Exactly two months after the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy, 18-year-old defenceman Xavier Labelle was released from the Saskatoon City Hospital on Wednesday.
Labelle issued a statement on Wednesday, paying his respects to the 16 people that lost their lives in the accident.
“The crash on April 6, 2018 was horrific and learning of the sudden loss of so many of my teammates and the Broncos staff was shocking and heartbreaking. It was a privilege and an honour to get to know so many incredible people: Coach Darcy, Coach Mark, Dayna, Glen, Biebs, Brody, Schatzy, Bouls, Swack, Lukes, Joey, Leichter, Tobes, Herold, Tommy, Hunts...I miss you all,” Labelle’s statement read. “Although all of the Bronco families and loved ones are still trying to come to terms with the magnitude of this loss, we are supporting each other as best as we can.”
Labelle also detailed his extent of his injuries and his recovery from them. Among his injuries are a fractured skull, around 20 broken bones, nerve damage in his legs and left arm, a concussion, internal bleeding and other ailments.
“I have no recollection of the crash, or for about two weeks after. In the early stages of my recovery I needed help to sit up - help to do all those things we take for granted, like eating and brushing my teeth. It was awful, but today I am able to walk and look forward to eventually running and skating,” Labelle said. “I am healing, and I am feeling better every day. I have been tutored by my teachers to help me complete my last three high school classes, and plan to graduate from École Canadienne Française at the end of this month.”
Labelle thanked everyone the support he has received so far, including the first responders and medical team at the scene, all the hospital staff, the Humboldt Broncos and everybody that visited him.
“You all gave me the strength and courage that I needed to start healing and feeling better. Thank you,” Labelle said.
“As last season’s playoffs kicked off, our team began wearing workout shirts with the word “Believe” across the front. We believed in each other. I believe people will never forget what happened to us. I believe we will get through this together.”
On Twitter: @princealbertnow
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