A triumphant entry into the ball

A quadriplegic teenager made a triumphant entrance to her prom in the Quebec City area yesterday, three years after a serious watercraft accident that confined her to a wheelchair.

Hailed by her peers at Juvénat Notre-Dame du Saint-Laurent, Marianne Massicotte showed all her determination by parading the red carpet with her head held high, her exoskeleton and her walker.

The 17-year-old young woman left the Westfalia, which transported her to the Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère in L’Ancienne-Lorette, and in a few steps lived the last three years in which she struggled and showed endurance to be able to stand.

“I was nervous, but that moment will forever be etched in my memory,” she said, making her first starry comments in front of the red carpet crowd.


Marianne Massicotte in a wheelchair at home.  As a victim of an accident in 2019, she had lost the use of her legs.

Photo: Simon Clark

Marianne Massicotte in a wheelchair at home. As a victim of an accident in 2019, she had lost the use of her legs.

She was accompanied by her best friend Rosélie Martel. “I’m so proud. It’s a big moment. I wanted it to be perfect,” she says, admitting a lot of pressure has just been released.

tears of joy

Marianne’s parents, who have accompanied, encouraged and supported her through all phases of her rehabilitation, were moved but not surprised by their daughter’s strength of character.

They shed a few tears, but tears of joy, they said. “There are no challenges that match Marianne Massicotte’s abilities. He’s a model for our family, but he’s also a model for all of Quebec,” says mother Sara Caouette with proud eyes.

A year ago, as she went through the stages of her rehabilitation, the young disabled girl made it her mind that she would be standing on her feet and walking straight for her senior prom.

“When she told us about this challenge, we told her we believe in you and today is the victory,” said the father, François Massicotte. He also wanted to highlight how his daughter showed discipline to achieve her feats.

snags

Victim of a boating accident with her brother in July 2019 in Mont-Laurier, in the Laurentians, Marianne Massicotte began a long pitfall-filled rehabilitation journey.

Forgotten by the system, the then 15-year-old teenager had to fight for the help she needed to one day walk again. Because the tragedy happened at a lake, SAAQ never compensated the family.

In addition, maintenance and adjustment work was not covered by any public plan. The parents therefore undertook the renovation of the house, which included in particular the addition of a lift, automatic doors, access ramps and the installation of an adapted bathroom.

They were then given the green light by the Quebec government’s Home Adaptation Program (PAD). A cry from the heart that was published in an article in the protocol was also heard. A generous donor enabled the young disabled person to purchase a manual wheelchair.

— In collaboration with Jean-François Racine

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