Our Town

CHCA volunteer shows dedication through injury

A broken ankle and being relegated to a wheelchair doesn’t stop Gail Mercer from doing her volunteer duties with the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary.   - Courtesy Kate Fox
A broken ankle and being relegated to a wheelchair doesn’t stop Gail Mercer from doing her volunteer duties with the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary.
— image credit: Courtesy Kate Fox

A broken ankle and being relegated to a wheelchair wouldn't stop Gail Mercer from doing her volunteer duties.

The Cranbrook woman has been volunteering at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary for over two years, but recently suffered a broken ankle which put her in a wheelchair while it heals. That wouldn't stop her from showing up for her shift only two weeks later.

"They couldn't believe it," Mercer laughed. "I said 'I'm reporting for duty.'"

She volunteers one afternoon per week — on Wednesdays.

Mercer had the accident on the evening of June 26, then had surgery the next day.

She said she had initially thought it was a sprained ankle and thought it would right itself over night, but when it didn't the next day she went to the doctor.

They diagnosed her with a broken ankle and she had to have surgery almost immediately.

"That was our 40th wedding anniversary," she said. "So I'll remember that one."

She said the accident happened when she was walking down the hallway and "zigged instead of zagged."

"I went down and that's it," she said.

She went to the thrift shop for duty on July 16, just after having her cast changed.

"They gave me a round table. My right leg was still in the cast, I couldn't let it down so it was on a brace," she said. "I did the regular thing. They gave me a table and I had my wheelchair and it was great."

Mercer said her recovery is coming along and she should be back on her feet in the next few weeks.

"I went to the doctor yesterday at the hospital and he said I can start putting some weight on that with a cane, and said 'I'll see you again in six weeks.'"

The Hospital Auxiliary is always looking for volunteers.

"If I can do it, a lot of people can do it too. Just volunteer, it's well worth the effort."

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