Canadian hockey player burned by campfire out of coma

Two other players — Jordy Bellerive and Matt Alfaro — were also injured and are expected to recover

A player with the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes who was burned by a campfire earlier this month has emerged from a medically induced coma.

Ryan Vandervlis, a 20-year old centre with the elite major junior team, suffered severe burns to the front of his body.

“He is now recovering at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary where he is heavily sedated to aid healing, facing months of recovery and multiple surgeries,” said a GoFundMe page created to raise money for his family.

Hurricanes general manager Peter Anholt said Vandervlis — known to his teammates as Vandy — has a long road to recovery.

“Vandy has got some challenges in front of him,” he told CTV Lethbridge. “We know he’s a fighter and now he’s come out of his coma which is really positive.

“He’ll see what challenges he has in front of him and the fighter will really kick in.”

Two other players — Jordy Bellerive, a Pittsburgh Penguins prospect, and alumnus Matt Alfaro, who now plays for the University of Calgary Dinos — were also injured and are expected to recover.

READ MORE: Three junior hockey players injured starting campfire

They were among a group of 10 young men who had gathered at the family home of Hurricanes alumnus Tyler Wong as part of a pre-wedding celebration.

The three injured men were sharing a bench in front of the firepit when there was an explosion. RCMP have said a substance was placed in the fire to start it and continue to investigate.

The GoFundMe account has been set up to help Vandervlis family members, who are from Red Deer, with expenses while they are in Calgary.

“The Vandervlis family have always been an integral part of our Red Deer community,” said the GoFundMe page. “Volunteering time and expertise has been a way of life for the Vandervlis family.

“Now the family needs our help, and we hope you’ll join us in sending positive thoughts and prayers to Ryan for a speedy recovery, to his family, to his friends, and to his hockey community.”

The organizer had set a goal of $25,000 but the page raised more than $50,000 in its first day. Any money that isn’t required for Vandervlis’ recovery will be donated to a non-profit organization, according to the page.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack

Family Day weekend powwow a colourful, vivid celebration of Indigenous culture

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

Lucas Mannes and Calgary Dinos through to Canada West basketball semi-finals

The GW Graham grad helped his Dinos drop the Winnipeg Wesmen in a playoff series last weekend.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Chilliwack Chiefs end BCHL regular season with meaningless road trip

The regular season champs travel to Prince George this weekend with nothing on the line.

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read