Sarah Henderson (left) and Venessa Sidelnyk (right). (Photo via Go Fund Me)

Local paramedics back on Canadian soil after serious accident

A Chatham-Kent paramedic seriously injured in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident in Costa Rica last week is back home, but her wife is still in a St. Thomas hospital.

Sarah Henderson, a CK paramedic, and Venessa Sidelnyk, a paramedic in London, suffered serious injuries while on vacation.

Her daughter Avery Parker, a paramedic herself, said Henderson has been discharged from the St. Thomas hospital and is recovering at home with the help of all her children and pets.

Parker noted Henderson still has to see a neurosurgeon at some point, but believes her mom is "in the clear."

"Both Sarah and Venessa are doing better everyday, wrote Parker on social media. "I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for all of your love and support throughout this entire hectic week."

Henderson and Sidelnyk returned to Canada on Monday by air ambulance. Parker and her brother Everett returned home on Sunday, saying they couldn't wait to get home to recover and to thank everybody in person.

According to the fundraising organizers, the entire family spent some time together before departing Costa Rica, adding it was much needed after a "hellacious week."

They said Sarah was on her feet for a little while and struggled to keep her eyes open, but cracked a few jokes to show her children she’s still the same Sarah they "know and love."

Venessa said the bleeding in her lung has improved and Sarah's bleeding in her left lung is improving as well. Sarah also suffered a head injury and Venessa has a lumbar fracture. Venessa noted an MRI showed some bleeding in her spine and her L3 is fractured, adding that the doctors believe with physiotherapy, the numbness will improve in her pelvis.

"We continue to ask for your support and donations as this family will be off work while managing Sarah and Venessa’s convalescence, and what that looks like for timing is anyone’s guess," said GoFundMe organizer Amy Heyninck Da Silva. "Your kindness and generosity will go a long way in easing any financial concerns they may have. Our continued gratitude for all of your support."

As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe fundraising goal of $30,000 was reached.

"The dollars have been adding up, and we are energized by all the love and support given to our friends. As paramedics, Sarah and Venessa (and Avery) are always working their hardest to help complete strangers, and seeing how so many friends, family and strangers are coming together in their time of need is awe inspiring," said Heyninck Da Silva. "Please continue to get the word out and encourage donations, there are going to be so many future financial hurdles for this family to tackle. Thank you.”

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