Quebec woman who had arms and legs amputated after crash undergoes more surgery
Samantha Mongeon, left, kisses her sister Sabryna in this undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Samantha Mongeon)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 11, 2018 12:08PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 11, 2018 1:10PM EST
MONTREAL -- A young Quebec woman whose arms and legs were amputated following a car crash on Christmas Day underwent further surgery this week to remove more of her right leg, her sister said Thursday.
Samantha Mongeon said it was her sibling Sabryna's sixth amputation and ninth surgery since she was electrocuted following the December car crash.
Sabryna's condition was listed as stable Thursday and she was in a coma, Samantha said in an interview.
"The doctors are going to give her a little break, (remove the tube that has been allowing her to breathe) and let her be a little more normal," said Mongeon, 21.
She said it's unclear when Sabryna, 18, will wake up but she hopes it will be in the next few days.
The younger Mongeon lost control of her vehicle on Christmas morning and collided with a hydroelectric pole in western Quebec.
Her sister says electrical wires fell on the car and Mongeon was shocked by a charge of 14,500 volts when she exited the vehicle.
She was initially treated at a hospital in Gatineau, Que., before being transferred to the burns unit of a Montreal hospital.
She had parts of her arms and legs amputated soon after the crash but has since required additional surgeries to remove a greater portion of her limbs.
An online fundraising campaign had raised more than $146,000 as of noon Thursday.
Mongeon said the family is overwhelmed by the public's "unimaginable" generosity following the tragedy.
They're tired and in shock from the repeated amputations but staying strong, she said.
"There's a lot of accumulated fatigue but we're still strong, still united for Sabryna," she said.
The donations will help fund her sister's recovery, including paying for modifications to her living space to give her as much independence as possible.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Hydro-Quebec says the utility is raising awareness about the dangers of electrocution in the wake of what he calls a "sad and regrettable" accident.
Jonathan Cote says the best advice for anyone who crashes into a hydroelectric pole is to stay in the vehicle and wait for help.
"It's the safest place because you're isolated from the ground by the vehicle's tires," he said in a phone interview.
Cote said electricity always seeks the fastest way of travelling to the ground, and the most important thing is to avoid becoming that conductor.
If there is no choice but to exit the vehicle, he suggests that people jump as far from the car as possible with both feet together and to absolutely avoid touching the car and the ground at the same time.
He said that while collisions between cars and Hydro-Quebec poles are a frequent occurrence, accidents of this magnitude are rare.
"It's something that fortunately happens very rarely, but still too often, in the sense that every accident like this is one too many," he said.