British Columbia

Male patient charged after B.C. nurse badly beaten on the job

An Abbotsford Regional Hospital nurse required emergency medical treatment after an alleged attack by a 62-year-old male patient

Neale Heath, 62, charged with aggravated assault

On-duty nurse allegedly attacked by male patient, 62, at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, Sept. 24, 2019. (CBC)

Police in Abbotsford, B.C., have arrested and charged a 62-year-old male hospital patient following the serious assault of an on-duty nurse.

On Tuesday, just after 2 a.m., patrol officers were called to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital for a report that an on-duty nurse had been assaulted.

According to a police statement Thursday, the nurse had been attacked, sustaining serious injuries to her head and face, which required immediate medical attention.

The B.C. Nurses Union said the nurse was working in the hospital's kidney dialysis unit when the attack happened. She had entered a room to treat a male patient when the man picked up an exercise weight and struck her across the face.

Union president Christine Sorenson said her injuries are so severe, it's not clear when, or if, the nurse will be able to return to work. 

"[There is] significant damage to the nurse's face. The nurse has undergone surgery yesterday [Wednesday]. Her cheekbone was fractured, and her upper jaw was broken, and her teeth were displaced. She is struggling with significant headaches and upper back pain, and I suspect she probably has a concussion."

Police said Neale Heath, 62, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225 or text 222973.