ST. AGATHA —
This strawberry season will be the most difficult for the Herrle family as they hold on to hope that 13-year-old Lydia will recover from injuries she sustained in an accident nearly three weeks ago.
“It will be a busy summer for us and by (the fall) Lydia might be much, much improved,” said Elsie Herrle, her grandmother.
Their Herrle’s Country Farm Market opened its doors Tuesday for the season, following good news on Sunday that Lydia no longer needed a ventilator to breathe.
Lydia was hit by a truck on May 17 while getting off a school bus at her Erb’s Road home. The accident, according to Waterloo Region Police Service, is still under investigation.
Family members have stayed by Lydia’s side as she remains in a coma at the intensive care unit at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Her parents, James and Michelle, are using a blog to share prayers and updates on her progress.
“The breathing tube came out on Sunday which seemed like a small step on one point but … a nurse likened it to running a marathon,” said James, standing in his St. Agatha market on Tuesday.
He added that with the removal of the breathing tube, Lydia was expected to move from intensive care to a rehabilitation unit as long as space was available. This progress, the family said, solidifies their hope.
“I think we’ve all shed tears every day, just knowing that things are on the upswing, that they’re getting better, that’s all we can cling to right now,” said Elsie.
Now with the reopening of the market, the daily work is giving the family a sense of normalcy.
“It’s best to keep busy and that we certainly are,” said Elsie.
The community has also provided the family with great support. Bright green ribbons — highlighting Lydia’s favourite colour — have been put up across the region and a neighbour’s son has been selling green bracelets donning the words “Stay Strong” to help the family.
Extending the community’s support, Harold Albrecht, MP for Kitchener-Conestoga, made a statement in Parliament on Monday calling for Canadians to pray for Lydia’s recovery.
“I don’t think there’s any area of the country that does better at pulling together during difficult times,” Albrecht said.
He added that he shares the wish for Lydia’s full recovery.
Doctors have not provided a timeline for her recovery, according to James, because of the uncertainty about any brain trauma. It could be weeks or months before Lydia comes out of a coma and sees major progress.
“We’re optimistic that she’s going to come back,” said James.
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