British Columbia

B.C. man critically injured the day before son's birth holds him for the first time

'It feels pretty good,' says Jonathan Sedman, whose son was born a day after he was critically injured at a Vancouver Island racetrack.

'It feels pretty good,' says Jonathan Sedman from his hospital bed

Christa Meissner, left, with her husband Jonathan Sedman, who held their son for the first time on Saturday, two weeks after he was born. (Jennifer Sedman)

The Surrey, B.C., man critically injured in a crash at a Vancouver Island racetrack has finally held his son who was born the day after the incident.

"It feels pretty good," said Jonathan Sedman, 41, from his hospital bed with his son cradled in one arm.

Jonathan Sedman holds baby Kayden for the first time since the speedway accident.

3 years ago
Duration 0:45
The boy was born the day after Sedman was critically injured at the Saratoga Speedway on Vancouver Island. Courtesy Jennifer Sedman. 0:45

Sedman was injured while setting up fireworks at the Saratoga Speedway in Black Creek, north of Comox on Vancouver Island, on Sept. 29 when a driver lost control of his race car and flipped over a barricade.

The car hit Sedman and pinned him underneath. The racetrack's owner called the incident a freak accident, but is making changes to ensure better safety.

Shattered

The force of the impact shattered Sedman's pelvis, broke his hip, ruptured his bladder, cracked his ribs and caused his brain to bleed.

He was rushed to Vancouver General Hospital for treatment and was so heavily sedated that he was unable to meet his new son Kayden.

This baby boy came a month early, on Sept. 30. His mother went into labour as she awaited word about her husband, who was critically injured in an accident on Vancouver Island. (Jennifer Stedman)

The baby was born Sept. 30, when Sedman's wife Christa Meissner went into labour and gave birth prematurely. The original due date was Oct. 30.

Sedman eventually was conscious enough to learn of the boy's birth. His sister Jennifer Sedman was with him when he learned he was a father.

'Wow, like what!?'

"You could just see that surprised look, 'like wow, like what!?' in his eyes, just shocked," she said.

Kayden was transferred to Langley hospital for special care, however, so it wasn't until Saturday that the infant was able to travel to his father's hospital to meet him.

"He was waiting for that chance to hold his boy, it was a really incredible moment," said Jennifer.

She says her brother is making progress, but it's unclear if he will make a full recovery. His family is hopeful he will walk again.

Jonathan Sedman cuddles with his baby Kayden for the first time. (Jennifer Sedman)

Fundraising event

The speedway is hosting a fundraising event on Oct. 20 with all proceeds going to Sedman and his family. 

The racetrack says it will change the location of where fireworks are set up, and has been working with WorkSafeBC to incorporate other changes.

Sedman and his father are the owners of Celebration Fireworks. They prepare pyrotechnic displays for myriad events, including B.C. Lions shows and the Abbotsford Air Show.

With files from Yvette Brend

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chad Pawson is a CBC News reporter in Vancouver. You can contact him at chad.pawson@cbc.ca.

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