Family grateful for community support

Cole Hoodicoff, an 11-year-old fun-loving, smart, happy, enthusiastic boy was severely injured in a skiing accident at Red Mountain on Jan. 3 and now is immobilized from the chest down.

Cole Hoodicoff and his father Brad

Cole Hoodicoff and his father Brad

Cole Hoodicoff, an 11-year-old fun-loving, smart, happy, enthusiastic boy was severely injured in a skiing accident at Red Mountain on Jan. 3 and now is immobilized from the chest down.

He was air-lifted to the Children’s Hospital in Vancouver where he is slowly recovering from his head, back and spinal injuries. This little boy’s road has been a tremendous struggle for him with a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, and still he has been the strongest of all. The road ahead is going to be just as hard. He will be in Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital for many weeks, and will then be moved to Sunnyhill Health Centre for Children in Burnaby for rehabilitation for an additional three to six months.

All of Cole’s family and friends are devastated and heartbroken, and the community is saddened, but his parents Brad Hoodicoff and Amy Walters are especially in anguish and are completely devastated by this terrible accident but have remained strong for their son and for each other. Their strength, courage and faith has been an inspiration, and with the support of family and friends, the partners of Brad and Amy, and all of the people praying, all positive words, encouragement and faith, Cole and his family will get through this, and Cole will heal.

There are no words to say how truly grateful the parents are and all of the family are to you all. Human kindness is a truly beautiful thing. The greatest gift of all is that Cole is still with us, that he can say ‘I love you’ and we can say it back. That is a blessing in itself. Cole is here to have hopes, dreams and goals and will fulfill his hopes, dreams, and goals and will live a productive and full life, and we are all so grateful for that.

His parents have had to leave Castlegar for six to nine months, leaving homes, jobs and two other children while they support Cole through his journey of rehabilitation. We have had so many people praying and it is helping, the prayers are working. He’s progressing every day. Doctors initially said Cole may never eat again and may need a permanent feeding tube. But Cole is eating. The bleeding in his brain stopped and every day he is making progress. With all the prayers, a positive mindset, and support, Cole will recover in time. Miracles happen every day.

We are trying to raise funds for this family. At this time we are seeking anybody out there to help and support Cole and his parents in any way possible in their time of need, whether it’s a prayer or a donation to assist in the expenses for Cole’s parents to stay by his side and to make sure this little angel has the wheelchairs he needs, oxygen machines, lifts for the bath, a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, home renovations and so so much more.

We are also having a family fund-raising dinner, dance and silent auction at the Castlegar Community Complex on Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. Dinner and dance tickets will be sold at the door, and at H&R Block and Biznet in Castlegar. There is a trip for two to Las Vegas for three nights to raffle off and a huge silent auction with many, many items that have been generously — and I mean generously — donated by local businesses. All money raised will help to ease the financial burden this family is having to face now and in the future for their son.

Brad Hoodicoff will be present at the dinner and any support you have for him, Amy and Cole would be appreciated.

There are also other fund-raising events that have happened and are coming up. The teachers, kids and parents at Twin Rivers School had a movie night which was a complete success in supporting Cole in his recovery. The Lion’s Head Pub had an great turnout at a function in Robson on Jan. 15, and The Element Bar and Night Club has generously allowed a fund raising evening on Jan. 28, in Castlegar. Thank-you, everyone.

I cannot find the words to express how grateful we feel inside for the community support and the awesome events that have happened and the upcoming events that are happening for Cole and his parents. We really are truly blessed to live in such a tight-knit, beautiful community. I have never in my life before felt such an absolute appreciation and love for the community we live in and all of the people in it. We are all very lucky. The family is overwhelmed, in awe and blessed with the outpouring of support. People have been so so so kind. It’s amazing, really.

I cannot even begin to name names or express our gratitude for the extent of this support. Thank-you, everyone. God bless you all and your families.

Marla Hoodicoff Gauchier

and the Hoodicoff Family