Emerson Wikeruk, a Masseyvanier graduate from Bolton Centre, became a victim of a hit and run incident in Calgary on July 4 when he was struck by a driver on Memorial Drive located near the Calgary zoo. The extent of his injuries left him in a medically-induced coma and his family was uncertain about his recovery. Now out of a coma and starting to take his first steps, Wikeruk’s family is hopeful and they are supporting him in his recovery in as many ways as possible.
“He is out of his coma; today was three days,” said Kayla Macphee, Wikeruk’s sister, when we spoke to her on July 21. “He was in a medicallyinduced coma for three days because of his injuries.”
Wikeruk suffers from a broken neck, jaw, leg foot, extensive internal injuries, and long-term injuries as a result of a hit and run incident on July 4 at 1:45 a.m. as he was walking with his skateboard along Memorial Drive in Calgary. According to Macphee, it was raining that night and the driver who hit Emerson apparently pulled over, saw that he hit him and drove away.
Wikeruk was later struck by a second vehicle leaving the family and police looking for witnesses to come forward. “We have had so much support here. We were on Global News, CTV, four newspapers here in Calgary. It’s been amazing how many people are trying to get his story out there. We wanted it out there because we didn’t know who was in the second vehicle,” explained Macphee. “We wanted to get other witnesses to come forward. Eventually, it kind of helped because the police got more tips. The police are still looking for four more vehicles that witnessed the accident as well.”
The police are currently holding two cars, a Chrysler 300 2016, which they believe was driven by the first driver, and a four-door silver sedan which they believe was driven by a witness “An accident is an accident and we can understand that, but when you hit someone and decide to leave you are committing a criminal offence. That’s the part that we are struggling with.”
Wikeruk doesn’t remember the accident and he is slowly recovering. “He actually took his first step. His leg is still broken and he has bad injuries to his lower spine and nerve damage so they aren’t sure about recovery time. With the aid of a walker today, he could take three steps. He is also breathing on his own and the feeding tube is cleared as well so he is eating liquid foods. His spirits are staying so high it’s so unbelievable.”
To help in his recovery, Wikeruk’s parents are relocating from Quebec to Calgary after being told that he could be in the hospital for six months to a year. Having worked in roofing and construction, he also trained as volunteer firefighter in Austin, Quebec, the family knew that Wikeruk’s injuries would impact his future. They decided to organize a Gofundme to support him. “We don’t know about his recovery. It’s really just to help with his medical expenses because here in Calgary we have to pay for wheelchairs and medical beds. You have to pay $5000 for one medical bed that’s brand new. With Emerson’s accident, he’s not going to just go back to roofing and construction. He will have some long-term injuries that he will carry for the rest of his life so for that too he will need medical equipment. He’s only 25; it’s a lot.”
Described by his sister as a “nice, kind, generous, helping man,” Wikeruk was overcome with emotion when he heard of the support he was receiving from the local community and people in Calgary. “Right now, we are at about $13,000 and it has helped immensely. When I told Emerson about it his eyes filled with tears. He had no idea this was happening. He was sitting in the hospital trying to recover and figure out what his next move is.”
The family is also organizing an online auction on Wikeruk’s birthday Sept. 9 and anyone can donate with proceeds also going towards Wikeruk’s medical expenses and living expenses while he is in recovery. “We are so thankful for the love and support from everyone. He’s a strong kid so he will pull through. We have a very strong loving family that I am very thankful for.”
To support Wikeruk, you can donate to the Gofundme at https://www.gofundme.com/f/ Emerson-rehabilitation-fund?utm_ campaign=p_cp+share sheet&utm_ medium=copy_link_all&utm_ source=customer
To donate to the online auction, email Macphee at kayla_lynn7@ hotmail.com