‘In panic mode now’: How a Quebec snowboarder survived six nights in the B.C. wilderness

National Post

Encased in an impromptu snow cave, Stéphane Boisvert had been stranded in the unforgiving desert near the city of Golden in the interior of southern British Columbia for about four or five days; by then, everything was a bit blurry. All he could do was concentrate on his breathing.

And after losing snowboarding in the field of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort on January 29, 2017, the then 35-year-old from Victoriaville, Quebec, decided to follow a stream downstream, not realizing he was moving away from civilization. Soon he was surrounded by nothing but a fortress of trees, and suffocating silence.

Without a doubt, what awaited him would be really difficult.

Difficulty overcome

Certainly, Boisvert was expecting a difficult road and really had no idea what was to come. During that time, the questions swirled in his head: would he be able to teach physics without fingers? Why was he still single? Was it a hermit crab crawling inside the shelter?

But what he remembers exactly is that for him, the mental part was the most difficult

A search and rescue team located Boisvert on the seventh day. But that was just the beginning of a physically strenuous journey that saw him lose parts of his right leg and left foot from severe freezing. His feet swelled and blistered. Finally, the toes turned black, as happens when the tissue has died.

After 10 days, he was transferred to a hospital in Quebec City, where he spent the next four months waiting to learn the extent of tissue damage, consulting the amputees and reviewing the options with surgeons. In the end, his right leg was amputated just below the knee. He also lost his left toes and had to receive a graft that removed the skin of his left thigh to make a hole in the arch of his left foot.

After rejecting an interview request from the National Post immediately afterward, Boisvert, now 38, recently approached to say he was ready to share his story, including videos never seen before filmed during his terrible experience. With this, he hopes that others can learn from his experience and get inspiration from his recovery.

Source: Douglas Quan | National Post

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