Saskatchewan

'She's a tough girl:' 16-year-old battles critical injuries, following collision with train

At 16, Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk is facing the biggest fight of her young life, after she sustained serious injuries in a collision with a train.

Family waiting for Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk to pull through

Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk was recalled as a young person who was always willing to bend over backwards to help others. (Facebook)

At 16, Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk is facing the biggest fight of her young life, after she sustained serious injuries in a collision with a train.

Following the Thursday night collision she was airlifted from the site of the crash, near Weyburn, to Regina, where she underwent surgery to relieve pressure on her brain.

Currently, she is receiving care at Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital, where her condition is listed as critical but stable. She cannot breathe on her own, and is sedated to allow her brain to recover.

Family friend Taryn Luterbach described Bursic-Panchuk as a thoughtful and mature young woman, and not one to get into trouble.

"She's a great girl," she said simply, adding that Bursic-Panchuk also juggled multiple responsibilities.

"How many other 16-year-olds do you know that have two jobs, and their own car?"   

Luterbach and Bursic-Panchuk's mothers had been close friends when they both lived in Regina. Luterbach had babysat the younger girl for a number of years, before Bursic-Panchuk and her family moved to Tyvan, Sask.  

"I still think of her as that little four-year-old," Luterbach said, her voice full of disbelief at the news of the crash, that she said left her floored.

Kailynn Bursic-Panchuk is currently in critical condition, while she receives care at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. (Facebook)

While she hadn't seen Bursic-Panchuk as often in recent years, they'd kept in touch, and the teen was, in fact, supposed to attend Luterbach's wedding on Saturday.

Returning support 

When she heard that Bursic-Panchuk had been injured, Luterbach thought of the multiple times her young friend wanted to support others.

"If you go on her Facebook page, you'll see every other post is someone else's Gofundme," she said, explaining that to her, it seemed like it was time for people to give back to someone who was always thinking of others. 

Within one day, the Support for Kailynn page had raised more than $3,000 of a $10,000 goal, with Luterbach saying the funds were meant to help the family not worry about expenses through the hospital stay.   

"She's a tough girl," she said, adding she has every hope that Bursic-Panchuk will pull through and recover. 

Sandra LaRose, mother of Bursic-Panchuk, has been sharing updates about her daughter's condition via social media.

"Keep the prayers coming, she is a strong-willed, stubborn girl but I'll take all the help I can get," she wrote.

When contacted by CBC News, she said the family was requesting privacy, but that she wanted to express her gratitude for the thoughts and prayers people had been sharing in the wake of Bursic-Panchuk's accident.

The collision leading to Bursik-Panchuc's injuries is under investigation by CP Rail.

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