Community rallies around injured snowmobiler

Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue use Smithers Silver King helicopter to save man.

Kelvin Patrick with wife Annie. Contributed photo

A Houston man badly injured in a snowmobile accident earlier this month may not need surgery as first feared, but he does face an extensive period of rehabilitation.

The news follows the start of an online campaign to raise money for expenses Kelvin Patrick and his family will face, said longtime friend Shea Long.

“It’s going to be extensive, perhaps six months,” said Long last week of Patrick’s anticipated recovery period.

Patrick was snowmobiling with friends at Dungate Meadows Feb. 18 when his machine fell back on him, resulting in the back end of it striking his back.

Long put an initial goal of $10,000 on the GoFundMe page created for Patrick but said that shouldn’t limit donations from those seeking to help him, wife Annie and two children.

“I put that down as a starting point,” said Long.

Patrick is self-employed as a logging truck owner/operator, meaning there’s no income coming in when he’s not working.

As of late last week, donations were at the halfway point toward $10,000.

Long, who was out with Patrick and other friends, was the first on the scene to assist Patrick when the accident occurred while “catwalking” his machine.

“I was about five seconds behind,” noted Long who, with others, stabilized Patrick while the call for an ambulance went out.

Patrick was conscious so his friends were able to reassure him help was on its way.

“We cleared the snow around, dug a hole and built a fire — it was -23 degrees,” Long said in adding he and others were worried about Patrick going into shock.

“We could talk to him and he could talk to us.”

The ambulance could not reach the exact scene so a paramedic was brought in by snowmobile as the decision was made to call for a helicopter to fly out Patrick. That helicopter was from Silver King Helicopters in Smithers and it soon arrived with two members of Smithers-based Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue aboard.

“They got him ready, put him on board the helicopter and then it flew to the Smithers airport,” said Long.

An air ambulance then flew Patrick to Vancouver General Hospital for treatment and assessments.

Surgeons first considered operating to fuse Patrick’s spine but he was then judged stable enough to undergo extensive physiotherapy instead. Details of what’s involved and how long Patrick may be away from home weren’t quite known as of late last week.

In addition to the GoFundMe page, Long is opening an account at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Houston so people can also have that option in which to make donations.

Long is also a director of the Houston Snowmobile Club and it was meeting this week to discuss other measures that could help Patrick and his family.

Just Posted

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Coastal GasLink receives first delivery of pipe sections

Company expects to begin welding and pipe laying in 2020

Northwest B.C. physician receives Medal of Good Citizenship Award

Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people in B.C. to get provincial recognition

Northern Society for Domestic Peace remembers women killed in Montreal Massacre 30 years ago

Society will hand out 14 red roses, one for each of the victims, to women who stop by office today

Petition calls for appeal of Luke Strimbold’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says the former Burns Lake mayor’s case is under review

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Most Read