Fundraiser for Tony Flacht of Rocanville
January 16, 2023, 1:45 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
An online auction is being organized to help cover the ambulance bills and wheelchair expenses of Tony Flacht who recently suffered from a stroke and is on a long road to recovery.
Tony has been a part of the Rocanville community for the past number of years along with his daughter, Amanda and her son Tosh.
With Tony having no insurance, Amanda has been paying for the medical expenses on her own.
“There’s a lot of expenses piling up, I don’t want those to fall on Amanda’s plate,” said Jennifer Agnew, organizer of the online auction and close friend of Amanda’s.
“She’s a single mother. I provided a lot of support to her during that time, but I was just amazed at how much work she’s doing for her dad. She went above and beyond to make sure he had the best care that he could, she really asked questions and pushed to get him into rehabilitation.
“Tony is not really that old of a guy, he’s 65 years old. He’s young and quite healthy, and vibrant. To think that he would be paralyzed is a scary thought.”
Tony suffered from a stroke on Mothers Day in 2022. While staying in Yorkton hospital, he shortly had another stroke afterwards.
He was transferred from Yorkton hospital once he was stable enough to move to a stroke rehab bed in Winnipeg, and has since been admitted to a personal care home.
With his wheelchair costing $3,500 and the ambulance bills piling up to be over $5,000, Agnew said she is hoping the online auction helps to cover the expenses.
“Tony has been recovering really well, but there’s other expenses that need to be covered like his wheelchair and extensive physiotherapy,” said Agnew.
“Amanda has just been so amazing of what she will do for her family. I just thought this all can’t fall on her, there has to be something I can do to help.”
Agnew was asked why she wanted to help Amanda and Tony through this difficult time.
“She’s a friend of mine, I have a son that’s the same age as her son. Our sons enjoy playing together which brought us together and we’ve just become friends over the past three years,” she said.
“When someone experiences a tragedy like this and needs help, it’s important that friends and the community steps forward to help out.
“If the burden can be spread out a little bit, it takes a little stress off of the family and then they can focus on the healing, instead of the burden of the bills. The stress of that is immense.
“If we can at least help a little bit with the bills, I think that would be amazing.”
Thankful for community’s support
Amanda has been overwhelmed with the support she and her family have received from the community so far.
“This is huge, my dad has no insurance. The ambulance bills have gone to collections, the wheelchair is $3,500,” Amanda said tearfully.
“He currently has a basic rental wheelchair, but needs something more specialized due to the fact he is immobilized and also diabetic, it will require custom attachments.
“The amount of support from the community is unreal. Jen is the one who approached me and said, ‘you guys need help.’ We never ask for help, my dad would always be the first one to help everyone, but he would never ask for help for himself.”
Being the only family Tony has in the area, Amanda was asked how she is handling it all.
“Some moments have been challenging. It’s tough, you know it’s been really hard,” she said through tears.
“He’s young, he turned 65 in a stroke rehab bed. It’s just been really hard to handle. We didn’t expect this. We’ll get through.”
Currently Tony is staying in a personal care centre in Winnipeg. The doctors told Amanda that he’s been recovering well.
“He’s young and he’s very determined, and he’s very strong,” she said.
“Even though he is completely immobilized on the left side of his body, his strength has come back substantially.
“When I was speaking with the neurologist they said from the magnitude of the strokes he had, that he shouldn’t be alive right now. He was just amazed at how strong and positive my dad is with the outlook on the rest of life.
“He told him that he’s confident my dad will make a full recovery, based on his situation, and that by looking at him, one day he will be able to walk.
“That’s really what we’re pushing for right now, and paying for a physiotherapist to come and work with him, along with occupational therapy. We’re staying hopeful, we really are. He’s still in the early stages of it all.”
Donations for online auction being accepted until Jan. 31
Donated items and businesses can contribute to the online auction until January 31.
The auction’s start date is Feb,. 4 and will be running until Feb. 9 through a Facebook page—Online Auction for Antoni.
So far, businesses such as Dock On Princess of Brandon, Dave’s World of Adventures of Winnipeg, Rocanville Golf Course, TJ’s Pizza of Moosomin, Chris Jensen Studios of Winnipeg, Deckers H2O of Rocanville, and AFAB of Rocanville have made donations.
Universe Satellite Sales has also offered to be a drop-off location for individuals or businesses who which to donate items or monetary donations as well. People can also donate anonymously.
“We would just appreciate as much support as we can get to his wheelchair and the bills covered, and anything extra would be put towards physiotherapy for him,” said Agnew.
“It’s very much appreciated. In a situation like this, if it happened to me or someone in my family, I would be panicking. I just thought there had to be something we could do to help.”
People can also donate through email: firstname.lastname@example.org and contact Agnew if they have any questions or would like to make a donation as well at, (306) 740-6122 or email@example.com