Canadians have banded together to raise more than $10,000 within a day after a Calgary grandmother was pushed onto the path of an oncoming CTrain on Thursday afternoon.
Rozalia Meichl, 64, had been standing on the Victoria Park/Stampede platform with a friend when a stranger shoved her onto the tracks.
The train managed to stop before hitting Meichl, but the incident left her in critical condition. The mother, who raised her children alone and could not work due to a disability, has no medical or disability insurance and was living in an assisted-living facility. She already suffered from a spinal disability and the attack severed her spine.
"My mother is now 100 per cent paraplegic," Charmaine Newman said in an interview with Global News. "She will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She has no feeling below her chest area and she will require help around the clock."
A $100,000 GoFundMe fundraiser was started by Kristie Rosom, a member of Meichl's family, according to a post on her Facebook page.
She will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She has no feeling below her chest area and she will require help around the clock.Charmaine Newman
"The doctors and medical team have advised the family she will require permanent medical supervision in order to live day-to-day ... The family appreciates any and all assistance. We thank you in advance for helping a mother and grandmother through a very difficult time. The funds received will be utilized for rehabilitation, medical bills and long-term care," the page says.
Her son, Allan Hein, told the Calgary Herald she may not walk again and that they were lucky she was alive at all.
"She has no idea what happened to her," he said, adding that she is using a whiteboard to communicate. He described his mother as a selfless woman who spent a lot of time volunteering and raising money for various causes.
"She has nothing — not even two pennies to rub together and if she did, she would've given them to a charity," said Hein.
Suspect allegedly linked to another attack
Calgary police said the attack was random. They have charged Stephanie Favel, 35, with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and breach of probation.
She was allegedly linked to a different attack three years ago, but the charges were withdrawn, CBC News reported.
"This person was released ... She's got an extensive history. Why was she allowed to be out to harm an innocent, elderly, disabled bystander?" Newman told Global.
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