GoFundMe created to help Chilliwack man after devastating heart attack

Nelson Rioux had both legs amputated above the knees after the heart attack cut off circulation

Called Smiley by family and friends, Chilliwack’s Nelson Rioux is facing a world of change after having both of his legs amputated above the knee. (GoFundMe photo)

Called Smiley by family and friends, Chilliwack’s Nelson Rioux is facing a world of change after having both of his legs amputated above the knee. (GoFundMe photo)

A Chilliwack man’s life was turned upside down when he had a heart attack, and as Nelson Rioux returns home from hospital, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to help pay for expenses.

Those will be many for Nelson, who lost both of his legs due to complications.

Everything went sideways for him on Feb. 19 when he started having trouble breathing. According to the GoFundMe post by family friend Val Meyer, the situation became so dire that Nelson was placed in an induced coma and over the next two weeks he went through several heart surgeries.

Nelson lost so much blood circulation from the heart attack that he developed necrosis, or death of body tissue, in his lower legs and feet. To prevent the necrosis from spreading any further, his doctors made the difficult decision to amputate both legs above the knee.

RELATED: Fundraiser launched for daughter of Chilliwack woman killed

RELATED: GoFundMe campaign to help Abbotsford girl, 11, paralyzed after spinal surgery

Nelson pulled through, and has spent the last few weeks recovering, gathering his strength. He came home to his wife, Betty, on April 27, after she’d spent weeks frantically trying to prepare a house that wasn’t built to accomodate Nelson’s new needs.

His current vehicle won’t either.

Nelson went into this ordeal already suffering from kidney disease, and he’ll still need to travel to and from the hospital in Abbotsford for dialysis three times a week. He needs access to a wheelchair equipped vehicle, and on May 2 Betty reported that they’d found a Toyoto Sienna van outfitted with a wheelchair accessibility ramp and manual restraints. It will work great with a few more modifications.

“I will be able to transport Smiley (her nickname for Nelson) anywhere we need to be,” Betty said.

The van isn’t free nor are the house adaptations, and Meyer said the GoFundMe goal of $50,000 is meant to take the burden off a family that is going through a rough time.

“We are hoping that Nelson is able to settle easily into his new life with friends and family by his side,” she said.

As of noon Tuesday, the GoFundMe had surpassed $42,000 raised.


Like us on


Just Posted

Dr. Euiseok Kim is the medical director of the new Abbotsford post-COVID-19 recovery clinic. (Submitted)
Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic opens in Abbotsford

New facility following model of first clinic which opened in Surrey

Fraser-Cascade School District and the Board of Education are working through the passing of their 2021/2022 annual budget. (Hope Standard file photo)
Upgrades worth $1.2 million coming for Fraser Cascade schools

Projects a part of next year’s budget, currently in the process of being adopted

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Two small dogs were also discovered by the officer, one had died, and the other was taken by animal control and sent for veterinary care with the BC SPCA. (File Photo)
Body discovered in parked van in Mission with 2 dogs, 1 dead

Remains in state of decomposition, surviving dog sent for veterinary care with BC SPCA

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

The George Massey Tunnel will be closed overnight May 28 and 29 to test the tunnel’s fire suppression system and overhead lane control signals. (Black Press Media file photo)
Overnight Massey Tunnel closures coming May 28, 29

Closure to allow safe testing of tunnel’s fire suppression system and overhead lane control signals

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Cat who chases away coyote asked to join Port Moody, Vancouver police 

Caught on camera Friday, the black cat jumps out from under a parked car and runs the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred last Friday

Most Read