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

Randall seeks North Okanagan director seat

Mike Randall squares off against Amanda Shatzko for Vernon Area Regional District C

Vernon council candidate forum draws 400

Forum focuses on Greater Vernon Cultural Centre referendum and other hot election issue topics

Okanagan RCMP detachment hosts recruiting, exam sessions

If you’ve contemplated a career with RCMP, register for sessions at West Kelowna detachment

UPDATE: Vernon pair arrested in connection with 2017 homicide

Incident happened July 19 at Vernon apartment; man, woman arrested without incident

Resolution found in Vernon car surfing death case: defence

Byron James Walterhouse will appear to fix a date for disposition Oct. 18

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

Kelowna skeet shooter wins two world titles

Bob LaRue also stands alone as only certified Level 3 skeet shooting instructor outside U.S.

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in public schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Most Read