‘We have a lot more struggles’: Life after fatal crash in Port Elgin – New Brunswick

Inside the Moncton Hospital 18 months ago, Melissa Bourque remembers sitting at her son’s bedside, unsure if he would live.

Jason Bourque wasn’t wearing a seat belt and suffered severe brain damage, following a car accident in Port Elgin, about 35 kilometres northeast of Sackville N.B. The crash took the lives of two of his friends, Colby Callender, 18, of Sackville, and Chad Alder of Melrose, 16.

Although some of Jason’s scars have healed, his life and the lives of his family, have changed forever. 

“I chose to take down my [family] pictures … if I look at things the way they were before until now, it really sucks,” she said. “But if you look at things the day of the accident and on, it’s good.”

Months after the accident, Melissa said she wasn’t sure if her son would ever regain consciousness, but he did and Jason became well enough to go to rehab in Fredericton. He returned to the family home on July 29, 2016.

The family of three live in a small two bedroom home in Port Elgin. 

“I’m surprised, I don’t know how we did it, but … [it] feels good,” said Bourque.

“I don’t stop, I lost 30 pounds … when he came home I was piggybacking him up and down the stairs.”

Laughter is the best medicine

And Bourque admits, she uses humour as a coping mechanism.

“That’s how I deal with everything, everything.

“I have to make jokes, I have to because if I don’t I would have probably already have gone crazy.”

Jason is now 18, and seems happy to joke back and forth with his mother. He throws out a curse word every now and then in an obvious attempt to tease his mother, which works.

Melissa Bourque is a single mother to Jason and Nathan. She said laughing and telling jokes is her way of coping with the stress of being her son’s full-time caregiver. (CBC)

Jason has noticeable scarring from an operation on his wrist and a dime sized scar in the centre of his neck, where a tube was inserted.

He is permanently disabled.

Jason has partial…

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