“In a profession, service to the client is primary, more important by far than service to self.” Anon
I find it so very strange that I ever ended up in Brazil. That wonderment has to do with an incident—no I’d better call it an accident for it should have ended my life. I was nine or ten years old at the time. I now look back and add up the strange things that happened that day to allow me to live. That’s right–the body of that boy should have been buried along with the many other Kennys at Lilys Cemetery just North of Seeley’s bay, Ontario.
This accident happened on the family farm on Taylor road north of Gananoque. I was playing in the barn with a friend David Moores and my younger sister Alma. There were lots of dangerous things to do in the barn. We might jump from a hay mow to a pile of hay below or perhaps walk some of the beams from one side of the barn to the other. There was one place next the granary where we could dig into the hay and make a little tunnel or we would climb the makeshift ladder on the end of the barn to look out across the countryside.
That famous day—I almost wrote fatal—the three of us were down in the cow stable playing on the litter carrier. It was used to carry the manure out to a pile beyond the barn and it was built so that it ran on a flexible steel cable. It dumped its load at the right place and then gravity brought it back into the barn. When we tired of pushing the carrier, we took turns riding it; it is important to know this happened during the summer when the carrier was dry. The fun was bouncing it on the cable so that it became a bucking horse. When it was my turn the wheels flipped off the cable and I fell with it to the stable floor.
That was the moment I believe angels intervened. A large bolt that at one time had repaired the trolley wheels had not been cut flush. It hit and penetrated my skull instantly paralyzing my left side. Alma tells me she and Davids loaded me on a wagon and hauled me to the house. But nothing could be done till supper time when dad came in from the fields. I lay on the couch in the summer kitchen semi -conscious while the others ate. My brother Clifford who is 10 years older than I says that while he was at the table eating he could see my pulse from the blood oozing from the hole in my skull. He fainted and fell backwards to the floor.
I was mostly unconscious from the time I was laid down on the couch. Dad however thought the injury was not serious. So the family went to the barn to milk the cows. Still not too concerned dad took mother to the prayer meeting at the church a couple of miles away. When they returned home I suppose it was at mother’s urging that they took me in to Gananoque to a doctor. He of course could do nothing so at his instructions I was taken from there to the Kingston General Hospital. I recall nothing about the trip but I know this—the cows had to be milked the next morning. I imagine the farm work was left to dad and my brother and it is more than likely that mother stayed with me at the hospital.