A B.C. man is speaking out about what he says are alarming similarities between his own experience and the case of a man who died after walking away from a New Westminster hospital.
Nicolas Turnbull, 36, was seriously injured in a car crash on April 3. He was airlifted to Royal Columbian Hospital, where he was treated for a traumatic brain injury and a brain bleed.
Turnbull said he sill has no memory from several days before the collision, and the month after is blurry as well.
But five days after the crash, a disoriented Turnbull was able to walk out of the hospital on his own.
He was located about four kilometres away in a Home Depot in Coquitlam by Good Samaritans, who called for help.
Turnbull said when Gavin Deloes, 41, also went missing from the same hospital, he couldn’t help but put himself in the other man’s shoes.
Deloes had also suffered head trauma in a traffic accident, and walked out of the same hospital early on the morning of May 24.
“It’s still bothering me. Every day,” said Turnbull of Deloes’ case.
“Because of what I went through, I unfortunately knew he was in a very disgusting and scary position.”
After an intensive search, Deloes body was located in a wooded area near Burnaby Lake.
Fraser Health has launched an internal review to see whether there were any breaches of policy or guidelines in Deloes’ case.
Turnbull told Global News he can’t understand how such a similar incident had occurred at the same hospital just weeks later.
“To hear that he went through a car accident, to hear that everything played out basically the same, but he ended up walking in the forest brought a whole other level of confusion,” said Turnbull.
“The fact that the hospital, after having me come back, didn’t step up their game to make sure this didn’t happen to anybody else is a joke.”
Global News asked Fraser Health what policies it has in place to stop people with brain injuries from walking out of hospital, and how often such instances occur.
A spokesperson said the health authority was not able to provide a statement or interview by deadline.