July 12, 2018 7:24 pm
Updated: July 13, 2018 12:05 am

‘If I died tomorrow, I’ve lived’: wheelchair-dependent seniors live out fishing dream

A new dock in an urban lake in Metro Vancouver is allowing some senior anglers to get back in the game. Linda Aylesworth reports.


Residents of a Burnaby senior care facility who dreamed of one day going fishing again are living out a dream they thought they would never get to fulfill.

“Today is a living day, everyone is out together happy… what more do you want out of life,” Cecilia Wkjord, 99, said.

“If I died tomorrow, I’ve lived.”

Recreation manager at Dania Home, Leslie Torresan, said the experience came about because one of the residents, Bob Clough, 87, is always sharing fishing stories.

“His eyes would well with tears just to tell about the 81-pounder that he caught,” Torresan said.

“It fills my heart, oh my goodness, when we got the fishing lines last night I phoned Bob and the nurses got him on the phone, I said, ‘Okay Bob we are ready to go,’ and he was just so happy. So for me this is just a thrill to have them out here,” she added.

Clough and Wkjord were joined by Raymond Chung, 105, at Como Lake in Coquitlam on Thursday morning.

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“It’s so important, first of all, to enable them to pursue their past leisure interests, moving to a care home they thought, ‘Oh, this will never happen, I’m in a wheelchair I won’t be able to,’ and we really want to try to get them to be able to continue doing their past leisure interests,” Torresan said.

She said now that this first trial run fishing outing has proved a major success, care facility staff plan to take other groups out as well.

Torresan is thanking the City of Coquitlam for building the dock that has allowed those dependent on wheelchairs to explore the outdoors and take part in this fishing experience.

~ With files from Linda Aylesworth 

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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