Injured worker wants to say thank you


Mario LaFond doesn’t know how he will thank everyone.

The 31-year old Petrolia man who lost his foot in an industrial accident in October says since talking to The Independent about his injury a number of members of the community have come forward to help.

LaFond and his wife Krystal have two young girls and have been concerned about providing for them since LaFond was the only bread winner. Insurance from the Workplace Safety Insurance Board covers only about 85 percent of his regular wage.

Arrangements have been made with Scotiabanks in Lambton County to allow residents to make a donation to the LaFonds and he says there have already been some gifts.

But perhaps the biggest surprise was the offer from a complete stranger who wanted to remain anonymous to pay for driving instruction for Krystal. LaFond had just bought a new car before the accident but was the only driver in the house. That’s made it difficult for the family to get to doctors appointments and do daily chores.

On hearing of the offer, Krystal dissolved into tears. She has always been nervous to get behind the wheel after being in a car accident with her mother and wanted to take lessons but they were too expensive.

Krystal is overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers. “The weird part is we don’t know who it is from,” she says. “There are so many people we ant to say our thank yous to, but we don’t know who they are.”

LaFond agrees saying he wants to thank even those who have given the smallest donation. “I want to thank them (personally); they didn’t have to go and put that money in the bank.”

LaFond is slowly improving. He’s still in pain, but there are days when it is not as intense. And he’s still trying to adjust. Mobility is a problem. It’s difficult for LaFond to get in and out of their townhouse, dragging his wheelchair down the wooden steps.

And something as simple as buying a new set of shoes is a reminder of his accident. He’s wearing one of the shoes now, knowing that by the time he gets a prostetic, it will likely be worn out.

“He’s still trying to get used to it,” says Krystal. “It’s all emotional.”

And stressful, particularly on Krystal, says LaFond, who has been caring for him and scheduling appointments. “It’s stressful for her, she needs a break and can’t get it.”