Gored by his bull, a 31-year-old father fights for his life

A tragedy shakes an Abitibi family as a 31-year-old father fights for his life after being gored by the bull he was raising on his farmhouse.

Gored by his bull, a 31-year-old father fights for his life

A tragedy shakes an Abitibi family as a 31-year-old father fights for his life after being gored by the bull he was raising on his farmhouse.

Out of passion, Valérie Roberge and her spouse Nicolas Chalifoux, who each occupy their profession, own a small farmhouse in Rochebaucourt, a small municipality located 80 km north of Val-d'Or which has only 131 residents.

They have half a dozen beasts there; dairy cows and an Ayrshire bull.

On May 1 at noon, Nicolas Chalifoux was feeding his animals when the beast attacked him.

“The bull headbutted him and knocked him to the ground. He entered a horn in his abdomen and shook it, ”said his wife.

Luckily, the 31-year-old did not lose consciousness.

“With the adrenaline, he remained standing. He called me at my business (45 minutes drive from home). I contacted the neighbor to come to her rescue, ”added Ms. Roberge.

The neighbor put him in a car and took the direction of Amos hospital, nearly 70 km away. "Luckily after five or six kilometers, they came across an ambulance," says Ms. Roberge.

One step away from dying

Last week, Mr. Chalifoux was transported by air ambulance to the Sacré-Coeur hospital in Montreal because of the seriousness of his condition.

“The horn passed very close to the aorta of the heart. Nicolas was really very lucky in all his bad luck,” adds Ms. Roberge.

If this artery had been cut, Mr. Chalifoux would have quickly died at the end of his blood.

“He has already had seven major operations. Doctors still don't know if he will survive. He started to move quietly again (yesterday) without opening his eyes yet. Mentally, according to the doctors, he is there, ”points out Ms. Roberge who regained a little hope yesterday.

She points out that if the condition of her husband continues to improve, the doctors have nevertheless advanced that several weeks, even months of hospitalization will be necessary for his recovery, as well as other operations.

Why ?

Even though the attack was completely unexpected, Valérie Roberge can only see one explanation. “A cow had just had a calf two days before. Did the bull want to protect the calf? »

But the mystery remains since they had the animal since its birth, almost three years ago, and it had always been docile. “He was not the most sociable, but when we went to the field, he came to us. He followed us when we had a feed boiler. We assumed it was because of the calf because it never showed any signs [of aggression],” she explained.

Call for caution

The Union paysanne, which brings together small breeders in Quebec, says it has never heard of such an attack.

Still, for Valérie Roberge, there is "absolutely" no longer any question of having a bull on the property. The lady sends a message to enthusiasts who, like her and her spouse, have farmhouses. “They have to be very careful. It's still beasts. »

Nicolas Chalifoux is a mechanic-welder for a subcontractor in the mining industry.

Ms. Roberge has to travel seven hours to go to her spouse's bedside. She finds herself the only breadwinner. The couple have two young children aged 6 and 7.

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help the family. On GoFundMe: The Chalifoux family.

*Sources: Les Producteurs de lait du Québec and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


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