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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Funds raised at Harrow Market to support young man after car crash

by Sylene Argent

Photo submitted

Patrons to Sunday’s Harrow Market were asked to wear purple or black to show support for 21-year-old Ethan Renaud, who, in late May, was the passenger in a single car accident.

  In addition, members within the Harrow community organized an opportunity for patrons to the Harrow Market to purchase bows, jewellery, and car decals, which were sold as a fundraiser to support his family.

  Angel Hamel, Renaud’s mom, said the accident resulted in her son sustaining a severe brain injury, known as Diffuse Axonal Injury. After 30-days in a coma, he recently awoke.

  “It is extremely severe and he has been categorized as catastrophic,” she said of her son’s diagnosis. She added her son was unresponsive from the time EMS showed to assist at the accident. “It was just kind of a sit and wait situation to see what was going to happen.”

  When Renaud woke, it provided relief to his family. “They told us that you don’t know what the outcome is going to be from a brain injury, so they could not tell us if Ethan was going to wake up in a week, or wake up in months, or wake up in a year. They really did not know.” She added it was also not known what the extent of his injury will be and what he will be able to regain.  

  The support from the community during this difficult time, “has been absolutely overwhelming,” Hamel said.

  “I can’t stress enough how much it has honestly given us strength, because we are in a nightmare situation, something nobody could possibly imagine what it feels like until honestly walking through this.”

  She said strangers have shown up to their home to offer meals and desserts, to cut their lawn, and offer to help in any way they can. “And then to come together and donate to our family, it is honestly what keeps us going, what gives us that push. I could honestly not imagine going through something like this without support.”  

  She added that she has an amazing support system in her family and community. The gestures of kindness choke her up. She said people have even headed over to the family business, The Depot, to offer her husband, Jason, support. “It helped him a lot,” she said.  

  “You cannot understand how full our hearts are and how overwhelming the support has been. It has honestly been our strength. It really has given us strength to be able to do what we need to do,” Hamel said.

  Donations to the family can be made at Already, nearly $17,000 of the $25,000 goal has been raised through the website.

  Before the accident, Renaud was working for his grandparents’ construction company and was planning to go back to St. Clair College in the fall to finish off his HVAC certification.

  “Ethan is so kind and just such a funny guy,” Hamel said. “He’s got a hilarious sense of humour and he is always dancing and doing something to make somebody laugh.”

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