An accident on 42nd Avenue in Brookswood Tuesday evening sent a cyclist to hospital. He’s since undergone 12 hours of brain surgery. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Service)

An accident on 42nd Avenue in Brookswood Tuesday evening sent a cyclist to hospital. He’s since undergone 12 hours of brain surgery. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Service)

Struck Langley cyclist survives 12 hours of brain surgery

Trauma team at Royal Columbian Hospital commended for efforts to save Nicolas Sowinski

A grandmother is eternally grateful to the trauma team that treated Nick Sowinski at hospital last night.

Her 21-year-old grandson was struck on his bike, just outside his Brookswood home, Tuesday evening.

He was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH), and ended up rushed into two back-to-back brain surgeries.

The medical team came out after the first six-hour surgery, called his mother, Jennifer, and told her she could see him, his grandmother, Crystal Austin, recounted. Then they called back “two minutes later” to say they had to rush him back in to surgery again for a bleed discovered on the other side of his brain.

“He’s a survivor, and my belief system says he’s going to be just fine,” Austin said of her determined young grandson.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Cyclist struck by pickup in Brookswood

“He’s going to make a miraculous recovery,” she added, noting how Nick’s father joked he had a hard Sowinski head, basically assuring he’ll make it through this ordeal.

In addition to suffering head trauma in the crash with a pickup truck, Nick has a list of other injuries, as well.

After getting through the brain surgeries, the medical team at RCH turned its attentions to his two broken ankles, a broken femur, and a dislocated hip – among other injuries, said grandma.

The accident occurred just in front of the Sowinski’s house in the 20400-block of 42nd Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“No one saw it happen, but they heard the crash,” grandma said, his aunt, Brandi, there within minutes to hold his hand and reassure him.

He was awake and aware for a time on scene, but lost consciousness before he was airlifted to hospital, recounted Austin, who also arrived on scene a short time after.

“She took his hand, said something like ‘Nick it’s aunty Brandi,’ and he squeezed her hand lightly. He was breathing well at that time. I was second family member at the scene. I said ‘Nick, it’s Grandma,’ to no response.”

She’s since been told he had to be put on a ventilator while being transported in helicopter and was in a comma prior to surgery.

“It was very touch and go,” she said. “But he did survive two six-hour brain surgeries. He’s a fighter.”

She’s unclear yet how he’s doing – Nick’s mother getting to go and see him tonight [Wednesday]. But Austin’s convinced her Nicky – as she calls him – will be okay. He’s one of her five grandchildren.

She wanted to express her appreciation to those who fought “so hard” to save him.

“I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to the trauma team,” she said, who plucked Nick from the helicopter and went to work, toiling tirelessly throughout the night.

“They don’t go into this profession for the thanks. But I feel it’s important to express my thanks… they actually care and worked as a team to save his life. I want to thank them for choosing the medical profession as their career,” she said, also sending thanks to the hospital greeter who went out of her way to calm an “hysterical” grandmother when she first arrived panic and distraught at RCH.

Although Nick will undoubtedly face a long stretch of rehabilitation, Austin is eternally optimistic and extremely grateful.

In fact, expecting he will be in a wheelchair for some time to come, Mom is already thinking ahead. She’s on the hunt for a new place to live that can accommodate Nick’s expected mobility limitation, his dog, and “his mother.”

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

CyclingLangleyPolice

 

Nick Sowinski (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Nick Sowinski (Special to Langley Advance Times)

An accident on 42nd Avenue in Brookswood Tuesday evening sent a cyclist to hospital. He’s since undergone 12 hours of brain surgery. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Service)

An accident on 42nd Avenue in Brookswood Tuesday evening sent a cyclist to hospital. He’s since undergone 12 hours of brain surgery. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Service)

Just Posted

Earth Ninja Jocelyn Titus found 3,300 cigarette butts in downtown Aldergrove last weekend. (Special to The Star)
VIDEO: 3,300 cigarette butts picked from downtown Aldergrove

Jocelyn Titus led a cleanup on June 12 and said most were found on Fraser near former Elks Hall

The public is invited to submit suggested questions for our local politicians, for consideration in a future At Your Service feature. Email: editor@langleyadvancetimes.com.
AT YOUR SERVICE: MLAs see feds as partners in SkyTrain to Langley

Q&A: Langley’s MLAs given chance to address the community on a key local issue

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Police close off 16th Avenue

Fire crews were initially called to a report of a motor vehicle accident

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read