Rebecca MacNeill says she’s lucky to be alive.
Last week, the deck on her family’s home collapsed, dropping MacNeill about 15 feet to the ground, burying her under a barbecue and furniture that slid on top of her.
On Wednesday, MacNeill was in her room at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown facing a lengthy recovery from a broken leg, shattered ankle, three broken ribs and punctured lungs.
“Somebody was watching over me that day,” she said.
MacNeill was on her family’s patio with her husband at their home in Charlottetown at around 7 p.m. on Aug. 8 when their barbecue ran out of propane.
She went to get a propane tank from a camper in their yard, brought it back up the steps, crossed the deck and passed it to her husband.
MacNeill said as soon as she handed him the tank the deck fell away from the house.
A week later, MacNeill said she can remember looking down and wondering when she would hit the ground.
“It was all in slow motion,” she said.
Although her husband escaped with a lump on his head and a few cuts, scrapes and bruises, MacNeill had to deal with more than just the fall.
With one end of the deck still in the air, the barbecue and all the patio furniture slid down on top of her, pinning her to the ground for what MacNeill said was about 45 minutes.
“No one was able to get at me,” she said.
The family lived in the home for 15 years and MacNeill said there weren’t any problems with the deck before it collapsed.
MacNeill said that while she was under the pile she couldn’t believe what had happened.
“I was just shocked.”
Paramedics and firefighters responded to the accident and MacNeill said when they saw what happened they thought she was dead.
“I’m very lucky to be alive.”
Sitting in a hospital chair with a cast on her leg and foot, MacNeill said it would probably take four to six months of recovery before she will be able to get back to work as a nurse at the hospital.
Since the accident, MacNeill had surgery that needed plates, screws and a bone graft to repair her broken leg and ankle.
She won’t be able to put weight on her leg for six to eight weeks and said her ribs will take 12 weeks to heal.
MacNeill said she is still in shock over what happened and when she goes to bed it keeps playing in the back of her mind.
“I still just hear the wood cracking and starting to fall.”
With a long recovery ahead of her, one of MacNeill’s co-workers started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the family while she’s recovering.
MacNeill said she is just lucky she’s around to talk about what happened.
“Don’t take life for granted because it can change in the blink of an eye,” she said.
Donations to the GoFundMe campaign can be made at Gofundme.com/support-for-macneill-family.