Stay in the moment, stay positive and don’t let yourself question the “what ifs.”
That’s the message of Lynae Locheed, the mother of Vernon snowboarder Nathan Fisher who was caught in an avalanche at SilverStar Mountain on Wednesday, March 20.
“Believe in love, and believe in miracles,” Locheed said nearly two weeks after Fisher was airlifted to the Kelowna General Hospital with multiple fractures, a broken jaw, a dislocated femur and lacerations.
Fisher was caught in one of two small isothermal avalanches at the North Okanagan mountain. Upon his arrival at the hospital, Locheed said Fisher was taken into the trauma unit to stabilize him before he underwent jaw surgery. Fisher has since had surgery on his femur as well.
“He has a passion and gratitude for life he never could have imagined. That’s one of the beautiful things to come out of this traumatic experience,” Locheed said. “Nathan, he has this vibrant gratitude for his life. He’s so inspired to be the absolute best version of himself he can be.”
Fisher, now able to walk with the assistance of one crutch, and his family is thankful for the outpouring of community support. Tylor Williams, a friend who had been snowboarding with Fisher that day, launched a GoFundMe campaign hours after the incident occurred.
“Our first expression of gratitude is for Tylor Williams, who was boarding with Nathan that day. Tylor’s response to Nathan’s traumatic situation was of heroic proportions. And it is to Tylor’s strength, courage and love that we credit Nathan’s initial survival,” Locheed said.
“To every single person who has donated to the fund, we are so thankful. Having this financial support has taken a weight off Nathan’s shoulders, a weight that would have been difficult for him to carry. And, when he was able to read all of the loving and supportive comments, his recovery accelerated to warp speed.”
While Fisher remains in the Kelowna General Hospital and some uncertainties remain, Locheed said she anticipates that her son will be able to return home with her this week.
From Williams to ski patrol, to the BC Ambulance Service crew, to fundraising campaign supporters, to SilverStar Mountain Resort, the level of community support will stay with Fisher and Locheed forever.
“It’s this level of support that’s just lifted him up and carried him through.”