It’s been an agonizing week for Karen Schielke. The Calgary mom has been by her son’s bedside at the Foothills Medical Centre as he recovers from injuries he sustained in the balcony fall on Oct. 14.
Eric Schielke was on the balcony of a four-plex in the south west community of Bankview when the railing gave way.
He was with two of his childhood friends who were also injured after falling 9 meters to the ground.
Eric has broken ribs, spinal fractures and a head injury.
“He is struggling. He is in a lot of pain,” Karen outside the hospital on Sunday said.
“They are trying to get the breathing tube out in the next day or two which will be great so he can communicate. It’s going to be a long road for my son,” Karen said.
Eric hasn’t been able to talk about what happened on Saturday night because of the breathing tube but his injured friends have given Karen their account.
“The railing just gave way. And they fell. And it was a long fall,” Karen said.
His friends are now out of the hospital but are still spending much of their time visiting.
“There are so many friends. From hockey to school to work. Eric works for the city of Calgary and they have been great as well. He touched so many people,” she said.
Investigators with the Calgary Police Service have been working with the City of Calgary planning inspectors to find out what might have happened prior to the incident as well as to find out
why the railing gave out.
“I go from so sad seeing my son like this and now I’m starting to get angry,” Karen said.
“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. If there’s anything wrong with your property, not necessarily just balconies, don’t be afraid to tell your landlord.”
Under the City of Calgary’s community standards bylaw, all balconies, decks, fences and porches must be kept in “good repair.” The bylaw means they must be free from rot, significant damage or missing parts.