An online fundraising campaign in support of a six-year-old boy who was hit by a car in Yukon earlier this week has raised more than $62,000 in one day.
It’s a show of community support Edgar (Eddie) Colby’s aunt says his family is “super grateful” for, and will allow his parents to remain with him in Vancouver during what’s anticipated to be a long recovery.
“Yesterday, with the medical team and the parents in the hospital, it was a really dark, dark day, actually,” Kathryn Colby said in an interview from Vancouver on Oct. 29.
“And this honestly started giving us hope again.”
According to Kathryn, Eddie “escaped” the yard of his father’s home near Takhini Arena on Oct. 25 and darted across the busy street without looking.
There was “no way” that the driver of the car could have prevented the accident, she said; Eddie ran out from behind a parked car, and even though the driver was going below the speed limit, the crash still sent him flying nearly 100 feet before he landed on the road in front of his older brother.
The community response began then and there, Kathryn said, with passersby stepping in to direct traffic and an ambulance arriving within minutes.
Eddie was medevaced to Vancouver to the BC Children’s Hospital, where he remains in a coma. Both of his parents are with him.
“They haven’t left Edgar’s bedside,” Kathryn said. “They have a space at Ronald McDonald House where they go shower and change and then they stay with Edgar because if he wakes up they want to be there.”
Due to the nature of traumatic brain injuries, Kathryn said it’s hard to predict how long Eddie will have to be in hospital; it was his mother’s family who suggested the idea of creating a GoFundMe campaign, and Kathryn who set it up.
“(The amount raised) has been overwhelming because all of the burden is off the parents, they can stay for as long as they need to, they don’t need to make hard decisions around finances right now,” she said.
The campaign’s goal was originally set at $60,000, but Kathryn has since raised it to $80,000. Eddie’s parents, she explained, live separately, so there are two sets of household costs to cover, and Eddie has three siblings currently staying with their grandparents who could also use support.
While the GoFundMe has been “amazing,” Kathryn said it doesn’t show the full picture of how the community’s come together to help. People who don’t feel comfortable using the platform have been sending money via e-transfers, she said, while others have reached out with hopeful stories about their own experiences with traumatic injuries.
“Those hopeful anecdotes are really helping us keep going and so we’re really, really grateful for that,” she said.
While the family is grateful for the response so far, Kathryn said it didn’t necessarily come as a surprise.
“Can I be honest? I’m from the Yukon. I was absolutely expecting an overwhelming community response,” she said.
“… People can’t really do anything, but they’re doing everything.”
Eddie’s GoFundMe is online here. People interested in helping in other ways, such as with meals or other household tasks, can email firstname.lastname@example.org.