Community organizes dance in support of Bronée family

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Community members are organizing a benefit dance for the Bronée family.

Andrew Bronée, the son of Deborah and Trevor Bronée, owner of JT’s Snowmobile Repair in New Lowell, became ill while on vacation in the Dominican Republic in May, leaving him paralyzed.

Andrew, 23, had travelled to the Dominican for a family wedding and was in the swimming pool when he became ill. After paying thousands of dollars, he was transferred and admitted to the ICU at the Dominican hospital.

He was diagnosed with a bacterial infection and fluid on his lungs. After three days and failing health, he was airlifted to Fort Lauderdale. On arrival he received heart surgery and dialysis. It was two weeks later that he was stable enough to be airlifted to Sunnybrook in Toronto. Once at Sunnybrook, it was determined that Andrew had a stroke in the spinal cord, which is extremely rare for someone so young. The stroke has left him paralyzed from his waist down. Andrew spent several weeks at the Lyndhurst Centre in Toronto for spinal rehab.

Vickie Brown is one of the organizers of the benefit dance. Her daughter, Lisa Brown, is Andrew’s girlfriend and has been helping him with his rehabilitation.

Vicki said Andrew worked extremely hard to be able to transfer himself from his wheelchair to the car and back again, in just a few days. Andrew had completed a bachelor’s degree with honours in mechanical engineering before he left for the Dominican. His determination paid off and he was able to wheel himself across the stage in June to receive his degree.

Deborah said Andrew has a positive attitude and is getting set up in the workplace. He and Lisa are also helping out with the Cybergnomes robotic team.

The family struggled to access their travel insurance when Andrew was first admitted and the details of the claims are being finalized now.

The community is hoping to show support for the Bronée family and help raise funds to cover some of the incidentals relating to accessibility. The family home has had some modifications done to accommodate Andrew and more are yet to be completed, said Vickie.

She said the fundraiser will include a silent auction, with some great items. “The community and local businesses have really come through for the family,” she said.

The band Not Ottawa will be perform at the dance, which is at the New Lowell Legion on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 8 p.m. tickets cost $20 and are available at Creemore Springs Brewery, Rexall in Stayner and JT’s Snowmobile and Repair on 9/10 Sideroad Sunnidale.

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