Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Greg Delainey recovering after plane crash south of Williams Lake

Greg Delainey, 55, of Williams Lake is recovering in hospital after his ultra light aircraft he was flying crashed on Feb. 11 near Rosa Lake, south of the city. Delainey’s family says he is in stable condition.
Photo courtesy of Angie Delainey

Responding to community concerns, the family of a man who crashed while flying an ultra light aircraft south of Williams Lake on Feb. 11 says he is in stable condition at Vancouver General Hospital’s burn unit.

Greg Delainey, 55, was flying at about 3 p.m. when he crashed near Rosa Lake, between Chimney and Felker lakes.

The family says that while they appreciate the community’s thoughtfulness, Greg can’t receive cards or flowers at this time.

However, the family will be accepting in kind donations to a “Get Well Greg” fund. The funds will go toward helping Greg get better. A bank account is being set up at the Bank of Montreal. The account will be in Angie Delainey’s name and a credit memo will be issued for each donation. This way, a record can be kept and people will feel confident that their donations are indeed going toward Greg’s recovery. Cheques can be dropped off at Delainey’s Lock & Key for the time being.

“We know that Dad is a well-known member of the community and that people want to help,” says Angie, Greg’s daughter. “We don’t expect it but would like everyone to know that any monies donated to Dad’s recovery will be used in the best way to help him recover. I know how humbling it is to have people donate to your health. Having battled an illness that lasted about 16 months with a stay at GF Strong Rehabilitation myself, I know how expensive alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements can be. I feel very fortunate for the lessons that illness has taught me as I feel that it may help my dad through his journey.”

Angie was away at a wedding with her partner Matt in Kamloops when she got the news that her dad had been in the accident and left to drive to Vancouver to where he was medivaced.

“Dad is passionate about flying and the challenges that it presents,” Angie says. “I won’t say that he won’t fly again; however, I hope that he will stay grounded until he has fully recovered.”

Greg’s good friend George Broomfield witnessed the crash and was the first to arrive on the scene.

Greg had crawled out of the plane but because he was flying with a full tank, when he crashed the fuel spilled all over and ignited.

“He landed in somebody’s field at Rosa Lake and had stopped, dropped and rolled around in the rushes to try to get the fire out.” Angie says.

When Broomfield arrived he helped get snow on Greg and then brought him over to Chuck Delainey’s place on the quad where Della Westwick transported him to the hospital.

“He was awake and totally coherent, but once they got to the hospital they sedated him because of the degree of the burns and the pain that he was experiencing,” Angie says.

Angie and her sister Jo-leen returned from Vancouver Wednesday evening after spending time with their dad.

Greg is absorbing fluids and the third-degree burns he sustained are mostly on the back side of his body. His face is also burnt, but the plastic surgeon told the family she thinks he’ll have little to no scarring.

“We can see his eyes. His eyes are really good, and his hands and feet and the front side of his body are all good. They are mostly second degree burns, except for one leg that is pretty burnt. So far there’s no infection. He’s in good and stable condition. It’s just a matter of monitoring him now,” Angie says, adding Greg knows where he is.

The family anticipates he’ll be in the burn unit for two to three months before being moved to G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre or another facility to be determined.

“Dad’s been around Williams Lake for a long time and has a lot of friends that want to know how he’s doing. I would ask people not to rush down to Vancouver because they’re only letting family in to see him at the moment. We don’t want the staff at VHG to be inundated with phone calls so we have set up a list of people that are allowed to call,” Angie says, adding if someone wants to send a letter or note through her, she’ll pass it on.

The accident has come as the third incident in a series of hard hits for the family.

Angie and Jo-leen’s brother and Greg’s son Palmer Delainey passed away in a terrible accident in September, for which the family has yet to achieve closure, and Jo-Leen and Greg’s nephew Wade Delainey have been recuperating from a quad accident.

Presently Westwick is in Vancouver to ensure that somebody’s with Greg. Angie and Jo-leen are making plans to go back on Wednesday.

If people want more information they may contact Angie via email at delainey12@hotmail.com. They can also visit Greg’s Facebook page for updates. The family would ask that they refrain from calling around for information and instead funnel it through Angie.

Angie adds that Delainey’s Lock & Key has the staff to ensure that everything is business as usual.

“Krista has taken the reigns on many occasions while Dad has been away on holidays,” Angie says. “She has 12 years of experience and is fully bonded with a security license. Steven is also a certified locksmith. I feel very confident that the staff at Delainey’s Lock & Key will continue to provide the community with excellent service, so there is no need to go looking for another locksmith.”


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