Benefit to support former Truro cook, avid baseball player

Raissa Tetanish, The Truro Daily News
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‘He was so active, but he really enjoys his music now’

TRURO – A fundraiser set for next weekend couldn’t come at a better time says a local family.

Jackie Spence said a friend is organizing a benefit for her father, Darrell “Needle” Johnson on April 11.

“I was really shocked,” said Spence about finding out about the benefit scheduled at the Truro Horsemen’s Club. “But we need this. Mom and Dad really need help right now. She just had to quit her job because Dad can’t be home alone right now.”

Johnson lost his sight and short-term memory following a massive stroke on Feb. 9.

“He had six (strokes) at once,” said Spence. “The doctors gave him 48 hours to live. That was a Monday. They called all the family in, but then the next afternoon, the nurse came rushing to us – Dad was sitting up in his bed talking.”

Johnson has been home for the past three weeks but is still adjusting, said Spence.

“He’s adjusting very slowly. He’s on a waiting list for rehab in Halifax. His sight comes and goes,” she said.

Born and raised in Brookfield, Johnson now lives in Truro. He worked as a cook for many years in various restaurants. He was an avid baseball player, bowler, a good pool player and loved playing cards.

“Some days, he’s really down. He was so active, but he really enjoys his music now,” the daughter said.

While he’s lived at his current residence for years, Spence said her father doesn’t remember living there.

“He’s been told many times over the past three weeks the layout here, but he just doesn’t remember it,” she said. “He can’t be alone right now.”

Once Johnson is able to start rehabilitation in Halifax, the family will be traveling five days a week to appointments.

“We’re really excited to see some family and friends at this benefit,” said Spence, adding it’s the first one that has been organized for the family.

The benefit begins at 6 p.m. with a ham dinner for $10 and viewing of auction items. The auction begins at 7 p.m., followed by a dance featuring Nowhere Road. There will also be a balloon drop and 50/50.

Anyone wishing to donate items to the benefit can do so by contacting Janice Hughes at 897-6035.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

Geographic location: Truro, Halifax, Brookfield

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