You’d probably move heaven and earth to be with someone you love if you found out they just had months to live. Regrettably, in the dynamic age of coronavirus, heaven and earth are all too often entangled in a tangle of red tape.
Aaron Wylie, a bus driver, lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Sandra, who has liver disease, lives with his father in Saint John, New Brunswick, about a four-hour drive north. Since Christmas of 2019, he hasn’t seen them.
Wylie was devastated to hear Sandra’s prognosis was terminal, and all he wanted to do was find a way to see her while there was still time, but pandemic travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine, combined with budget limitations and a lack of time off, made the visit seem to be nearly impossible.
Then he had an epiphany.
Wylie, who works for Halifax Transit in Nova Scotia, holds a Class-1 driver’s licence, which requires him to operate a truck. Since truck drivers are considered important jobs, he reasoned that if he could find a job transporting a payload to New Brunswick, he might be able to complete the journey after all.
In the hopes of a miracle, he posted an ad on Kijiji, Canada’s most successful classified network.
“I know this is a bit of an odd request but I’m looking for a class 1 position,” he wrote. “I have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday off—I work full-time at Halifax Transit. I am looking for a route that will run Halifax to Saint John… I am willing to drive for free!”
He went on to describe the specifics of his mother’s condition and stated that he wanted to find a safe and expedient way to cross the border.
Wylie admits he didn’t expect much response to his message, but offers of trucking jobs, financial assistance, and even someone willing to test as a live liver donor for his mother began pouring in almost immediately.
The request received over 5,000 Facebook shares, and the response was so overwhelming that Wylie had to turn off his phone and remove the Kijiji listing.
Wylie has since accepted a job hauling cars from Halifax to Saint John, but he has yet to be cleared to drive. Meanwhile, he’s getting vaccinated and will be checked for COVID-19 both before and after the ride.
Health restrictions in Canada are currently in flux. Rules and restrictions change from day to day, hour to hour. Even as Wylie waits for approval, he’s humbled by the outpouring of support he’s got so far from complete strangers.
“It’s been an overwhelming response and an emotional one,” Wylie said in an interview with CBC News. “I was just blown away. These are people I don’t even know.”Follow Us