By Anthony Dransfeld
Everett Olafson, the young boy who was badly injured at Lake Koocanusa on September 1 when a sand bank collapsed on him, has made a miraculous recovery.
Everett was in a drug-induced coma for six days, and after a harrowing 13 days at the Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, is now back at home.
The Community of Wasa, where the family lives, with the efforts of the Lions Club of Wasa, raised more than $4,000 to help with all of the expenses.
The real hero at the accident was Everett’s younger brother Leith, who managed to dig out his sibling’s hand when the trench of sand they were digging in collapsed without warning. Leith then ran to get his mom Donelle who was camping nearby and led her to Everett, where the only thing visibly showing was the young boy’s fingers. Fernie RCMP responded quickly with an ambulance.
Donelle and her boys had been camping out on Lake Koocanusa with family friends, the Dudleys, from Jaffray. Fortunately for Everett, Marty Dudley, a retired registered nurse, stabilized Everett while some of the family removed logs around the area, to allow Bighorn Helicopters to land and pick up the boy.
Bighorn got Everett to hospital in Fernie, where he was transferred by S.T.A.R.S. to Calgary, and then on to Edmonton.
All is well that ends well and Everett is now back in school in Kimberley, and is expected to make a full recovery from the serious accident. His parents, Garth and Donelle Olafson, and brother Leith are very grateful for everyone’s support, especially Bighorn Helicopters of Cranbrook and the prayer vigil at Wasa Community Church for Everett right after the accident.
Having Everett back home and in school is the best possible ending to a near tragic camping accident on Labour Day Weekend in the South Country.