For tetraplegic life is not over, only changed
By CHERYL CLOCK/QMI Agency
Posted 2 days ago
ST. CATHARINES — There's a photograph on his living room shelf. His girlfriend and him, arms wrapped around each other, their first day on the beach in the Dominican Republic.
It was March Break, three years ago. A long overdue holiday. They had the week ahead of them.
Thirty-something Troy Fraser was in his second and final year in the environmental technician program at Niagara College. He'd got tired of working odd jobs, scraped together enough money, and put himself through school.
His girlfriend, Marvi Alba, was and still is working as a personal support worker at the Heidehoff Longterm Care Home. She'd come from the Philippines for a better life and was working as a nanny when they met through a friend. They'd been together for five years when they took this, their first — and last — trip to the Dominican.
In the photo, they're perched on the edge of a lounger on the beach. Troy hugs her from behind.
Three days after that moment in time was recorded, their lives were forever changed.
Troy dove into the water, off a breakwall by the resort, and never walked again.
The medical term is tetraplegic. He can move his shoulders and arms, but has no movement below that. He can't open his hands. It took 12 days to be transported back to Canada. And over a year after the accident to finally return home with Marvi.