Layne Matechuk. Photo submitted
Vermilion’s George Matechuk shared his family’s upheaval as grandson, Layne Matechuk, recovers in hospital from the catastrophic Humboldt Broncos bus accident on April 6.
The morning of April 7, George and Theresa Matechuk travelled to Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital to be with Layne and his parents, Kevin and Shelley Matechuk.
“You couldn’t recognize him. Seeing 12 of them in there in a coma; it was really heartbreaking. Our children haven’t slept,” said George, who is a retired RCMP officer.
Originally from Saskatchewan, George was familiar with the area and noted that
Layne’s family lives in Colonsay, Saskatchewan. Layne had just turned 18 years old within the past month, and four years ago was drafted by the Medicine Hat Tigers.George went on to say that Layne was too young to play with the Medicine Hat Tigers at the time, but to stay signed to the team, he played three games per year, and was farmed out as a Midget to the Prince Albert
Mentos, and last year was sent to the Humboldt Broncos.
“Since the day he knew what skates were, Layne would have played hockey 24 hours a day. Hockey was his life,” said George.
George and Theresa returned to Vermilion on April 10, and plan to head back to Saskatoon for a longer visit.
“The hospital care there is unbelievable! The generosity of people in the hospital was unbelievable. For example, business places were delivering food, and hotels were not charging for members of the families,” said George.
Overwhelmed by the events themselves and the staggering scope of support, George would like to thank everyone for their generosity and continued support.
“I was surprised there were ten players from Alberta. I’d never even dreamt that I would be talking about something like this,” said George.
An active community member, George is a Director of the Vermilion Royal Canadian Legion and has also been a Lions Club member for over 30 years; serving in Vermilion since 2002. As a result, the Vermilion Lions Club issued a $2,000 donation to the families recovering from the Humboldt Broncos during their meeting on April 10. For continued support for the families, Vermilion Scotiabank has established a Humboldt Broncos Family Fund. Many from Vermilion continue thinking of the Matechuk family and wish Layne Matechuk a continued steady recovery from his severe head trauma.