We’re not sure if they’re go­ing to come back or not.

“If she’s not go­ing to walk again, we’re look­ing at years.”

Camp­bell set up a GoFundMe page for Hiebert — a sin­gle mom who worked two jobs clean­ing homes and a ho­tel — hop­ing to off­set some of the costs her fam­ily faces stay­ing by her side in Win­nipeg.

Within 24 hours, do­na­tions reached $29,000. The gen­eros­ity of strangers will help Hiebert fo­cus on heal­ing with­out wor­ry­ing about sup­port­ing her daugh­ter, Camp­bell said.

“She’s in tear­ful dis­be­lief,” she said. “I can’t heal her bones and I can’t bring her feet back. This is what we can do. I’m so shocked and amazed, hon­oured and hum­bled that peo­ple have stepped up.”

It’s not clear what caused the crash. Camp­bell said Hiebert doesn’t re­mem­ber any­thing, but Camp­bell said the roads were icy at the time.

First re­spon­ders from the nearby town of Ninette say other mo­torists had pulled over to help by the time vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers ar­rived. The driv­ers were try­ing to warm Hiebert and Avery in the back of an SUV.

CP PHOTO

Kris­ten Hiebert and her daugh­ter, Avery, are shown in a hand­out photo.

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