Faith and community help ease road to recovery
On a recent Friday, Bud Larsen got through his morning workout without feeling dizzy.
It was an experience the South Surrey resident hadn't had since starting rehabilitation for injuries suffered in a near-fatal fall 3½ years ago.
"Today is not too bad of a day," Larsen said with a smile.
"Today, (the doctor) said things were looking good."
Larsen, 60, suffered extensive injuries about a week after welcoming in 2009, after he lost his balance and slipped off the roof of a two-storey home he was helping build in Langley's High Point area. He fell face-first into a pile of lumber, suffering a concussion, broken ribs, torn ligaments and other injuries.
Discharged from hospital a week later with two metal plates in his face, a reconstructed nose and a long road of speech and physiotherapy ahead, Larsen hasn't lost sight of the fact his path could have ended that fateful day.
"I just thank the Lord I'm still alive."
And while the journey since has been a challenging one – both physically and financially – the father of four said it has been eased by the generosity of friends and business owners who've stepped up to help.
Owners of Johnston Road fruit-and-vegetable store, The Bread Box, regularly decline payment for produce; and members of the Nazarene Church in Langley – where Larsen has been attending since last summer – are quick to help, he said.
At Christmas, shortly after declining an invitation to a church banquet because they couldn't afford it, Larsen received an envelope with $100 – an anonymous donation from a church member that was made so the family could participate.
Larsen is also grateful to a local dentist who helped cover the cost of his daughter's braces.
"Finances have been a real challenge, but so far, with the help of some people like Meri (Kouneva, co-owner of The Bread Box), we've been able to make ends meet.
"They've been very kind to me… very supportive of us, and we appreciate that."
Larsen said doctors have told him he's a "walking miracle." Determined to one day return to work, he credits his faith for much of his recovery.
"If it wasn't for the hand of the Lord, I don't think I'd be alive today," he said.
"What I have is the result of the hand of the Lord and their prayers."