An online fundraiser for a North Whidbey firefighter who suffered a stroke while on duty earlier this month has raised almost $20,000 to help him with medical expenses.
Daniel Hovelsrud, 28, was at North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Station 25 on Sept. 7 when he collapsed due to a stroke. Fellow first responders took him to Island Hospital in Anacortes before a Life Flight helicopter crew took him to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
He had another stroke the next day and doctors discovered other factors that led to more complications, adding to his recovery time.
Hovelsrud is transitioning from a career in the Navy to firefighting, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Chief John Clark said. He has served for six years and has been at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island for the past five years. He has volunteered with the fire district since 2020.
“As of today, Dan is continuing to improve and is transitioning from (the) ICU to a regular hospital bed and has family at his side,” Clark said in an email on Tuesday.
The GoFundMe campaign has raised $17,150 so far to help Hovelsrud with medical and recovery expenses. It can be found at the following link: bit.ly/3AfDyJc.
This is the second fundraiser for a firefighter with North Whidbey Fire and Rescue in the past month. Tyler Rico, a seven-year veteran of the fire department, passed away on Aug. 30. A GoFundMe has been set up to support his wife and six children, and can be found at the following link: bit.ly/3nD5Xpc.