Friends, family and sometimes complete strangers are rallying around a young Tiny Township man as he clings to life at a Toronto hospital.
Jaden Marchand, 21, was electrocuted while laying fibre-optic cable on Concession 13 in Tiny for an area company June 24. It was his fourth day on the job.
He was rushed by air to Sunnybrook Hospital where he remains fighting for his life, surrounded by family and the "incredible" medical team that have been working around the clock.
The outpouring of love and support for Jaden and his family has been awe-inspring, according to Lee-Anne Visser, who is originally from Midland and remains a close, long-time friend of Marchand’s mother Jen (née Quesnelle).
The family, which also includes father Mike and brother Evan, resides in Lafontaine.
“They’re a very close-knit family,” Visser told MidlandToday.
While Visser wouldn’t comment on Facebook posts speculating about Marchand’s condition, she acknowledged that he is unconscious and remains in intensive care.
“They don’t want things to be made public,” she said, referring to a request from Jen and Mike Marchand, who have been at their son’s bedside since the accident. “There is some misinformation going around.”
Jaden Marchand attended École Ste-Croix in Lafontaine, James Keating Elementary School in Penetanguishene and St. Theresa’s Catholic High School in Midland.
A fundraising campaign established by Visser will go towards helping the family deal with mounting gas, food, lodging and parking costs while they remain away from home.
“It’s for whatever they need,” she said, noting Jen currently works for Springwater Township while Mike works with Miller Waste.
The campaign has surpassed its initial $30,000 goal. At noon Monday, it totalled more than $37,000 with donations coming from more than 400 people.
“There’s been such an outpouring of love and generosity from the community,” Visser said, noting she was particularly touched by $5 donations each coming from a five-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. “It’s just overwhelming. It just keeps growing.”
But it’s not just financial help on offer.
Since starting the gofundme, Visser has received more than 100 calls and 400 messages from those eager to aid the family in any way they can.
“They want to know what they can do. Do they (the Marchands) need anything?” she noted.
“They just feel like money’s not enough. At this point, we’re asking that you say a prayer for Jaden and give off positive vibes.”