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Community rallies for Vernon youth after mishap

The North Okanagan community is rallying behind Vernon teenager Miles Wohlford, 14, seriously injured in a boating accident June 28 on Okanagan Lake. - photo submitted
The North Okanagan community is rallying behind Vernon teenager Miles Wohlford, 14, seriously injured in a boating accident June 28 on Okanagan Lake.
— image credit: photo submitted

A month ago, Miles Wohlford helped raise a couple of hundred dollars for, and participated in, the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society’s Fitness For Families Hockey Challenge.

Now, the community is rallying for Wohlford.

The Vernon teenager, who recently completed Grade 8 at Fulton Secondary, is fighting for his life after being seriously injured in a boating accident on Okanagan Lake last Saturday.

Wohlford, 14, was tubing with some family friends just after 6 p.m. when he fell off the tube. The boat towing him ended up hitting him with the propeller.

He suffered serious head, arm and leg injuries in the accident, and was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital where, as of Thursday, he remained in the intensive care unit in critical but stable condition.

The popular teen is well known in Vernon minor hockey and lacrosse circles.

Wohlford spent last hockey season with the Five Star Awards Cougars in the Bantam House league, and recently helped the North Okanagan Legends to the Bantam A lacrosse playoffs. He is also a key contributor of the Fulton Maroons’ undefeated North Zone Grade 8 rugby championship squad.

Friends and supporters of the injured teen have rallied to help Wohlford and his family, who have been keeping a bedside vigil, with heartfelt get-well messages and fundraising activities.

“Please help us support Miles and his mom, Randi Lund, dad Todd Wohlford, sister Taigan and brother Jayden,” wrote Cindy Meissner who, along with Rhonda Becker, have spearheaded the fundraising efforts. Meissner’s and Becker’s sons are teammates and longtime friends of Wohlford.

“Miles and his family will have a very long road ahead of them and any support we can offer them will go a long ways to their recovery. We are hoping for several miracles along this journey.”

An online account at www.fundrazr.com has been established and, as of noon Thursday, $10,200 had been raised toward a goal of $15,000 to help the family with costs.

Wohlford’s lacrosse squad donated its team fund of more than $1,000 to the account and several other teams are considering doing the same.

If you would like to make a donation, visit the website and enter “Miracles for Miles” under the search engine.

An account has also been set up at the VantageOne Credit Union, and you can donate at any of the Vernon locations. The account name is also Miracles for Miles.

Accounts have also been set up at Chasers Bottle Depot and Interior Freight and Bottle Depot for people wishing to donate the money from their sorted and counted returns. Again, the account name is Miracles for Miles.

There will be a hot dog sale, draws and raffle at The Sports Store, 4412 27th St., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., manned by minor lacrosse volunteers.

Family events will be held throughout the day on Friday, July 18, culminating with a dance and silent auction at the Elks Hall starting at 7 p.m. featuring Vernon band Mace. There will be a 50/50 draw and silent auction.

Anybody wishing to donate an item to a silent auction for Miracles for Miles can drop the item(s) off at the Okanagan Science Centre.

A Facebook page – Support Miracles for Miles – has been created and more information on all events will be added to the page.

Businesses are encouraged to put ‘Miracles for Miles’ on their signage.

The outpouring of support has touched Wohlford’s family.

His mom, Randi Lund, said through social media her son is receiving exceptional medical care, and expressed sincere and heartfelt thanks to the community.

“I can say he is receiving the best care we could imagine,” wrote Lund. “The doctors and nurses are extraordinary and have gone above and beyond to support us.

“We are feeling the love, prayers and support from the people in our community and all across Canada. I read all the kind words of encouragement, prayers, and well wishes to Miles over and over. Thank you so much to everyone.

“Words cannot describe how grateful I am for all the love, support, prayers and community spirit our family has experienced. We could not get through this without all of you.”

RCMP are continuing to investigate the accident, and are asking anyone who may have witnessed the mishap to call the detachment at 250-545-7171.

 

 

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