Regina man finds work in lawn care after double amputation
Published Wednesday, May 30, 2018 5:25PM CST Last Updated Thursday, May 31, 2018 4:55PM CST
A Regina man isn’t letting a physical setback stop him from developing his booming business in the Queen City.
Howard Desjarlais lost both of his legs from the knee down, after two separate accidents required them to be amputated -- one when he was 19, and the other when he was 28 years old.
Now 36, Desjarlais began mowing lawns and picking up odd jobs as a way to make money as he searches for employment.
“I do it for myself and for my kids,” explained Desjarlais. “I make just enough to spend on them.”
Along with help from his mother, Nettie Quewezance, he has been able to reach more than a dozen lawns per week – a feat that she says makes her very proud.
“Watching him go out and do his work… It’s like he’s still got his legs!” laughed Quewezance.
Desjarlais does everything from mowing to seeding and garbage pickup. He owns and operates his own equipment, including an electric mower and weed-wacker.
Desjarlais says that while his new customers are usually a bit shocked at first by his lack of legs, his work speaks for itself.
“People say ‘How can you do that?’” explained Desjarlais. “I tell them ‘I don’t know… I just do!’”
Beginning with his family and friends, his business has grown to cover over a dozen houses in the North Central area of Regina, his only limitation being transportation.
But with the money he has made, Dejarlais is considering expanding his business.
“I want to save up enough money for a scooter so I can get to jobs faster,” said Desjarlais. “I’ll put a trailer on it, and pull my lawnmower and everything like that.”
Quewezance said that her son’s determination has inspired her to be more active, and hopes that it will do the same for others.
“I think he’s a great role model,” said Quewezance. “The loss of his legs (hasn’t) stopped him at all.”
Although some of the work is more difficult for Desjarlais to accomplish, he says that getting the job done is not the only thing that motivates him.
“It’s all fun for me, I like it,” said Desjarlais. “I’ll never let my legs take me down… down from what I want to do.”