Jessica Lake-Crossley, who was severely injured in a car crash during a return trip through Maine with three other Hants County residents remains in a Bangor hospital and the bills are piling up.
Agnes MacEachern, who lives in British Columbia and grew up in Mount Uniacke with Jessica Lake-Crossley, has set up an online fundraiser through GoFundMe for the family to offset some of those costs.
She said that the incident has taken a serious toll on everyone involved and she wanted to do what she could to help out.
“We’re childhood best friends, she’s the closest thing I have to a sister, she’s my maid of honour in my wedding next year,” MacEachern said. “I’ve been talking to her just about every day and in communication with her mom every day as well.”
MacEachern said Lake-Crossley was going through surgery on March 29.
“It got to the point where the pain had worsened and she had to undergo surgery and they were unable to do it here in Canada, which would have costed a lot less,” she said. “It’s taken a major toll on her. She’s had to put everything on hold, her schooling, her skating, her life, because of this accident.”
MacEachern said she doesn’t believe Lake-Crossley would have purchased travel insurance, as it was only supposed to be a short hiking trip through New England. The accident occurred when they were on their way home.
“Obviously we’d rather she was in Canada because we have universal health care, and in the U.S. they don’t,” she said. “They have to pay for everything before they leave or day-to-day.”
The ambulance rides, the surgery, MRI’s and other procedures have all been adding up the medical bills, she said.
Lake-Crossley’s parents have also been out of work since the accident, MacEachern said, adding to the expense.
The funds raised will go to Shona Lake, Lake-Crossley’s mother.
“We’re just grateful for anything that comes through,” she said. “Even if we don’t reach the goal, every little bit helps.”
The accident, which occurred when the Honda Civic the four were driving was hit by a pickup truck on a slick, snowy road just outside of Dover-Foxcroft in Maine, has left Jessica with multiple broken vertebrae, a broken breast bone, collar bone a lacerated liver and a collapsed lung.
Lake-Crossley is a graduate student at Dalhousie University and a figure skating coach at the Riverview Skating Club in Brooklyn.
As of publication, the fundraiser had reached over $8,000 in the first day.
Editor's Note - an earlier version of this story said that the vehicle the four from Hants County were in hit the pick-up truck - their vehicle was actually struck by the truck during the incident. The story has been changed to reflect that.