One of Cape Breton’s most beloved entertainers is recovering from a freak gardening accident that has left him blinded in one eye.
The recent mishap won’t stop Matt Minglewood, 72, from taking the stage Sunday evening at this weekend’s Ribfest at Open Hearth Park, says wife and long-time manager Barbara Batherson.
“He’s still going strong – it’s that tough Cape Breton blood,” said Batherson when contacted by the Cape Breton Post on Tuesday. Minglewood himself wasn’t available for comment.
“It was a freak accident but otherwise he’s feeling great.”
Batherson described the conditions that led up to the incident on her Facebook page.
“Last Thursday Matt was helping me out in the garden. I had an old bronze statue in the garden that I kept telling myself to get rid of before someone trips over it. Long story short Matt tripped over it, reached out to stop his fall and grabbed hold of a concrete fountain which toppled with him. Both went sprawling into a hydrangea bush which had many dead sticks protruding from it. He suffered many facial lacerations which required stitches but will heal. Not so his eye. He has lost permanent vision in the eye.”
The incident happened July 4 around 4 p.m. and the couple spent the rest of the day at Cape Breton Regional Hospital for treatment. Although a gig last weekend at the Pictou Lobster Carnival had to be cancelled, Batherson says the doctor has given the go-ahead for the rest of Minglewood’s gigs, a good thing since this is one of his busiest times of the year.
“All the gigs are still a go. The doctor gave him the go-ahead to perform. He’s getting back in the saddle. He’s a trooper.”
The accident was a jolting reminder of just how quickly life can change, Batherson added.
“It makes you realize how fleeting things can be.”