Siblings endure another tragedy after brother, 24, dies of COVID

Four Manitoba siblings left orphaned after their parents were killed in a crash on a Saskatchewan highway a decade ago are now grieving the loss of their brother to COVID-19.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/12/2020 (786 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Four Manitoba siblings left orphaned after their parents were killed in a crash on a Saskatchewan highway a decade ago are now grieving the loss of their brother to COVID-19.

Jarret Dubois died from complications owing to the virus last Friday.

Jarret Dubois (Facebook)

The 24-year-old Winnipegger, paralyzed from the waist down after the collision in 2010, was in the hospital when he became infected.

“He had underlying issues. He caught it inside the hospital. There was a lot of serious issues,” said his older brother, Jordan, in a short interview Tuesday.

Jarret, the middle son of the late Marcel and Brenda Dubois, leaves behind his brothers, Jordan, Michael, Matthew and Dustin.

“He’s the strongest person I’ve ever known,” said Jordan. “He always had a smile on his face and looked on the brighter side with the things that he could do. He was the first one to crack a joke and was always pretty positive.”

The Dubois family was headed back from a taekwondo tournament in Yorkton, Sask., Nov. 21, 2010 when their mini-van was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle on Highway 16. Only Jordan, 19 at the time, was not on the trip.

Marcel and Brenda Dubois are seen in a family photo shown at a memorial service in 2010. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press)

Marcel and Brenda were both 38 at the time of the crash, while a 17-year-old girl in the other vehicle also died. At the time, police said the young driver had attempted to pass another vehicle in poor visibility when the collision occurred.

Jarret was the most seriously injured of the boys and spent nearly 10 months in hospital. His spinal cord was severed and his kidneys no longer functioned so he needed dialysis three times a week.

In an interview with CBC one year after the crash, Jarret talked about the collision.

“I remember waking up in the back seat, my brothers telling me… ‘Come on, let’s go, we got to get out of here,’ and I told them I can’t feel my legs.”

Later in hospital, “I kept asking where my mom and dad were. They said they passed away,” Jarret said. “And every time I fell asleep, I forgot,” he said.

At the time, he said he wore his mother’s wedding ring and a gold cross with his parents’ names inscribed on it.

The children of Marcel and Brenda Dubois are seen in family photos shown at the couple's funeral in 2010. (Mike Deal / Winnipeg Free Press files)

On Tuesday, a family friend said the young men have endured far more pain than anyone should have to bear.

“It’s been so tough for them,” said Sonny Pabuaya, who runs Iron Fist Martial Arts, the studio where the Dubois boys trained in taekwondo when they were younger. “My heart breaks for them.”

While COVID-19 has claimed 420 Manitobans, only three of them were in their 20s, provincial numbers show. Another 3,240 Manitobans between the ages of 20 to 29 have contracted the virus.

Twitter: @WFPJasonBell

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Sports editor

Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).

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