Jon Sedman, 41, doesn’t remember when the race car crushed him. He doesn’t remember his eight-month pregnant girlfriend, Christa Meissner, going into labour prematurely when she learned of the accident, not knowing if he would live long enough to be a father.

“The last thing I remember is setting up a fireworks show at a car racing event on Vancouver Island when suddenly, it started to rain,” says Jon. “The fireworks needed to be kept dry, so I went and put a plastic tarp over them.”

As he started to walk back to his truck, in a split second, one of the race cars lost control. It veered off the track, flipped and landed on top of Jon.

Expert coordination of care

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

Jon’s injuries were extensive: he had a pelvic fracture with a vascular injury, splenic injury, c-spine ligamentous injuries, nerve injury to his leg and brain trauma.

Ten physicians from six different specialties worked together to care for Jon and save his life.

“In BC, Jon could only have received this type of specialized and expert treatment at VGH,” says Dr. Emilie Joos, one of Jon’s trauma surgeons at VGH.

A twist of fate

While Jon was undergoing surgery for his life-threatening injuries, his partner, Christa, was giving birth. In a twist of fate, at the same time one of Jon’s trauma surgeons was working on him, that surgeon’s husband was helping Christa while she was delivering her baby.

A month later, Jon was woken from his medically induced coma — a necessity to allow his body to heal. He awoke to meet his healthy son for the first time. Christa had waited so they could name him together — they chose Kayden Meissner-Sedman.

Rehab and recovery

Jon survived, however, the road to recovery would be a long and arduous one.

Thanks to the care he received, Jon is now living at home again. While he still requires ongoing physiotherapy and has a long road ahead of him, Jon is grateful to be alive.

Watch Jon meet his son for the first time.

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