A North Vancouver father raised thousands of dollars for BC Children’s Hospital on Sunday by auctioning off a unique hockey skate carving he commissioned as a thank you to the health-care workers he credits with saving his son’s life.
Days before Dan Wickstrom’s son’s second birthday in 2016, an accident landed the toddler in a coma. He spent three days on life support.
“He had minimal brain activity and the doctor basically said that we should expect the worst,” Wickstrom told Global News.
If not for the doctors and nurses in the ICU, he said his son, now a healthy seven-year-old, would have died.
“To know that that kind of facility is available to help you when you need them — it’s amazing.”
Wickstrom said he’s donated to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation since then, but wanted to do something more.
The hockey fan decided to commission an ice skate artwork as a charity auction piece, with all proceeds going to the organization.
His friend, artist Ryan Pakkalen, donated his time to carve the skate out of red and yellow cedar.
Musqueam artist Chris Sparrow then added a Coast Salish touch with Indigenous bear and wolf designs on each side of the skate.
“It’s to represent strength for the community,” Sparrow told Global News.
With support from Direct Liquidation, the carved First Nations hockey skate was sold to the highest bidder at an online auction.
“I’d like to see the thing go for a million bucks, but obviously that’s out of the question,” Wickstrom said as he waited for the item to open to bidding.
The hockey skate eventually sold for $6,800, and with the buyer’s premium included, his total donation was just over $8,000.