What began as a Salmon Arm family’s outing in the bush on dirt bikes and side-by-sides turned tragic with a horrible accident on April 11. However, after a successful six-hour surgery, along with support, strength and love, 14-year-old Seth Blackburn is healing.
Seth’s mom Stacey Blackburn described what happened as a “total freak accident.”
She said where Seth was riding his dirt bike, well-camouflaged windfall was hanging over a corner on the trail. Seth didn’t see the small treetop that impaled him in the leg and stomach.
“They’re called widow-makers,” Stacey wrote on Facebook. “I want people who ride in the bush, whether you’re 14 or 50, to know about these.”
She said Seth was wearing full safety gear but it didn’t make a difference.
“A 50-year-old man would have died from the trauma that was caused by this tree-top,” Stacey said a doctor told her.
Surgeons at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops had to repair and replace blood vessels as well as other damage.
Although it will be a long recovery, Seth has been doing amazingly well.
“I am incredibly proud of him and how he is handling this life-changing accident. He is a fighter – if at any point I ever doubted that I don’t anymore. He is my hero,” Stacey said.
Amanda Qually, a friend of Stacey’s who works with her, has set up a GoFundMe page. It can be found under ‘Seth Blackburn’s recovery relief fund.’
She said only one parent is allowed in the hospital room, so Mike has come back to work where he can support their other son LJ at home.
Qually said she set up the GoFundMe to help make up for the loss of Stacey’s income.
“I hope to help them raise enough funds so Stacey can stay by her boy’s side as long as is needed. To fulfill his best recovery as he has many years ahead of him.”
Stacey said the family appreciates all the support.
“His spirits are pretty high for the most part. I keep showing him all the messages we are getting from friends, family and people in our beautiful little community. The support is overwhelming at moments. He is very very thankful to everyone who has reached out either through me and Mike or to Seth personally.”