By Benjamin Wilson
A father of three has a long road of recovery ahead of him after a tree branch fell on his car earlier this month.
Because of injuries to his neck and spine, doctors say Hedley Edwards will never be able to walk again.
Hedley Edwards is a sales rep in Cambridge for Giltrap Agrizone. He suffered his life changing injuries after a branch fell on his car while he was driving to visit a customer on Wednesday, November 3.
He is receiving care at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital. It is expected that he will need to stay there for 6-12 months.
Samantha Solomon, Edwards’ partner, says the accident is going to change everything.
“It’s only been a short period of time and we are going to be in for a long haul.”
The couple are parents to three boys, Braxton 7, Gabriel 6, and Harrison 5.
Solomon has spent time with Edwards in hospital, but the children have been unable to see their father, because of Covid-19 hospital and border restrictions.
Edwards was in an induced coma for nine days. He is now awake but is unable to speak because of breathing tubes.
“We just have to take one step forward at a time and go from there,” his partner said.
Giltrap have been in regular contact with Solomon. “They’ve been really really good.”
They asked Solomon if she would be okay with them setting up a crowdfunding campaign to help support the family. Solomon said that she was initially hesitant to the idea.
“I agreed to it once I got my head around the future and everything we would end up needing.”
Solomon says that on top of everything, the family is going to need to find a new place to live. Their home in Huntly will not accommodate Edwards’ change of mobility.
Giltrap Marketing and HR Manager Sam Ogden, says the support from the Cambridge community has been massive – particularly because Edwards is from Huntly and only worked in Cambridge.
“We’re absolutely humbled and amazed that so many people have contributed,” she said.
Support has come from suppliers, customers, staff, family of staff and old neighbours.
She said that Edwards is well-liked by both colleagues and customers. “He’s a lovely guy, a real firecracker.”
By Tuesday this week the crowdfunding Givealittle page had raised $45,880 towards a goal of $50,000. The campaign will close on December 5.
*Benjamin Wilson is a Wintec journalism student.