Statement from Xavier Labelle
Date: June 6, 2018 – 4:00 PM CST
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. 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.
I have been in the hospital for two months recovering from multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, a concussion, internal bleeding, and several other internal injuries, and approximately twenty broken bones, including thirteen in my spine, one of which required surgery. I have nerve damage impacting my legs and my left arm. 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. 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. I was discharged from Saskatoon City Hospital today, and I am determined to work hard on my rehabilitation as I continue my recovery.
I would like to thank the first responders and medical team that provided such excellent care at the chaotic scene of the crash and in the immediate aftermath. Thank you to the doctors, nurses, therapists, hospital staff, my teammates, spiritual caregivers, fellow patients, volunteers, therapy dogs, and visitors to the hospital. You all gave me the strength and courage that I needed to start healing and feeling better. Thank you.
I want to thank my family, friends, the communities of Humboldt and Saskatoon, the Humboldt Broncos’ organization, and all those in Saskatchewan, Canada, and across the world for your love, prayers, and overwhelming support. Thank you for sharing this journey with my parents, brother, sister and I, and for the generosity and kindness you have directed towards all of the Humboldt Bronco families.
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.