(Calgary, AB – January 15, 2014)

On Monday, January 6, our beloved son, brother and friend, Francis Pesa, lost a hard--‐fought battle for his life following a collision with a drunk driver on January 1, just two hours after arriving home from the Philippines.

Francis suffered massive injuries – bleeding internally from failing organs and broken bones – and struggled for five days in the hospital to overcome them. Francis lived his life with vigour and passion, and fought for his life with the same courage and heroism we came to expect from him.

Those who knew Francis were fortunate to love a man devoted to the care of his brothers, honoured to shoulder responsibility from his parents and committed to the welfare of his friends.

We never knew or understood the depth of affection that people had for Francis until those long days in the hospital, where we were first surprised, and then overwhelmingly humbled, as nearly 200 friends and family members flooded Foothills Hospital. In the crowded hallways, quiet rooms and any empty spaces they could find, his loved ones took solace in one another’s company, sharing fond memories and offering prayers of comfort.

It is difficult to articulate the profound impact that this crash and Francis’ death has had on his family and friends, and all those who feel deep sorrow at such a senseless tragedy. It is even more challenging to comprehend the choice that the drunk driver made and the decision the people around him made in allowing him to drive. The knowledge that Francis was killed because a drunk driver refused to spend $20, $30 or $40 dollars for a taxi will forever pain us. We fervently pray that his death and suffering will  not  be in vain and hope that there will be justice in the future for Francis.

Our family is grateful to the staff at Foothills  Hospital and for the generous outpouring of support we’ve received from Calgarians, and those who have heard the news across the country and in the Philippines. It will be these thoughts and words that continue to sustain us as we lay our beloved Francis to rest.