Janelle Guyatt, left, outside the Duncan courthouse with Brenda Smith. The second degree murder and attempted murder trial of Colin John has now gone on hiatus until the new year. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Fundraising venture underway for Island girl injured in 2016 knife attack

Janelle Guyatt still enduring surgery to repair nerve damage two and a half years later

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Cobble Hill resident Janelle Guyatt with expenses, as she faces her fourth surgery in January since surviving a knife attack in May of 2016 in Chemainus.

Colin John is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Derek Descoteau and the attempted murder of Guyatt in that attack. The trial has been put over until at least March pending a psychiatric assessment of John.

Guyatt, 18, has already endured three surgeries in Vancouver since the attack in the last two and a half years. She will be off work at Island Hairdressing in Duncan for six to eight months after her next surgery because the nerve damage she suffered to her left side was so severe.

Kristina Tkachuk of Qualicum Beach, wife of Derek’s uncle Darrell Descoteau, wanted to initiate something for Guyatt who’s shown incredible bravery and hasn’t asked anyone for help.

“I have just recently met Janelle through this entire ordeal,” said Tkachuk.

A conversation with Guyatt’s mom about the upcoming surgery prompted Tkachuk to get the GoFundMe campaign started.

“I asked how is Janelle being compensated for this, well, she’s not,” Tkachuk said.

The goal is to raise $10,000.

“She’s just a sweetheart of a person,” noted Tkachuk. “She’s worked through this and she’s got a hairdressing license through this.”

Guyatt didn’t want it to seem like she was receiving a handout.

“It endears me more to her that’s her attitude,” Tkachuk indicated.

There are so many costs Guyatt has endured, she pointed out, right down to her cell phone.

“Janelle had just purchased a cell phone a month or two before this incident occurred,” Tkachuk pointed out.

The cell phone was taken as police evidence and her plan elapsed after two years so she had to purchase a new one.

“The less burden she has in life, the more successful she will be to get over this,” reasoned Tkachuk. “To experience a tragedy like this can easily change the course of your life.”

Tkachuk has become somewhat of an extended family ambassador.

“I’ve attended every day in court,” she said. “I took notes throughout everything of the whole trial.”

Anyone who’d like to help Guyatt can go to www.gofundme.com and do a search on Janelle Guyatt’s name for the page.

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