Former Peninsula Panther Justin Isaac (right) is recovering in hospital after being hit by a car in Beijing where he has been coaching hockey. (GoFundMe)

Former Peninsula hockey coach hit by car in Beijing

Former Panther Justin Isaac needs second operation, friends set up GoFundMe to bring him home

A former Peninsula Panther who moved to China earlier this year to teach hockey was badly injured after being hit by a car last week in Beijing and a GoFundMe account has been set up to bring him home to Vancouver Island.

Friends of Justin Isaac started the fundraising initiative while the former Panther player and coach recovers from two surgeries in a Chinese hospital where he was transferred after suffering two compound fractures and a serious concussion in the Dec. 6 accident.

RELATED: Panthers set to close out home schedule before Christmas break

Peninsula Panthers general manager Pete Zubersky says he has been in contact with Isaac via text, who was a popular kid rising through the ranks of Peninsula minor hockey, and as Zubersky remembers, adding when he stepped into a leadership role: “I know the players liked him as an assistant coach.”

RELATED: Millions raised, lives changed: B.C.’s Top 5 GoFundMe moments

In February, Isaac and a fellow Panthers coach left the Island team to coach overseas.

“I know they were having fun over there,” says Zuberksy.

In the two days the GoFundMe has been live it’s nearly reached half its goal – at the time of this writing $8,615 had been raised; the goal is $20,000 to assist with travel, rehabilitation, recovery and loss of wages.

Isaac’s brother Jarred flew to China immediately after the accident to be with him and has since returned home as their mother is now with Justin in Beijing.

Plans are in motion for the family to fly home to Victoria on Monday, where Isaac will undergo a second surgery. Isaac also expressed gratitude for those who have helped spread the word and to those who have donated.

On the GoFundMe page it reads: “Anyone who knows Justin Isaac knows he’s a remarkable guy on and off the ice. His passion for hockey shines through everywhere he goes.”

To donate to Justin Isaac visit the GoFundMe page at bit.ly/2SLUOzA.

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