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A family’s heartache

Faced with the reality of raising six children alone after her husbanddied last week, a mother vowed to stay strong for her family.


Faced with the reality of raising six children alone after her husband died last week, a mother vowed to stay strong for her family.


But that doesn’t mean Vicky Ormita and her children — aged four to 17 — aren’t afraid of what lies ahead.


“I have my children and they will help me out, and I will help them, but it’s very hard. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” a grieving Ormita told Metro.


Ormita came to the city five years ago from the Philippines to help start a better life for her and her family. At the end of March her husband and family joined her.


Last Thursday, her husband, Manuel, was killed in a warehouse accident when storage racking came crashing down on the forklift he was operating. It was his third day on the job.


“I can’t really think about it. It’s too hard, so I’m just trying to think about my kids and think ahead,” she said.


Ormita is overwhelmed with the outpouring of support for her family.


“Calgarians have been so nice. The school called and asked them to come in so they could console them and it has helped them feel better. At first they were just crying and crying.”


Maryanne Pope, managing director of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization educating on workplace safety, said workplace fatalities affect everyone.


“The impact of a workplace fatality is more than just the person who died, but their family and friends left behind. Especially if that person was the breadwinner,” Pope said.


Pope said there are places to turn for help, including a fairly unknown agency called Threads of Life.


“Not that many people seem to know about it, but their main purpose is to help the families of those killed in workplaces.”


–krista.sylvester@metronews.ca


 
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