It's a story of tragedy and hope that has elicited support from across the country and around the world. On Oct. 12, in the town of New Glasgow, N.S., Scott Jones was attacked and stabbed twice in the back, severing his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
The 27-year-old is the organist and choir director at First Presbyterian, New Glasgow. The church hired him in August, just two months before the attack, when he returned to the area after teaching English in South Korea.
As Jones gradually recovered in a Halifax hospital, his family, friends and community launched a fundraising campaign. Even Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield helped spread the word by posting a link to the fundraising website on his Facebook page. As of Nov. 4, donations and special events had brought in $86,000 for a trust fund to support Jones.
"[Scott is] all energy, all enthusiasm, and has the greatest gift of drawing music out of people," said Rev. Glen Matheson, minister at First. He said two days before he was attacked, Jones had started up a new community choir for recent immigrants, which attracted about 50 people the first night.
"And the energy and enthusiasm he drew out of these people was just incredible to watch. You can't learn that from a book. You can't write that down as a job description. It's just a spirit that he has within him."
The session has kept Jones on full salary, and the congregation has begun remodeling the building so that when he returns in a wheelchair he will be able to access everything he needs to do his job.
"[There was] a God moment the Sunday before Scott was injured; he played the entire service on the pipe organ without using the foot pedals," Matheson said. "He doesn't know why, but he just did it. ... When we asked Scott, why did you play without your feet? [He said] 'I thought I'd do something different for a change.' So it's been exciting because that was everyone's fear--can he play the organ from now on? And the answer absolutely is, 'yes.'"
In a message posted online on Nov. 4, Jones thanked those who have supported him...