Sister raising funds for brother's prosthetic leg
Community: Horrific crash in October resulted in amputation for father of two
By: Darlene Casten
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 12:08 pm
A fiery crash near Sundre has forever changed the life of Matt Blackmore who lost his leg after his motorhome collided with a semi-trailer, but Blackmore’s friends and family hope to help bring back some normalcy for him and his young family.
Blackmore’s sister has planned a fundraiser, pig roast and silent auction that will be held on September 13 at her brother’s acreage that will help pay for a prosthetic leg that is allowing her brother to regain his life, particularly with his two young sons.
In October, Blackmore was driving a newly purchased used motorhome towards Sundre, where he was going to meet friends to go hunting.
Blackmore heard a pop from the steering wheel and the motorhome veered into the path of an oncoming semi, hitting it head-on, flipped over and struck the semi two more times. Both of his legs were crushed in the crash. Passersby pulled Blackmore from the burning motorhome before it exploded into flames.
Blackmore’s sister, Mandy Blackmore, said her brother was supposed to have his four and six-year-old sons, his wife and their nanny with them, but the plan changed.
“Thank God it was only him,” Mandy said.
It took six months in the Foothills Hospital and another month in a Calgary care facility before Blackmore was well enough to return home to his acreage west of Okotoks.
One of his legs had to be amputated and the other had to be put back together with pins.
Mandy said her brother continues to go to physiotherapy to improve his walking and has weekly discussions with his doctor because of ongoing infections in his amputated leg and for the ongoing pain he experiences from all of his injuries.
“He’s in a lot of pain,” Mandy said, adding she calls her brother her hero for the way he is dealing with the situation.
While Blackmore was in the hospital his wife had to work as much as possible, Mandy said, to keep the family afloat financially. Her brother’s custom home building company slowed down substantially without him at the helm, Mandy said, and their car insurance pays them only a small amount every month.
They have tried to legally go after the inspector who approved the motorhome, but Mandy said it has been difficult because the vehicle was burned up so badly that the cause of the crash could not be determined.
In the meantime, Blackmore is trying to put his life back together. It was difficult with the leg he was funded for.
Mandy calls it a peg leg and said her brother was able to walk in it for only a limited time.
“He used to fall and use crutches,” she said.
Blackmore and his wife agreed to take out a line of credit against their home so he could get a high tech, waterproof prosthetic leg that costs $92,000. The leg has a microchip and battery operated knee that mimics a natural walking style and kicks he leg forward as he walks.
Mandy said the new prosthetic leg has changed her brother’s life.
“Now he can walk the acreage,” she said. “With the other leg he couldn’t walk to the kitchen from his bedroom.”
A month after receiving the leg, Blackmore said he’s already had some great experiences.
“We went swimming at the rec centre with the kids,” he said. “It was amazing because I was able to catch them on the slide and stand on both feet.”
They also went fishing at the Kananaskis lakes, an experience that Blackmore won’t soon forget.
“It was really good,” he said. “The kids were there with me.”
Everyday, he said, he thinks about the crash, but he said it reminds him how precious every day is.
“Everyday you think about it, every hour you think about it,” Blackmore said. “It reminds you how important life is and how important family is.”
Blackmore said he is blown away by the love and support he has received from his friends and family, saying it is what gets him through what has been the hardest thing he has gone through.
The fundraiser is another reminder of how many people are helping them pull through, he said.
“It is absolutely amazing the support that people are giving me,” Blackmore said. “That anybody is willing to donate and put aside what they are doing and help is amazing.”
The fundraiser will be held at Blackmore’s acreage on 96th Street off of Highway 7 and will include 50/50 draws, door prizes, a silent auction, bouncy castle for the kids and a pig roast.
For more information call Mandy Blackmore at 403-815-3881.