A man who was the passenger in an all-terrain vehicle involved in a collision with an RCMP vehicle earlier this month is now using a motorized wheelchair but has a "50-50" chance of walking again, his mother said Wednesday.
Among several other injuries, Jason Parlby was left with a crushed vertebrae midway up his back that was fused, although he escaped with only a hairline fracture to a vertebrae in his neck and the spinal chord was unaffected in that region, Teresa Balatti said about her son's condition.
Parlby is unable to move his legs but has sensation down to his toes, "which they say is a really good sign," Balatti said. He has full range of motion on the right side of his upper body although he can only move his fingers on his left.
Parlby was in a side-by-side ATV driven by a friend when the collision occurred during the early morning of Aug. 11, on Northwood Pulpmill Road, between Clubhouse and Noranda Roads.
Parlby was transported to Vancouver General Hospital and the Independent Investigations Office, which investigates police related deaths and serious injuries, was called in.
It's expected Parlby will be back in Prince George by this weekend to give him time to heal from the surgeries on his shoulders. He will stay at the hospital for five to six weeks before going back down to Vancouver for three to four months of rehabilitation.
It means his wife, Kalie McLachlan, will also be in Vancouver for an extended period and to that end a fundraising charity auction and barbecue is set for Sept. 14 at the Red Bluff Community Hall near Quesnel, starting at 6 p.m.
Parlby grew up in Prince George but has been living in Quesnel for about five years.
He and his wife are the parents of an 18-month old girl and the couple have a baby on the way. He was in the last year of an apprenticeship for a journeyman mechanic ticket but the injuries have put all that in doubt.
Parlby has progressed further than doctors have expected, according to Balatti, and her son remains upbeat and intends to be walking by Christmas.
"He doesn't know what the word 'quit' is," Balatti said. "To him it's 'we can do it,' and it's all try."
But the event and its aftermath have generated an emotional toll.
"It's so overwhelming," Balatti said. "This is not what you dream of for your child."
Parlby has yet to hear from IIO investigators, Balatti said.