Lloyd rallies round injured teen

By Geoff Lee

December 8, 2016 12:00 AM

PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE The Canadian Brewhouse is hosting a steak dinner fundraiser tonight to support 18 year-old Garrett Dean, right, from Lloydminster who has been in a comatose condition in a Halifax hospital in the wake of a car crash nearly two months ago. His dad, Derrick, left, is on leave from his job at Platinum Pumpjack Services to be with his only son who was starting his first year of horticulture studies at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. Donations to the family can also be made on a life event crowdfunding portal on the invEnt Opportunities website. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Life can turn on a dime, as it has for the family of 18 year-old Garrett Dean from Lloydminster who lies in a comatose state in a Halifax hospital after a serious vehicle collision.
Garrett’s father, Derrick, is at his bedside and is reaching out for support as he focuses on his son’s desperate plight.
He’s hoping readers will help raise money to cover his family’s travel costs and medical aids for his son through a “life event” crowdfunding campaign on the InvEnt Opportunities website.
Ironically, Jill McNeil-Dean and her husband, Dave, who is Garrett’s cousin, are partners in InvEnt launched about two years ago to help people obtain support when they need it the most.
“I never thought I would have to make a campaign for somebody so close to us—Garrett is close to our hearts, but that’s where it’s led us,” said McNeil-Dean.
She’s also rallying friends and relatives of Garrett to support a fundraising steak night tonight at the Canadian Brewhouse for Garrett’s cause.
Tickets are $25 each with $8 from each ticket going directly to Garrett’s family.
Garrrett was born and raised in Lloydminster where he played rugby and midget football with the Red Dogs and the Holy Rosary High School Raiders up to Grade 11.
The Raiders have donated $200 to Derrick directly.
When Garrett’s grandfather died unexpectedly, the teen went to live with his grandmother in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia for a few months.
Soon after, his mother returned to live in Halifax from years of working overseas in nursing and Garrett moved in with her in Halifax where he finished Grade 12 and played football.
He started his first year of horticulture studies at Mount Allison in New Brunswick this fall, before tragedy struck while driving back to campus after a Thanksgiving visit with his mom who was planning to accept a nursing job in Manitoba.
It was a chance to wish her well and say goodbye.
“He came over a hill and there was an accident in progress and when he punched the brakes he hydroplaned into the accident,” said McNeil-Dean.
It was raining heavily at the time and he ended up rolling and he’s been in a comatose state ever since with severe brain injuries.
His mom has set the job opportunity aside to be close to Garrett in his time of need.
McNeil-Dean notes Garrett was mainly raised in Lloydminster by his dad, Derrick, who has remarried and is spending as much time as he can with Garrett at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“(Derrick) went immediately when the accident happened and he just came back last week, just to tie up some odds and ends back home and flew back last Friday,” said McNeil-Dean.
“He’s there for probably a month and-a-half—that’s his goal.”
Derrick is on leave from his long time job at Platinum Pumpjack Services in Lloydminster and is staying at Ronald McDonald House in Halifax for a least a month watching over his son.
“It’s still a guessing game with Garrett—we don’t know what is going to happen with him,” said McNeil-Dean.
“He’s still in a comatose state,” she said.
“Miracles happen every day and until he wakes up, they can’t say or judge anything—they say it could go either way.”
The InvEnt life funding portal has supported six crowdfunding events so far for individuals or groups to support others like the Deans with their personal causes.
“We have a campaign on our site and we are trying to rally the fundraiser and gain extra attention to it,” said Patrick Hart, the second Lloydminster partner in InvEnt that has four partners in all including one in Calgary and Ontario.
Hart said the additional steak night dinner fundraiser tonight is just rallying more support for the family.
For tickets, call McNeil-Dean at 306-830-5722 or contribute to the Garrett’s crowdfunding campaign at www.InventOpportunities.com online.
On Monday morning, $2,005 had been raised toward a goal of $25,000 since the campaign was published on Dec. 2.
Hart noted InvEnt is a Canadian based crowdfunding site that is local and charges less of a commission than the other sites do.
“We’re three per cent plus processing fees per transaction, where the other sites are five per cent plus transaction fees on top of that,” said Hart
He said they also vet their campaigns like the one for Garrett’s benefit to ensure they are legitimate.
“Our concept behind it—there is more than enough money in this world to make a positive impact when you reach those people and connect with those people and you can make those changes,” said Hart.
“This is the perfect way of doing it.”
McNeil-Dean said Garrett was doing so well and was hoping to play varsity rugby or football at Mount Allison.
“This kid was going places, you could see him every day—he’d go to the gym, he’d work out, his body was as strong as an ox,” said Dean.
“Every part of his body is strong, it’s just so sad that the only thing that ‘s affected is his brain; that’s the only part you can’t strengthen.”

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