While a Williams Lake teenager remains in B.C. Children’s Hospital with ongoing complications from a routine bunion surgery done last March, his home community is rooting for him.
Kurtis Olson, 17, has been in and out of the hospital during the last seven months because an infection developed in his foot that resulted in several surgeries.
Students in his Communications class at Lake City Secondary School were making cards for him on Thursday.
“I am trying to help him stay positive and think of the good things,” Tyler Tenning said, noting he went all through elementary school with Kurtis.
“I want him to know we are all thinking about him and praying for him.”
Adrian Meyers said Kurtis is his cousin and described him as a “pretty sweet and funny guy.”
“I hope the best for him,” Meyers said.
Several of the girls have written novels, youth worker Pam Herman smiled, noting she will be making a book with all the cards to forward to the hospital.
Kurtis is slated to graduate this year so when fellow graduating student Chloe Storochuk heard he was back in the hospital, she decided her Marketing 12 class should do something for Olson’s family.
Each year the students develop a product, market it to the public and choose a charity for all the proceeds.
“We decided to purchase cotton drawstring bags with our Lake City Falcons logo on them that we will tie-dye,” Chloe said. “Kurtis’ family is part of our community and he’s part of our grad class.”
The bags should be available for sale in a couple of weeks.
Speaking from Vancouver Wednesday, Kurtis’ mom Kim Couture said the bunion Kurtis had removed was about the size of a golf ball and a half and was causing him pain during kickboxing.
“He has competed at nationals with Shogun Martial Arts and wanted to improve his kickboxing. That’s why he went for the surgery,” Couture said. “It should have been routine surgery, but everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.”
When his cast was removed eight weeks after the surgery, his foot did not look healed.
Another cast was put on his foot and when it was removed, they discovered he had an incubated infection and the flesh had eroded to the bone.
Sensei Sheldon and Lee-Ann Lainchbury at Shogun said they are also keeping Kurtis in their thoughts and prayers.
“This is a very difficult time for their whole family and their Shogun family is deeply saddened for what they are going through,” Lee-Ann said. Kurtis trained with Shogun for two and a half to three years and has competed in Karate and Kickboxing competitions.
“He always represented himself and the club well at all levels of competition regardless of the outcome,” Lee-Ann said, noting Kurtis is a strong athlete, with a kind heart and a competitive spirit.
“We know that he is tough and with determination can accomplish anything. We can’t wait for him to be able to put this all behind him and carry on with life as usual. The day he walks through the dojo doors can’t come soon enough.”
Couture normally drives a school bus for School District 27 and her husband has been working seven days a week during this time to support the family.
One of their friends has been taking care of their eight-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son when their dad is working.
As Couture spends her days and nights at the hospital she said like all the other parents she meets, it is the sense of helplessness that can be overwhelming sometimes.
“Not being able to do anything to make our children feel better or take any of this away is the most horrible feeling,” she said.
A friend of the family has created an online fund for the family at https://www.gofundme.com/k76enzzq.