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

Jesse Todd hat trick leads Lacombe Generals over Innisfail

6-5 victory puts Lacombe in first place heading into Rosetown matchup

WATCH: Red Deerians gather for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I.

Red Deerians can recognize Remembrance Day with two public services

The Red Deer Legion and Korean War Veterans’ Association will hold the services

WATCH: The Great Indoors Market at Bower Place officially launches

Red Deerians took in the sights and sounds of many vendors and activities Nov. 10th

Igntion Theatre is gearing up to present It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Drama

The show is set to run Dec. 6th-8th and the 11th-15th in the Nickle Studio

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Most Read