Irene Wolfe, her husband Isaac, and their three kids were on their way home from Costco with a van full of groceries when they were hit by someone texting and driving.
Everyone survived, but suffered injuries.
“My right arm, the wrist is totally shattered. The doctor told me I maybe won’t have even 40 per cent mobility to my arm ever again. The carpal tunnel muscle is torn off by about an inch,” Wolfe said.
Two of their three children have concussions and whiplash, and the other just has whiplash. Her husband, a panel technician, is off work due to injuring his back in the accident, and to help out with the kids since she’s hurt.
“The insurance says they will only pay for a PSW to come take care of me two times a week. They don’t pay for the care for the children. You can’t just leave the children alone, so he’s at home right now, too,” Wolfe said.
She says the $810 worth of groceries they bought won’t be covered by insurance either because it would be under their home insurance, but it didn’t make it there. They had bought the children some clothes and stocked up on food and supplies to do all their home baking.
“So far we haven’t got anything from the insurance, it’s looking a bit dark,” Wolfe said.
There’s never good timing for a car accident, but now is especially a difficult time as Wolfe is recovering from numerous surgeries and cancer.
She was diagnosed in November 2014 with ovarian cancer. She started treatment and was feeling sick, but the doctors thought it could be because of the chemotherapy. When they did blood work, they discovered she was pregnant.
“I had already had a few rounds of treatment, so we didn’t know which way things would go,” Wolfe said.
She stopped treatment during her pregnancy and got really sick in January of 2015. On Feb. 21 she was admitted into London Health Sciences Centre. That night her small intestine ruptured and she was rushed to Humber River Regional Hospital.
“I had to have emergency surgery to fix my bowels and of course we didn’t know if the baby would survive because I was only 15 weeks. So I had my surgery and then in under 12 hours of having a major surgery I got transferred back to London. Then I ended up getting pneumonia on top of that,” Wolfe said.
She says she nearly bled to death during the surgery and had to get four litres of blood. She spent 12 weeks in hospital in London and then once she was home, her husband had to take her in again on July 24. They told her she was extremely dehydrated.
“On the 26th my placenta ruptured and I practically bled to death again. The doctor told my husband that they didn’t think I was going to make it out,” Wolfe said.
They did an emergency C-section and the baby survived.
But she wasn’t out of the woods yet.
“I was [in London] for quite awhile, I was cut up so bad from all the surgeries I had. I had bowel obstruction. Five times my esophagus closed up, that I had to have it reopened, dilated again so I could eat. That was five times in one pregnancy,” Wolfe said.
She now regularly travels to London for iron and blood infusions. On Friday she had an ultrasound and her blood work done to see what her ovarian cancer looks like.
“It was actually planned to do a biopsy, but they said with the accident and everything that’s happening they don’t want to put my body through that stress right now. I have a small tear in my intestine again and that was booked for this week to get fixed but again since the accident happened they can’t do that for me,” Wolfe said.
All of this is to say, the family could use some community support. So far they’ve received meals from friends, teachers, and friends of friends to help get them through.
“I believe these things are happening for a reason. At this time I don’t know what the purpose of all this is. I keep trusting in the end, God does promise that he won’t give us more than we can handle. It’s not that it’s easy every day. Some days I feel weak and I’m not sure at all, but then again the more I read The Bible and go to church I can believe something good will come of this,” Wolfe said.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for anyone wanting to contribute. You can find the page by searching Irene Wolfe at www.gofundme.com.
“I’m extremely grateful to the people that I might never get to see in this life that have helped us out so much,” Wolfe said.