A 19-year-old man who survived a plane crash in northern Saskatchewan earlier this month died in hospital on Christmas Day, according to social media posts and a statement released by his family.
Arson Jr. Fern was one of 22 passengers on the West Wind Aviation flight that took off from and then crashed near Fond Du Lac, Sask. on the evening of Dec. 13. The fixed-wing aircraft was en route to Stony Rapids, approximately 80 kilometres east of Fond du Lac in the province’s far north on Lake Athabasca.
According to a Gofundme campaign posted by the man’s mother, Janey Fern, Arson Jr. had cerebral palsy and was the last passenger on the plane to be rescued, three hours after it had crashed.
The Daily Herald tried to contact the family for comment, but so far has not received a response.
In her post about her son, Janey states, “He is a happy boy; always smiles even if he’s hurt or having a bad day. Our baby boy is gifted and was given another chance in life, and we are thankful for everyone’s prayers and thoughts.”
Arson Jr. was travelling with his mother and father, Arson Fern Sr., when the ATR-42 plane crashed.
Janey describes how her brother, Jamie, and other Fond du Lac community members rescued her son from the plane and then took him to the local clinic.
She and her family only learned of his injuries after he had been sent by air to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon that night to go immediately into surgery, which lasted 13 hours, Janey states in her post.
He had two broken legs, two fractures in his pelvis, internal bleeding and a collapsed lung.
Late in the evening on Dec. 25, Janey posted the following message on Facebook.
“God look over our boy. He is no longer in pain and suffering, all we need is prayer. The last time I (saw) him he said ‘mom let’s go home.’ Now we will take him home to Rest In Peace. My baby boy, we will always remember him on Christmas Day.”
According to his obituary and commemorative page on the website of the MacKenzie Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, the Fern family will hold a memorial service for Arson Jr. on Jan 2. at 2 p.m. in Fond du Lac at the community’s Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Roman Catholic Church.
Arson Jr. Fern was born on Aug. 25, 1998 in Fond du Lac. He’s survived by his parents, his two sisters, Angela and April, his two brothers, Jason and Jordan, and numerous other family members including nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles and grandparents.