The perogies and sausages in the pictures look every bit as delicious as when Sam White made them living on his own for the last year.
The difference between now and then, however, is the appearance of the wheelchair.
The 19-year-old Vernon man has been learning to adapt to life without leg mobility following a snowmobile accident on Hunters Range near Enderby Dec. 29 that resulted in a spinal injury and dislocated shoulder. The photos show White cooking from his wheelchair.
“Things have been pretty good so far,” said White of his new surroundings, the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver, B.C.’s largest rehabilitation centre that provides support services in four unique areas, including spinal cord injuries. “Being here is definitely helping me become capable of doing things. They wanted to test that I could still cook while in the chair.”
The crash followed a mechanical issue, according to information on a GoFundMe page created for White post-accident. Local snowmobilers were first to respond and applied first aid until the arrival of an air ambulance team. White was flown first to Kelowna General Hospital, then transferred to Vancouver.
His mom, Shannon Moore, has rented an apartment to be close to her son. Twin brother Isaac, grandmother Cheryl Gareb and a myriad of friends have visited delivering love and support. Many others have expressed best wishes through social media posts.
One friend, Jesse Perkins, got on bended knee on Valentine’s Day and jokingly asked White to be his Valentine while presenting him with a stuffed moose while grandma laughed hysterically. Earlier in the day, White and friends enjoyed lunch at The Flying Beaver Bar and Grill near the Vancouver Airport.
“It’s been great,” said White of the outpouring of support. “There’s definitely a lot of people reaching out, friends and family being here supporting me and keeping me entertained.”
A Facebook page, Sam’s Recovery, has been created and shows White enjoying outings to a Bass Pro Shop outlet and playing mini hockey sticks with a friend. The page updates White’s recovery process.
“Vancouver is pretty well set up for accessibility,” said White. “Everywhere I’ve gone it’s been not too difficult. I haven’t really had any struggles except ones you’d expect being in a chair instead of walking. It still kinda sucks.”
Moore says her son is maintaining a positive outlook.
“He’s always been a very glass half full guy and he continues that after the accident. He’s still his usual smart-ass self,” laughed Moore.
The GoFundMe page established is to help with White’s costs and expenses, and has almost reached the halfway mark toward a $40,000 goal. As of Monday, Feb. 15, a total of $17,500 has been donated.
White says adapting to the wheelchair has been going well.
“I mean, I’m trying hard to do everything I could before (the accident) and it seems to be working,” he said. “My spirit is pretty good, that’s what everyone is telling me.”