On Tuesday afternoon, he learned that his mother was suffering from terminal liver disease. As of Wednesday morning, he learned that if you make a desperate cry for help, the Maritimes will answer that call in spades. Wylie’s mother, Sandra, has been ill for some time.
But when he spoke to her on the phone Tuesday, he learned it was worse than he had imagined. She told him that the doctors gave her two to four months to live.
“I was devastated,” he said.
Wylie, a bus driver for Halifax Transit in Nova Scotia, has not seen his mother, who lives in Saint John, since Christmas 2019. Under current travel restrictions, he is not allowed to enter New -Brunswick, even on compassionate grounds, unless he is willing to self-isolate for 14 days.
“I’ve used up all my vacations already so I just can’t afford it,” he said.
However, truckers are considered essential workers and can enter the province. Wylie has her Class 1 license.
Hail Mary pass
So on Tuesday night, he launched a Hail Mary pass on the online classifieds site Kijiji.
“I know this is a bit of a strange request, but I’m looking for a Class 1 position. I have a leave of absence Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I work full time at Halifax Transit. I’m looking for a route that will connect Halifax to Saint John.… I’m willing to drive for free!
“My mom was diagnosed with end-stage liver failure and given two months to live today, May 11, and I have no way to cross the border to Nova Scotia. “
He signed with his phone number and email address.
“I didn’t really think I was having a lot of reaction,” Wylie said.
He was wrong.
I was just blown away. These are people I don’t even know.– Aaron Wylie
Almost immediately, her phone rang with offers of help. Someone posted the message to Facebook, where it was shared over 5,000 times, and the call volume increased further.
On Wednesday morning, Wylie said he had to remove the message from Kijiji and mute his phone’s ringer because he couldn’t keep up with calls and scrambled to go through the hundreds of texts and emails he had. had received.
Liver donation offer
In an interview Thursday, Wylie was overcome with emotion as he spoke about some of the responses he had received.
One person offered to get tested to see if they would be a viable living donor for a liver.
Another offered to send money to help his parents.
Many, many others offered him to work on trucking routes in New Brunswick, although all insisted that they pay him for the work.
“I was just blown away,” he said, choking. “These are people I don’t even know. “
Determined to do everything according to the rules
Wylie said he accepted one of the offers and now will focus on figuring out exactly what conditions he should meet in order to visit his mother.
He also has an appointment to be vaccinated against COVID-19 next week and will do a rapid test for the virus before and after his trip.
“I don’t want to endanger anyone,” he said. “I want to make sure everything is in accordance with public health guidelines. “
Public Health did not immediately respond to a request from CBC News on Thursday for more information on the rules applicable to truckers entering New Brunswick.
But according to the New Brunswick government website, regular commuters who commute for work must limit their activities outside of their home province to get to work. All regular commuters to or from New Brunswick must be tested negative for COVID-19 every week.
However, the situation is changing every day.
The entire province moved into the yellow phase of restrictions on Monday, the vaccination rollout continues at a steady pace and exceptions have been made on a case-by-case basis.
Over the next few weeks, as he reviews the rules and clarifies the details, Wylie’s travel plan will be “in the air.”
But one thing is for sure, he said: there are hundreds of good people out there.
“It has been an overwhelming and moving response,” Wylie said. “I hope I can do it, but whether I do it or not, it’s [heartwarming] to know that support was there. ”