Jon Sedman, Christa Meissner and their son Kayden, who was born while Jon was receiving life-saving treatment at VGH after a freak accident.

Jon Sedman, Christa Meissner and their son Kayden, who was born while Jon was receiving life-saving treatment at VGH after a freak accident.

Dad-to-be crushed by race car survives thanks to his ‘angels’ at VGH

‘My angels are the trauma team, all the doctors at VGH, and the first responders’

Jon Sedman stood leaning on his truck, watching race cars zip around the track at Saratoga Speedway north of Nanaimo when he felt a drop of rain brush his cheek. He looked up and saw rain begin drizzling around the track, including onto the professional fireworks display he had set up for race night.

Jon jogged over to the fireworks and threw a plastic tarp over top. This is the last moment Jon remembers of that day.

As he walked back, one of the race cars lost control. It veered off the track, flipped and landed on top of Jon, crushing his body.

Due to the severity of his injuries, BC Air Ambulance airlifted Jon from Vancouver Island to the closest Level 1 Trauma Centre — Vancouver General Hospital (VGH).

“When Jon arrived, he had multi-system trauma which takes a lot of coordination of care and a lot of different subspecialists to manage,” says Dr. Naisan Garraway, Medical Director of the Trauma Program at VGH.

Jon’s injuries were extensive: he had a shattered pelvis with a vascular injury, seven broken ribs, a splenic injury, c-spine ligamentous injuries, nerve injury to his leg and brain trauma.

It took 10 physicians from six different specialties working together to save Jon’s life. Due to the extent of his injuries Jon needed to be kept in a medically-induced coma to allow time for his body to heal.

Two weeks later, Jon woke to meet his healthy son for the first time. His partner Christa had gone into labour when she learned of Jon’s accident. She waited so they could name their son together — they chose Kayden Meissner-Sedman.

Together, with Christa and his family by his side, Jon spent months in rehabilitation working to regain the strength he lost that day. His condition steadily and positively progressed, and Christa remembers the day she felt their luck start to turn.

“We were in the hospital and Jon said, ‘I moved my leg,’” says Christa. “That was the first day that we really felt true hope.”

Jon has defied the odds. He is now walking and getting stronger every day back at home with his family in Surrey.

“My angels are the trauma team, all the doctors at VGH, and the first responders,” says Jon. “Everybody who worked hard to get me to where I am today.”

Each holiday season VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation asks our community to ‘Honour Your Angel’ by making a donation in honour of a loved one or health care provider. These gifts help to transform health care and save lives at VGH, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Donor support purchases critical equipment, funds high-impact research projects, and advances patient care to deliver B.C.’s best, most specialized adult health care.

To learn more or make a donation, please visit vghfoundation.ca/angel.

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