VICTORIA - When Craig and Marilyn Horsley found out their only child – their son, Andrew – was in a terrible accident, the pensioners drove 17 and a half hours from their home in Veteran, Alta., to Victoria, to be by his side.

Initially, the news was grim.

“The doctor came in and he said, 'we're not quite sure that he's going to recover; maybe you should make some kind of arrangements,'” said Craig Horsley, his voice breaking. “We said, 'No.' I said, 'He's a fighter.'”

The couple says doctors didn’t believe the 41-year-old – who had been involved in an accident and then pinned under his ATV for seven or eight days – would survive. Andrew was found on a remote logging road by someone who didn’t initially expect to go down that road.

“He was driving down the road and something tugged at his gut and said, 'I should go down the road,'” said Marilyn. “He found him. He said it was just a bloody mess. He thought he was gone.”

Incredibly, Andrew did survive.

“With bears and cougars, we just can't believe he's alive," said Craig Horsley. "He's a miracle."

The Vancouver Island man, a father of three, was later airlifted to Victoria General Hospital, where he remains. He was in a coma for days. He's had a stroke, potentially deadly blood clots, and brain bleeds. Yet his parents are encouraged by what they’re seeing.

“We see a little bit more each day,” said Craig.

“He's opening his eyes, he's smiling sometimes and sad sometimes,” added Marilyn.

Andrew – who his parents say has always been active - can't speak yet, and the extent of his injuries is unknown.

Despite the ordeal, his parents are hopeful he will recover. They say strangers have stopped by the hospital to buy them lunch, and church groups are also offering help. The pensioners say even though costs are adding up, they plan to be by the side of their only child.

“We're just so grateful that he's alive,” said Marilyn. “We just want to hug everyone who's had anything to do with his recovery."