“I feel so grateful to whole team at VGH,” says Colin, who was mauled by a grizzly near Campbell River. “They were there for me when I needed it most, and returned me home to my wife and children.” Photo courtesy VGH

“I feel so grateful to whole team at VGH,” says Colin, who was mauled by a grizzly near Campbell River. “They were there for me when I needed it most, and returned me home to my wife and children.” Photo courtesy VGH

Man survives grizzly bear attack, receives care at Vancouver General Hospital

All Colin wanted to do was summit Mount Doogie Dowler – a local mountain off Campbell River named after his late grandfather. To prepare, he went out to map the route and get a feel for the land. After awhile, he decided it was time to head home. He packed his things, hopped on his bicycle, and started riding on the trail.

Seven kilometres into the wilderness of BC, alone, Colin encountered a grizzly bear.

“The bear was maybe four feet away. It was really close,” says Colin. “It walked almost all the way past, like his rump was about to pass by my rear tire of my bike. At that point he did a one-eighty turn so I turned in kind and extended the pole out towards the bear. With my bike in between us and he did a little shudder. Then the bear advanced towards me.

Colin fought back. He threw his bike at the grizzly. He tried pushing and poking it with his hiking pole. He threw his backpack over to entice it with the food I had inside. Nothing worked.

Colin’s world changed after that moment. The bear charged and bit into his flank. It gripped on and tossed him, then carried him into the woods.

“I was kind of at a loss of what to do,” says Colin. “I was yelling aloud, Why? Stop! Thinking all the horrible thoughts you have. Is this it for me? Bye to my wife and kids. Am I going to succumb to being eaten by this bear? Am I going to die of my injuries after he’s done mauling me?”

Then Colin remembered his pocketknife.

Colin reached down, pulled it out and then stabbed the bear. It let him go and ran into the woods.

It took everything Colin had left to get back on his bicycle and ride to the logging camp where his boat was parked. He knew if he fell down, he wouldn’t be able to get back up.

Somehow, Colin made it. He called for help, and before long was medevacked to Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). It was there he received the world-changing care that would save his life and his future.

They expertly treated the wounds all around his body from the attack, stabilizing him, cleaning the gashes, and getting Colin onto the road of recovery. It took many specialized teams at VGH to ensure that he would not only survive, but thrive.

“I feel so grateful to whole team at VGH,” says Colin. “They were there for me when I needed it most, and returned me home to my wife and children.”

And this was possible because of people like you. Those who are able to support health care to ensure in moments of crisis like Colin’s, the best care is available.

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.

Make a donation today at vghfoundation.ca/colin and transform health care.

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