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

Lacombe Generals battle back but ultimately fall 5-4 to Rosetown

Red Wings ride three goals in three minutes on way to win in Lacombe

WATCH: Urban chicken coops a great source for community

Fafards have zero problems with urban hens during pilot project

Study shows early childhood development in Lacombe lagging behind neighbours

Early Years Matter Coalition study shows work needs to be done

Lacombe schools in danger of losing funding over GSA compliance

Education Minister David Eggen said 28 out of 94 accredited funded private schools not in compliance

Urban hens close to being permanent in Lacombe

Council passes first reading of bylaw to extend pilot program permanently

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Grande Prairie RCMP charge 19 men, ranging in age from 23 to 69, in prostitution sting

Three-day operation targets sex activities in the downtown area

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

Most Read