A collison on the Whitemud changed the life of an Edmonton woman forever, but it also caused a flood of donors at Canadian Blood Services.
Alicia Souveny was hit by an SUV on the Whitemud Feb. 16, after she got out of her vehicle following a minor collison.
“It was just the same drive as any other morning,” said Souveny. “I actually don’t remember the accident at all.”
When she was first in recovery, Souveny’s boyfriend Matt Goertzen said they didn’t know how long her recovery would be.
“They said we should be grateful if she’s out of the hospital by Christmas.”
Souveny was released from the hospital three months after being admitted, she’s now doing physiotherapy daily.
A physiotherapist at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Souveny is now experiencing life from her patients’ point of view.
She lost part of her leg in the accident, and is now relearning how to walk with a prosthetic.
“Sometimes I wish I could go faster, but I do recognize that I’m doing very well. I’m very lucky.”
Souveny recently celebrated her 31st birthday. It was a day that in February, her family wasn’t sure she’d get to experience.
“Everyone else complains that they’re in their thirties, and I was so happy yesterday morning that I got to get older,” said Souveny.
Every day the couple is celebrating the little victories said Goertzen, things like Souveny doing laundry without help, or carrying a glass of water to the living room.
“These are things like raising a championship trophy, all of these continual milestones and there’s tons to be still had. It’s just been an amazing road,” said Goertzen.
But Souveny says she wouldn’t be alive today without the generosity of strangers and friends. She needed more than 20 units of blood to survive the early days after the accident.
Friends would stop by her hospital room and ask what they could do to help.
“My freezer can only have so many lasagnas in it,” said Goertzen.
“I said donate blood because she's needing a lot of it and it's the gift of life and I feel so grateful for the people who did give blood that Alicia used,” said Alicia’s mom, Dianna Souveny.
Souveny’s not the first member of her family to need a transfusion.
Her grandfather needed blood after a farming accident, said her dad Dwaine Souveny, and he needed blood as well after a motorcycle accident.
“It’s incredible, the generosity and graciousness of people to give to people they don’t even know.”
Three generations in one family, that has counted on the generosity of blood donors.
“That’s right, and it stops here,” said Dwaine Souveny.
In March, the Edmonton Oil Kings put together a game plan to give blood. All of the players were first time donors. Goertzen is a trainer with the team.
The team Souveny worked with, the South Side Athletic Clubs Bantam AA team Barbecue Country, fundraised while Souveny was in hospital.
Goertzen and Souveny say they think around 100 people donated blood after the accident.
“A lot of people who have now become regular donors, which makes me very happy,” said Souveny.
Alicia Souveny still has a long road to recovery, but says the donations to the blood bank were the silver lining.
“I remember being really excited that that’s what had come out of this.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Erin Isfeld.