Community helps in Palermo veterinarian's recovery

By Fran Gonzalez | Feb 01, 2018
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Pamela Page and family are grateful for the outpouring of support they have received from the community since she was seriously injured in a crash in October 2017.

Palermo — Pamela Page doesn't remember much about the details of her accident last Oct. 25, 2017.

It was a rainy fall morning. After dropping off her children at school she was traveling west on Route 3, in China, when she slowed to make a left turn, according to a news release from State Police.

A truck traveling behind her swerved and collided with the side of her van, forcing it off the road and into the woods.

She was trapped in her van for almost an hour as firefighters used extrication equipment to cut the doors off to free her, police said.

"Considering the extent of my injuries I am very fortunate that I'm not paralyzed," Page said. "I do have all my mental faculties. It could have been much worse."

Using a wheelchair to get around, Page now has regular physical and occupational therapy sessions in her home. She is learning to walk again, using a walker.

"Just last week I got permission to bear weight on this leg," Page said. "I was one-legged for a quite a while."  The leg she is referring to was fractured and dislocated.

She now is able do some walking within the house with the aid of the walker, and only during her physical therapist sessions. It is slow going but there are signs of improvement.

Her children are doing much better now that she is home. Her 6-year-old daughter had been traumatized. Page's 12-year-old son is learning to cook and helps with food preparation.

"I just have to get all the ingredients on the table," Page said.

Page's husband Don Barrett, no longer has to puree food because of her broken jaw.

At the hospital in Portland, Barrett recalls, "They told me we couldn't bring her home until we had a wheelchair van. That day our son got on the computer and found one on Craigslist.

"It was very fortunate," he said. "That was one thing that just worked out."

Page added, "I don't think we could have survived without the outpouring of support and help from the community. I still get quite emotional even to talk about it. Help came from every corner."

For instance, the wheelchair ramp, which they lovingly refer to as "the Noah's Arc of wheelchair ramps," was built by friends. It extends from the driveway, all the way around the house, then ends up at the back door.

"Almost every day they came to help us build this, for multiple weeks, in inhospitable weather," Page said. "People just showed up — some we knew, some we didn't know — with tools.

"When I was in the hospital in Portland," she said, "my husband and kids made many trips down — they were on the road a lot. Even in a power outage, people still managed to bring food to help."

Four churches stepped in at Christmastime. "Our Christmas was going to be socks, underwear and bed linens," Page said. "That was all we felt we could do." The churches helped with gifts for the family.

"I don't think we could have made it without all the financial gifts everywhere we'd turn, and that is essentially what we're surviving on," Page said.

Time will tell, she said about returning to her veterinary clinic. The work is physical and she might have to make some modifications.

"They do anticipate I will be ambulatory, hopefully sooner rather than later, now that I can use both legs," Page said. "We will post it on our sign across the road: We're open again!

"I don't think anyone can predict what my final status will be," she added. "Time will tell."

Page is concerned about addressing the safety of traveling on Route 3. She would like authorities "to revisit the hazards that make this road one of the deadliest in the state."

Police said investigation of the Oct. 25 crash is still ongoing and no charges have been filed.

For those who wish to contribute to Page's medical expenses, there is a GoFundme site at https://tinyurl.com/y7l88bma or checks can be sent directly to her husband, Don Barrett, Pagett Farm, 2986 Route 3, Palermo, ME 04354.

 

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.