Recovering in a Saskatoon hospital, Marlene Darlene Bird, 47, has been surrounded by supporters in the weeks since she was violently assault in downtown Prince Albert on June 1.
© Herald file photo
Marlene Darlene Bird, 47.
‚ÄúShe has a great support network built in right now -- a psychologist, a pastor, social worker and all of the regular support systems that you need in that kind of a situation,‚ÄĚ her aunt, Lorna Thiessen said.
Thiessen was in Prince Albert on Wednesday to attend the latest court appearance of a man who faces charges in relation to Bird‚Äôs assault.
Click HERE for a story covering the latest happenings in court.
She said that her niece remains upbeat and determined to get her life back on track.
War Amps has offered to provide Bird with prosthetic legs to help her remain mobile despite having both legs amputated as a result of the assault.
Someone else has offered to train a companion dog to help Bird after she‚Äôs out of the hospital.
A plethora of individuals and organizations across the nation have held fundraisers to help Bird after she gets out of the hospital.
Last weekend alone, Thiessen notes that a fundraiser in Nova Scotia raised $4,000, and an event in La Ronge raised $5,000.
A more personal touch has been made through the hundreds of letters Bird has received from well-wishers, primarily through the Prince Albert YWCA.
Bird has started reading the letters -- one of her first reactions to seeing them; ‚ÄúPeople care about me?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúShe just couldn‚Äôt believe it,‚ÄĚ Thiessen said. ‚ÄúIt was overwhelming for her.‚ÄĚ
Looking forward, Bird faces physiotherapy, including work with prosthetics, after which the world is her oyster.
Where do you want to live?
What do you want to do?
What are you afraid of?
‚ÄúShe has all these options,‚ÄĚ Thiessen said.
She has a great support network built in right now -- a psychologist, a pastor, social worker and all of the regular support systems that you need in that kind of a situation. Lorna Thiessen
It‚Äôs sad that it took a violent assault for all of these doors to open for Bird, Thiessen said.
Prior to June 1, Bird -- a residential school survivor -- lived the life of a transient alcoholic. Although family, church and social supports were in place to help her along, they didn‚Äôt prove adequate to allow her to pull herself back up.
‚ÄúWhy can‚Äôt the rest of society, why can‚Äôt the rest of us, be a support system to at least that one person around us?‚ÄĚ Thiessen asked. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôll make the world of difference.‚ÄĚ
National media attention
The impact of Bird‚Äôs story has been felt across the nation -- a story Thiessen maintains is an important one for people to hear.
‚ÄúThe public needs to know how dangerous people are so there can be some active approaches to what needs to be fixed in society,‚ÄĚ she explained.
In the days after Bird‚Äôs assault, police asked those close to Bird to not let the public know how serious the situation was, out of fear of frightening the community, Thiessen said.
‚ÄúAre you kidding? Now I‚Äôm really going to open my mouth,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt back down and I don‚Äôt mince words.‚ÄĚ
From her morning interview at the Daily Herald office, Thiessen was scheduled to head back to Saskatoon where she and Bird were scheduled to meet with the National Post.
An author in British Columbia has been in contact with Bird‚Äôs family and has expressed interest in writing a book about her, Thiessen said.
‚ÄúMy little phone‚Äôs just smoking right now.‚ÄĚ