The Humboldt Broncos’ athletic therapist, a 24-year-old woman who had been with the team for almost two years, has died, pushing the death toll from the team bus’s collision with a semi-trailer to 16.
Dayna Brons had been listed in critical condition since last Friday’s crash outside of Tisdale, Sask. Her family previously said she had undergone two surgeries and was in a medically induced coma.
On Wednesday, the family issued a statement saying Ms. Brons died peacefully that afternoon while surrounded by those she loved, and those who loved her. “Dayna will be forever remembered for her joyful smile and her passion and love of sport,” the statement said.
Ms. Brons, who grew up on a farm near Lake Lenore, Sask., studied kinesiology at the University of Regina and completed the athletic therapy program at Mount Royal University in Calgary in 2016.
She joined the Broncos as an athletic therapist and equipment manager in the summer of 2016 and had previously worked for a lacrosse team in Saskatoon.
This latest death comes as a country in mourning continues to rally together in support. A fundraising account for the victims has raised nearly $9-million. People are donning hockey jerseys in solidarity with the Broncos. Hockey teams and individuals across the country have left hockey sticks out for the fallen players.
Organ donation registrations have also surged with the news that Broncos defenceman Logan Boulet had insisted on signing his organ donor card as soon as he turned 21. Since his death, his organs have helped save up to six people, an account that has touched people across the country and triggered an increase in registrations of up to 2,000 per cent.
BC Transplant spokeswoman Tanya Colledge said the agency had never seen such a “tremendous increase” in such a short period of time and noted that many registrants mentioned Mr. Boulet by name.
“His gift truly demonstrates the power of registering your wishes and having a conversation about organ donation with your family,” Ms. Colledge said Wednesday. “His legacy is not only in the donation of his organs that saved the lives of several people, but also broader in how it’s raising awareness among Canadians and generating so many conversations.”
BC Transplant, which typically sees between 10 and 50 new online registrations every day, has recorded more than 2,800 since Friday night – an average of 560 a day. Transplant Manitoba recorded more than 3,000 since Friday.
Ontario’s Trillium Gift of Life Network, which records an average of 42 online registrations per day, has logged more than 1,500 since Friday. Tuesday alone saw 865 new registrations – a 1,959 per cent increase over the network’s daily average.
Saskatchewan does not have an organ donation registry, but rather encourages those interested to affix an orange sticker to their health cards. Since Friday, the province’s transplant program has received an “overwhelming number of calls” from people wanting to register their intent, said Luke Jackiw, director of hospital and specialized services with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health.
“I want to acknowledge the heroic and selfless actions of Logan Boulet in donating his organs and saving up to six lives here in Saskatchewan,” Mr. Jackiw said Wednesday. “I really commend both him and his family for speaking out and sharing their story.”
Mr. Jackiw and other representatives from organ donation organizations noted that the important thing prospective donors can do is to inform loved ones of their wishes.
“If you are ever in that situation where you’re unable to speak for yourself, they will be your voice,” he said. “Across Canada, organ donation does not happen unless that consent is provided by the family specifically.”