By Laura Hines
Nov. 17, 2014
Connor Johnson was 11, when he was shot in the leg by his grandfather when a gun went off by mistake.
It has been almost a year since the accident and recovery for the boy from Windsor, N.S, has been slow.
Connor is out of his wheelchair. He started walking again three months ago with the help of crutches. He still uses his wheelchair sometimes at school, he said.
“It’s different, but the staff are helping me.”
His family is most supportive, he said.
“They’re always there for me.”
The recovery has been very slow, said Connor’s mother, Lisa Johnson.
“It was looking good until Connor got an infection at the end of February. They had to move metal pins away from the infected area, immobilizing his knee.”
Connor has had 17 surgeries, including a bone graft and four skin grafts in past year.
The family waited impatiently at the hospital from February until May for the infection to clear up again and for the doctors to put a special frame on his leg. In July, the family waited for skin grafts to heal up, only to have more tissue and muscle removed because it didn’t take during the graft, Lisa said.
“The most difficult part is likely the time that has passed, it will be a year on Nov. 23.”
There have been a few exciting moments throughout the year for her son, she said.
“Connor sent me a text message to come to the garage and when I went outside he was walking without any crutches.”
Lisa posted a photo of the moment on Facebook with the note “watching your child walk for the first time in their life is pretty cool. Watching him walk for the second time in their life is pretty amazing.”
Another big moment for Connor was when he opened with IWK telethon with CTV television host Steve Murphy in May and he was in a commercial for the telethon through the Royal Bank of Canada, she said.
Connor’s 14-year-old sister Shaylin Johnson has found the past year difficult because her family was never home.
“Mom was staying in the hospital with Connor, there was more responsibility for me at home. I didn’t want to miss any school, so I visited them on the weekend and Facetimed them during the week.”
It was hard when people asked about Connor, she said.
“It was hard to talk about, but I had a few close friends who were there for me and I’m thankful for that.”
Sometimes it was hard for Shaylin to see her brother in the hospital.
“If he was upset, in a lot of pain or getting surgery done, it would be really hard. But if he was in a happy mood, smiling, laughing out and about in the hospital, it was easier.”