Tragedy Turned Triumph

tragedy turned triumph

When a hearty fisherman is injured in a tragic industrial accident in Harbour Grace,
his family wondered what the future held. In her own touching words, his wife shares his
tale of determination and strength in her touching memoir, Miracles Happen

Rendell Drover was known locally as “the big-hearted fisherman from Upper Island Cove. His wife Janice can testify to that. “He’s a good man. He always was. He always put everyone else before his own self,” she says with pride.

unfortunate inspiration

Janice, who at 65 years old has never written a book before penning her husband’s tale, shares the motivation behind Miracles Happen, the Rendell Drover Story.

“The book is about my husband having a bad accident, and we didn’t know if he would make it, but he defied all the odds. If Rendell survived what he survived, I thought it would be nice to tell his story and give others some hope.”

While no one can spin the tale better than Janice herself, Rendell’s accident was as quick as it was tragic. While unloading crab on the wharf in Harbour Grace, he was run over by a forklift.

“It had been such a normal day on the water. Ten minutes after I left his side in Harbour Grace unloading his crab, he was on a stretcher and we didn’t know if he was going to make it,” she shares in reflection.

‘a born fisherman’

There was shock, but there was something else too. “The hardest was to see the change. To see a big hearty, healthy, strong man change so fast.”

When asked to describe her husband, Janice pauses. “Rendell is a born fisherman. He was only a young man when he went fishing, a boy really. He give up school when he was 15 to go working, but no matter what he did he always came back to the boat. He went fishing with his brothers and his father and then all of them started to get their own family. We had two sons and a daughter and our oldest son Shawn and our other son Robin finished school and went in the boat with their father. Fishing is a family thing. A proud family thing,” she said.

Speaking of pride, Janice is filled with pride when it comes to speaking of her husband’s strong spirit.

“He’s not a-hundred percent, but he’s a-hundred per cent better than what he was. He had to learn to walk, talk, take a breath; everything he had to learn again on his own. When he came out of the hospital he couldn’t read or write, now he’s after reading this book over twice,” she says with a laugh.

‘a good read’

In the background, Rendell adds; “it’s a good read.”

Janice laughs. “He said he couldn’t put it down, that’s what everyone says who picks up the book, they say they can’t lay it down. But Rendell, he loves the book. A lot of things in it he didn’t know about because he was in ICU for three months, and he was in a coma for a long time, then he was in the hospital for a year after that,” she shares.

While cheering her husband along on his road to recovery takes time, Janice isn’t done putting pen to paper. “I have other stories to tell. Maybe my take on a fishing family. I’m all the time scribbling down stuff.”

There’s little doubt Janice will have more to share with eager readers down the road; as a strong woman in her own right, she has energy, spirit and inspiration to share.

“I’m a wife of a fisherman, so I had to be strong too. Everyday I had to do my part. I had to keep going because as the wife of a fisherman there’s always something to be done,” she says.

 After the accident, she had to keep that momentum going.

“I had to be there pushing Rendell, telling him not to give up. I took that same roll I had as a fisherman’s wife, to support my husband and family, only now it was life or death. The medical team had their job and I had mine. My job was to say, don’t give up.”

For more, visit or pick up a copy of Miracles Happen, the Rendell Drover Story.

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