Mother’s Day: Compton mom celebrates her son’s ‘little victory’

COMPTON. For Mother’s Day, many mothers will receive flowers or be invited to the restaurant this week. Jacky Shea, she prefers to spend this time “celebrating small victories” with her son Jean-Luc.

To understand the scope of his message, we must go back to 1989, the year when young Jean-Luc, then seven, had a tragic accident. “After a day at school, when he got off the bus, he was hit by a truck, Jacky recalls. The impact caused his severe head injury that left him in a coma for two and a half months. Upon his awakening, he remained in Fleurimont hospital for a while, then was transferred to Marie-Enfant hospital for children, near Montreal. A few months later, after no further improvement was observed, I took him under my wing and took him home. »

After all this time, his condition hasn’t improved much. He had very little communication and was constantly operating in a wheelchair, which had to be pushed by someone. It’s easy to give up in such a situation. This is not the case with Jacky. “I am inspired by all the love I have for Jean-Luc. All parents say the same thing. This is the unconditional love you have for your children. We want to give them everything, to make sure they don’t miss out. This is especially true for those with children with disabilities. In many cases, we are so protective of them that we fear something will happen to them. Up to a point, you have become a protector in addition to parenting. »

In the story of Jean-Luc, who is now 40 years old, there are definitely some setbacks, her mother said. However, these are the “highs” she wants to celebrate a few days before Mother’s Day. “And it first started when he was in a coma, two and a half months after his accident. It was the best day of my life. I found my little boy. I will always remember this day. I came out after hearing the news. This is the first time since the accident. I could feel the wind on my skin. The sky has never been blue. I saw many wonders that I had never seen before. It really connected me. »

“There were also times when Jean-Luc started to re-learn how to speak, even if it was just sounds. Or when he used his tools and adjusted plate for the first time. He had tremors that limits him, but he gets there. Same thing for the elevator we installed at home. He can press the right button to get up, “Ms. Shea lists.

“People who read this might think that these are small actions, maybe not important to them, but, for me, these are small victories, real small miracles. And that’s exactly what I want to remember. I want to celebrate them on Mother’s Day. »


It took nearly 30 years before Jacky Shea received help caring for her child. “Before, I just didn’t want to. I was always independent and I told myself that I didn’t need anyone in life to help me. I was approaching sixty and there were small wounds starting to come out. »

This observation led her to call home care services. So a servant would come to bathe Jean-Luc once a week. “I accepted this help, because otherwise I would hurt Jean-Luc. He would have been punished. We don’t know what will happen to us. There, the network got to know him and would take care of him in case of an accident. »

“It takes a certain humility to open like this. I did it for 30 years after and I got there. But when I think about it, I’m still glad it asked for this help,” he said.


In the greenhouses of the company he runs (LGL Greenhouses in Compton), Jacky Shea believes the future will somehow continue to make him smile. And maybe because of his outlook on life. “My mother always said ‘don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.’ It has always stayed with me and that is why I always take care of my child.If, one day, I find myself in a wheelchair, I also want to have the best possible care and have one who loves me. »

“It has probably been more difficult in recent months with Jean-Luc [son cœur devient de plus en plus faible, même chose pour ses poumons, selon les derniers diagnostics du médecin], but I want to enjoy all this time with him. This is why he is always with us in the greenhouses. »

“The sky can sometimes be gray, but you have to know how to keep going and look a little positive every day. That’s how we get rid of it,” he philosophized.

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