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Community rallies around injured Surrey woman

Karen Lamy - Facebook photo
Karen Lamy
— image credit: Facebook photo

On a sunny morning last month, Kaureen Lamy was waiting at the bus stop on 88 Avenue and 148 Street, on the way to her dream job.

Lamy, 35, was enamoured with dogs and had attended school to learn the techniques required for her dog grooming job at Uptown Dawg in Port Moody, where she had worked for just two months.

Fate was about to deal Lamy an unthinkable blow.

Just before 8 a.m. on Monday, June 30, a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck, which witnesses said ran a red light, careened off of a van and rocketed into the bus stop where Lamy was sitting. (The smashed bus stop bench is shown below. Shane MacKichan photo).

She lost both her legs and suffered extensive organ damage and broken ribs on impact.

She remains in hospital, and as of Monday was undergoing surgery to deal with an infection in her right stump.

She also remains in a medically induced coma. She does not yet know she's lost her legs.

"She's not aware of what's going on at all," says her mom, Johanne Michelin. "She will open her eyes when her sedation wears off, but she won't recall anything of it."

While Lamy is slowly mending, the community has responded in a big way through fundraising efforts that have been created in her name.

At Port Moody's Uptown Dawg, where Lamy worked, the suds were flying in her honour on Sunday, July 20.

Manager Shannon O'Reilly said her staff members were going great guns, donating their services from 12 noon to 4 p.m., during which time the dog grooming business raised $10,000 for Lamy's care.

Guildford bus stopThe money will go toward paying Lamy's rent so she doesn't lose her apartment, as well as various other costs.

"We had so many volunteers and so much help, it was just a nut house here," O'Reilly says.

At least 200 people came through to wash their dogs and donate to Lamy's care.

At the end of it, staff were exhausted, including O'Reilly, who is eight-and-a-half-months pregnant.

"My feet were like balloons and we were all in a bit of a blur, but we just didn't even think about it. It was really just beautiful, the energy was so positive and exciting," O'Reilly says. "It was awesome."

Michelin said her daughter's accident has resonated deeply with the public.

"So many people have been touched by her story," Michelin says. "Lots of people don't even know her, but they feel what we feel and what she feels."

The help for Lamy began immediately at the time of the crash, when a couple of neighbours ran out of their house and put pressure on her wounds to stop the bleeding.

"She was bleeding to death," Michelin says. "It was their efforts that stopped the bleeding enough to save her life."

Lamy's sister, Annick Lamy Wedley, started up a web page on Go Fund Me for future medical expenses.

In the last 12 days, it has raised $6,035.

Anyone looking to donate can visit the site at http://www.gofundme.com/b9hpc8.

Michelin is taken aback by the public reaction.

"I want to thank every one of them with a big kiss and a hug, but it would take me forever to do."

Charges are expected against the driver of the truck, police said.

Because of the complexity of traffic investigations, it will likely take more than a year for the case to go to court, if charges are approved.

Anyone with further information who has not already spoken to police is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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