‘God never leaves you alone’: Calgary bobsled crash survivor credits faith for recovery

Written by admin on 16/11/2018 Categories: 老域名购买

CALGARY – His appearance is dramatic: an eye patch covers 18-year-old Caleb Hettinga‘s right eye and a halo supports his head and neck.

“One thing that I’ve learned through this experience is that God never leaves you alone to suffer through an experience like this,” Caleb said in a video to fellow church members posted online.

“A lot of people would probably get really depressed after something like this. But I’ve really felt a peace and a hope through this.”

Caleb’s resilience is nothing short of remarkable. Beyond the unimaginable grief of losing two of his friends, Caleb’s injuries are extensive.

READ MORE: Canada Olympic Park incident – what we know about the injured teens

Caleb Hettinga has been identified as one of the teens injured in a tobogganing run after hours at Calgary Olympic Park.

Obtained by Global News



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    “Caleb's face took the impact and smashed every bone in his face. He lost the sight of his right eye and broke the base of his skull,” Larry Sagert, Caleb’s grandfather, explained in the same video.

    During the early morning hours of Feb. 6, Caleb and seven other teens climbed the seven-foot fence near the top of WinSport’s bobsled track. In their hands, three plastic sleds. Caleb was part of the first group that raced down the track.

    “Something went terribly wrong. Unknown to them part way down the track was a solid barricade and five of the eight boys were clotheslined,” Sagert said.

    “Caleb did not lose consciousness and he remembers praying to the Lord, ‘Lord, I’m ready,’ because he thought death was imminent.”

    READ MORE: Crash at Canada Olympic Park a chance to talk to teens about risky behaviour

    That night, twins Jordan and Evan Caldwell were both killed. Evan had been on the same sled as Caleb. Jordan was killed coming down on the third and final sled.

    Jordan and Evan Caldwell identified as the twins who died in the WinSport sledding incident.

    Calgary Police Service

    Weeks later, Caleb is back at home–but he has a long road ahead of him.

    “There will be surgeries throughout the coming years, his dental work and orthodontist…a lot of work in the mouth. So, it’ll be expensive and there’s not a lot of coverage from Alberta health care for him. So whatever we can get him, we’ll be able to use it,” Caleb’s uncle, Mark Hettinga, said from his home in Saskatoon.

    Fundraising efforts are underway for the teens that were injured. A silent auction is also taking place on April 9 in Saskatoon.

    “We haven’t set any goals just because we know there’s going to be so many costs. Anything that comes in, we’re very grateful for,” Mark added.

    Last month, Calgary police announced they would not lay charges in the incident due to the circumstances of the crash. There’s been backlash from the public, but Mark hopes there’s some understanding.

    “We’ve all done similar things that were high risk at the time, but I guess when you’re at that age it’s different–you don’t think of the consequences so much.”

    Anyone who would like to donate can contact Mark at [email protected]老域名购买.

    Watch below: Global’s past coverage of the sledding incident at Calgary Olympic Park

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    Crash at Canada Olympic Park a chance to talk to teens about risky behaviour


    Students return to class after tragic incident at Canada Olympic Park


    Grief counselors visit Ernest Manning after Evan Caldwell’s death


    Details of fatal toboggan crash at Winsport


    Memorials created for twins who died in Calgary Olympic Park sledding incident


    Police trying to figure out how teens got into park where bobsleigh incident occurred


    Winsport’s President says they have 10 full-time security staff employed


    Winsport President says bobsleigh track is safe when open


    Winsport’s President says park has ‘robust security’ in wake of tragic incident


    Winsport President: Tragic day after 2 dead, 6 injured in after hours bobsleigh incident

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