People in Innisfail are pitching in to help a father of four who lost one leg and seriously injured his other leg after a service rig accident northwest of Edson.
On Oct. 18 at about 10:30 a.m., a high pressure hose became disconnected, injuring three men, most seriously Ken Wright, 32, a rig manager for Roll’n Oilfield Industries Ltd. of Red Deer.
Wright, of Innisfail, and Roll’n Oilfield worker Kevin Bednard, of the Innisfail area, were airlifted to Edmonton. Bednard received lacerations and bruises on his face and body.
The other worker, employed by the prime contractor Peyto Exploration and Development Corp. of Calgary, was taken by land ambulance to Edson Healthcare Centre.
Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is still investigating.
Wright was airlifted by STARS air ambulance to an Edmonton hospital where he eventually had his right leg amputated below the knee.
“They tried for two weeks to save his leg but they couldn’t. His left leg has multiple bone fractures. They’re not sure what kind of use he’s going to have with it,” said his wife Tammy Wright on Thursday.
He also suffered a broken and dislocated elbow, and acute post-traumatic stress disorder.
Wright was transferred to Innisfail Hospital about a week ago for recovery.
“Our kids leave school at lunch and go spend lunch with their dad so it’s really nice,” said Tammy about their sons age 14, 11, nine and eight.
In January, her husband will go to Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton to learn how to walk again.
Coincidently, Tammy, who operates a light oilfield hauling business, was scheduled to visit her husband’s worksite the day of the accident but didn’t actually go.
Working on rigs is a dangerous occupation and her husband probably prevented others from getting hurt, or worse, that day, she said.
“You hear the stories and see the videos on YouTube but you never think it’s going to affect your family directly.”
Friends of the family created the Facebook page Do What’s Wright and set up a trust fund for Wright at ATB in Innisfail.
On Nov. 10, a supper and poker event at Aberdeen Hall raised $1,500 for the family.
Another event at Fox and Hound Sports Pub in Innisfail will also raise money for the family on Dec. 14.
Tammy said her husband grew up in Innisfail so people know him, but even those who don’t know their family have been dropping off donations.
“Complete strangers have shown up at the house with baking for the kids and stuff. It just amazes us. We are so humbled and it brings us to tears when we think about what the community is trying to do for us.”