POLITICS

PQ Rally Shooting Victim Still Lives In Pain

08/10/2013 10:20 EDT | Updated 10/10/2013 05:12 EDT
CP
Dave Courage, shot during a Parti Québécois election victory rally last September, says he lives in constant pain and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder nearly a year after the shooting.

Courage, a stage technician, was working on election night to help dismantle the set at Montreal's Metropolis theatre. He and his colleague, lighting technician Denis Blanchette, 48, were hit by the same bullet while standing behind the theatre.

Blanchette was killed in the shooting. Courage survived, but he says life is far from back to normal.

He and his family have moved away from Montreal to try and leave memories of the incident behind, but Courage says it's not working.

"I don't find much joy in things that I would normally find joy in," Courage says, explaining why he has lost his appetite.

Still, he says, there are moments of respite. "To find happiness in my case I just look at my son, my newborn."

"I don't feel safe at all. I always worry that that someone's gonna come up behind me," he said. "I always worry that things are gonna fall on my head, I might just slip...break my back on a sidewalk.'

After the shooting, Courage lost his ability to walk. He's back on his feet but still has pain in his right leg and lower back.

Courage sees a physical therapist for the pain and a psychologist for his post-traumatic stress disorder.

The bills are covered by the Quebec Workplace Health and Safety Board, which also pays him $50 a day — the maximum allowed by law based on his earnings before the shooting.

But Courage says that's not enough to support himself, his spouse and three children.

"We're having a real hard time getting by … we're not getting by."

Courage says he feels abandoned after he took a bullet for Premier Pauline Marois. CBC contacted the premier's office, but no one was available for comment.

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