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Bus driver desperate to see terminally ill Mom overwhelmed by support from community

Nova Scotia resident Aaron Wylie was surprised by the response to his request for a trucking route into New Brunswick so he can visit his dying mother. (Submitted by Aaron Wylie)
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What would you do if you found out your loved one only had a few months away? You’d most likely race to their side, spend as much time with them as possible. But what if that someone you loved lived in another province, and there was a pandemic?

Bus driver Aaron Wylie lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His mom, Sandra, lives a four-hour drive away in Saint John, New Brunswick. He hasn’t seen his parents since Christmas of 2019.

Upon learning that Sandra’s liver disease prognosis was terminal, all Wylie could focus on was trying to find a way to his Mom.  Under current COVID-19 travel restrictions, he was not permitted to enter New Brunswick, even on compassionate grounds, unless he isolated for 14 days which was not an option as he could not afford the time off work. The trip was proving to be near impossible. But, as with all matters of the heart, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And Wylie found a way.

Wylie, who drives a bus for Halifax Transit, has a Class-1 license which allows him to drive a truck. Since truck drivers had been classified as essential workers, if he could score a gig delivering a payload to New Brunswick, Wylie thought he might just be able to be with his Mom after all.

Hoping for a miracle

Hoping for a miracle, he placed an ad on Canada’s popular classified network site Kijiji.

“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 explain the details of his mom’s diagnosis and wrote that he needed to find a way to cross the border, fast, time was of the essence, Sandra did not have long. Wylie hit SUBMIT and held his breath, not expecting much but hoping for something. He turned off his phone and went to bed.

A miracle came

The next morning, to Wylie’s surprise, support poured in. He even had to take down the Kijiji post down and turn his phone’s ringer off because he couldn’t keep up with the calls and hundreds of text messages and emails he’s received. There were offers of trucking jobs, financial help—and even someone willing to test as a live liver donor for his mom

As he awaits approval to drive to New Brunswick, Wylie has an appointment to get his COVID-19 vaccination next week and will be taking a rapid test for the virus before and after he travels. “I don’t want to put anybody at risk,” he said. “I want to make sure everything is in accordance with Public Health guidelines.” Although, Wylie’s travel plan will be “up in the air”, one thing is for sure, he said: “there are hundreds of good people out there”.  

“It’s been an overwhelming response and an emotional one,” Wylie said. “I hope I can get there, but whether I do or not, it’s [heartwarming] to know that that support was there.”

Read the full story on CBC.