The family of a woman who was seriously injured after she was pushed off an LRT platform into the path of an oncoming train says she remains in hospital and will need permanent medical supervision.
Rozalia Meichl, 64, was waiting on the east side of the Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain platform last Thursday when another woman allegedly pushed her from behind onto the tracks.
An approaching CTrain was able to stop in time but Meichl suffered serious injuries and was taken to hospital in life threatening condition.
Stephanie Favel, 35, has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and breach of probation in connection to the incident. Police believe the attack was random and unprovoked.
Meichl’s son, Allan Hein, says his mother will need permanent medical supervision.
“She’ll never walk again. So, her spine has been broken and severed and can’t be put back together, obviously and she will be wheelchair bound for the rest of her life,” said Hein. “She will definitely be in a full-time nursing home when she gets out of the hospital in about four months.”
Favel was previously charged with attempted murder in connection with an incident in the Beltline in December 2015 but the charge was withdrawn in August 2016.
Hein says he is trying to focus on his mother and not on the accused.
“I’m trying to channel all my energy as well as our family’s to put our energy into mom instead of the accused. That’s what matters most is mom’s health,” said Hein. “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy but especially for somebody who just continuously gave of herself and somebody who couldn’t defend herself as well. You know, she was disabled as it was and just a senseless crime, that’s what, I think, makes it the hardest.”
Meichl raised her children on her own but was unable to work due to a spinal condition and doesn’t have medical coverage or disability insurance to help cover costs now.
“We are just taking it day by day, she’s got a long road ahead of her so I’m sure in the next weeks and months we’ll start looking to do some events with her and whatnot but as for right now it’s just getting her to a place of good health,” said Hein. “She knows what happened and is fully alert and conscious and she is hanging in there and in good spirits.”
Meichl was a long-time volunteer at the Kerby Centre and officials say she contributed over 3200 hours of her time to the facility from 2008 to 2016.
“We at Kerby Centre were shocked and saddened to hear about the violent attack on Rozalia Meichl that occurred last Thursday,” said Senior Manager Keith Callbeck in a statement to CTV News. “We have spoken with her family and offered to connect them with all relevant services and supports to aid in her recovery. We are encouraging our members, staff, and other volunteers to consider donating to Rozalia through her GoFundMe campaign.”
Kerby Centre CEO, Luanne Whitmarsh, says Meichl had a variety of roles as a volunteer but that her primary responsibility was in the adult day programs where she supported people with medical or cognitive challenges.
“She’s one of those folks that people gravitate towards. She has such a healthy look on life in spite of her own life experience, which sometimes was a challenge. It was really delightful to see her rise above that and always believe in the greater good,” she said. “It’s such a tragedy that she was caught in this situation. Good people don’t deserve to have bad things happen to them and she’s helped a lot of people, now we’re looking to help her.”