3-year-old on ventilator after ice fishing tragedy on Lake Memphremagog

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Photo from Samantha Lepage is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Katherine Mills. To donate, follow the link in the article.
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NEWPORT –– In a harrowing incident on Lake Memphremagog, a family’s ice fishing trip turned tragic, leaving a three-year-old boy, Spencer, on a ventilator and fighting for his life. The University of Vermont Medical Center is currently treating the young boy after he, his sister Scarlet, and their father fell through the ice on Saturday afternoon.

The Newport Police Department responded to the emergency call around 5 p.m. Chief Travis Bingham reported that a 2019 Honda Pioneer 1000, carrying the family, had plunged into the South Bay of the lake. All occupants managed to extricate themselves from the freezing water. Three people were seen pulling a black sled, on which a man was performing chest compressions on young Spencer.

Newport Ambulance Service and City Fire Department personnel rushed to the scene. While Spencer was immediately transferred to North Country Hospital and then to the University of Vermont Medical Center for advanced care, the other victims were driven to NCH by bystanders and escorted by a Newport officer. Thankfully, Scarlet and their father escaped with only minor injuries.

The latest update from Samantha Lepage, the organizer of a fundraising campaign for the family, reveals a cautious optimism. Spencer, though fever-free at the moment, has been battling consistent fevers, likely due to an infection. His condition remains stable, but he requires continued ventilation. Plans to remove his tubes have been tentatively postponed to later in the week due to concerns about his lung function and potential brain swelling.

The family expresses profound gratitude for the overwhelming support from the community and the medical and support teams at UVM. Spencer’s gradual improvement, his response to voices and faces, and the decreasing swelling are positive signs.

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The fundraising campaign continues to support the family during this challenging time. To donate to the campaign click here.

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