Dick Hunt's Blog

March 1, 2010

Tim Hunt Story

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 9:39 pm

Tim Hunt Story

By Dick Hunt, February 25th, 2010.

Tim was our fourth child, born August 16th, 1956.  Born with cancer in his right thigh, he had to have a full disarticulation on the 16th day of his life.  He has never looked back.  Some of the highlights of his development are that he was fitted with a peg leg at the age of two years, which was a wooden stick fastened to a half basket which was strapped around his torso and which he frequently broke. One day I was erecting an antenna on the steep roof of the house and had gone to the basement to get a tool.  When I came out, Tim had made his way up the ladder and was up at the peak of the roof. I managed to get him down without incident.

Three incidents show his fine good humor and determination to socialize with whoever he had opportunity.  The first was that at the age of four I used to take him along with me when I went visiting in long – term care facilities.  My job was to observe his very fine work as he made the rounds and cheered up the mostly elderly people, which he was so good at.  The second was a visit I made with him for a check up at the Cancer Clinic in Calgary.  We had to wait in the waiting room for some time.  I noticed a very troubled young man sitting by himself, with an above the knee amputation, but otherwise husky and well formed.  I steered Tim over toward him and then watched him go to work on the man.  They hit it off beautifully and it was obvious to me that Tim brought a good deal of healing to the young man’s sprit in the process. The third incident, which has been repeated many times on the ski slopes had to do with the lack of confidence of numerous two legged skiers who were almost ready to call it quits until they saw Tim rush down the hills with great joy  – on one leg!

At the age of six, the Lions Club had him fitted with a mechanical limb, which allowed him to sit in a chair and go to school. He even played soccer and the Phys. Ed. Teacher told me that he was the only student who had any spirit for the game.  Some time later, he asked me to build him a swing. I said I would but was too slow for him.  One day he had a stepladder up under the apple tree as I was walking home, with a piece of rope hanging down from a branch and at first sight I was afraid he had hanged himself with his efforts.  I built the swing in jig time and learned that you just don’t fool with Tim.  He has a lot of living to do.

Sometime after that I was walking home from the Church for lunch and saw a couple of blocks ahead of me two larger boys in an argument with Tim outside our home.  I put on a burst of speed but well before I got there the fists began to fly and the two boys turned their backs and ran away.         At the age of eight when we moved to B.C., he was fitted for a more advanced limb courtesy of the War Amps. Of Canada and they have helped Tim ever since in various ways.  When he was in grade two, he came home from school one day bloodied around his waist.  Under persistent questioning he finally told me that the kids had pushed him down the steps. When I told him I would go to the school with him in the morning and settle that problem, he said, “no Dad I will do it myself.”  The next day a teacher phoned to say Tim had roughed up some of his classmates.  Ruth had taken the call and told the teacher Tim had been pushed down the stairs, he was bleeding around the waist and he was just looking after that himself.  We never heard any more of that.

At the age of fifteen he applied for a job with the town of Williams Lake to supervise children’s games in the park.  He showed me his application form and where he was asked if he had any physical disabilities he had written “Fully Mobile”.  He rode his bike like the wind with one leg and later he rode motorbikes like the wind and the RCMP jumped in and fixed that.         While we were in Williams Lake we had arranged that all our children continue their piano lessons. Getting them to practice was something else. So we sold the piano and bought us all skis so we could do something together as a family. Tim is the only one who has excelled in skiing and none of our other children have done anything with it at all. In paralympics he has taken almost every championship years in a row in the U.S. and Canada and went to Europe twice, to Yugoslavia and to Austria and did very well.  He still skis whenever he can at the age of 53.

He married quite young and they had three children, a daughter and two sons.  Unfortunately the marriage did not last.  He is now married to a woman called Elaine with whom he was in School in Campbell River, B.C. They now have a blended family of one daughter and five sons, all but one employed and self sufficient.  (The youngest is still in High School). Tragically, Elaine’s only daughter was killed in an accident just before Christmas four years ago, a victim of a drunken driver who fled the scene on foot. Tim is a well-qualified carpenter and cabinet-maker and works on the Maintenance staff at U.B.C.  They have a good and stable marriage and we are glad for them.

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