Chelsea Townend credits her faith and her husband’s strength as he makes a remarkable recovery in hospital, more than three weeks after a vicious assault on Okanagan Lake Beach in Penticton, B.C.
Bradley Eliason, 28, and his friends were enjoying a beach bonfire on May 3 around 11:30 p.m. when two intoxicated unknown men approached and allegedly harassed a group of nearby teenagers.
Eliason and a friend intervened. The altercation moved to the boardwalk and the Penticton resident was allegedly punched in the face. He fell to the ground and hit his head on the concrete.
“Members responded along with EHS and discovered one male in his late 20s suffering from a head injury that rendered him unconscious,” said Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck in a media release at the time.
WATCH: Wife of Penticton beach assault victim speaks out
“I got the worst phone call that anybody could possibly get in their life that their husband’s in ICU and that he had been viciously attacked,” Townend said in an interview with Global News on Monday.
Eliason required 56 stitches to his skull and he was placed in a medically induced coma because of the swelling on his brain.
“The first few weeks were absolutely brutal. He was hooked up to all these machines just like you see in the movies, his blood pressure was all over the place, the machines were going off, you get very scared, you don’t know what exactly the outcome is going to be,” she said.
Townend, who is also from Penticton, has spent most of her days at his hospital bedside in Kelowna, supporting him on his journey to recovery.
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“He had tremors, so a lot of shaking from the trauma on the brain and they weren’t sure if they were seizures or not so that was very scary,” she said.
Townend said her husband, who was in critical condition a few weeks ago, is making a miraculous recovery.
“When this first happened, the morning of May 4, I was told that he wasn’t going to make it, I was told that if he did he would be disabled, he wouldn’t be the same person and I wouldn’t accept it,” she said.
Townend said doctors are unsure about any potential long-term brain damage, but she’s optimistic he will make a full recovery. She’s sought solace in her faith.
WATCH ABOVE: Chelsea Townend says her husband, 28-year-old Brad Eliason, is no longer in a medically-induced coma and is making a remarkable recovery, more than three weeks after he was the victim of a vicious attack on Okanagan Lake beach in Penticton, B.C.
“Honestly prayer, love, prayer, all the people out there that support us, we’ve reached out to a lot of the Christian people in the community and I really believe that faith and prayer and his strength as an individual, he’s a very headstrong, stubborn guy so he’s strong,” she said.
Townend also recognizes that life can be precious and fleeting.
“There’s so many things that I’ve learnt through this experience and I’ve taken from this trauma, it’s just patience, faith, understanding and it’s really changed my outlook on life, life is short,” she said.
Thomas Kruger-Allen, 21, is facing charges of aggravated assault, sexual assault and two counts of common assault involving three people that night.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.