File photo of Zsomber Toth with his mother Andrea Czegledi. File photo

B.C. man’s long battle to recover from critical head injuries ends

A celebration of life is planned for Zsombor Toth on Friday

Zsombor Toth’s long battle to recover from a catastrophic head injury suffered during a 2017 vacation in Thailand has ended.

The 27-year-old Langley man died in hospital Sunday, May 6, with his mother, Andrea Czegledi at his side.

Czegledi, a South Surrey resident, said her son had been showing signs of improvement, and she was planning to take him to the beach at White Rock this summer.

“He was getting better,” she said.

He was aware of his surroundings, knew who he was, and was able to respond, sometimes, when his mother talked to him.

“I thought that everything was going to be fine.”

But after surgery in December that implanted a plate in his skull, she said her son’s health began to worsen.

He developed infections, including meningitis, Czegledi said.

“He was coughing up a lot.”

He was suffering seizures and couldn’t keep his food down.

“It was heartbreaking,” she said.

Just days before a neurosurgeon was supposed to remove the plate, her son was rushed to hospital with breathing problems.

When she arrived, the doctor invited her to say goodbye.

“That’s when I realized it was over,” she said.

Czegledi was able to hug and kiss and talk to her son before he passed away.

She did not want him kept alive in so much pain, Czegledi said.

“It was really too much suffering for him. It would be heartless to keep him here just for me. I didn’t want to be selfish”

She was grateful for the months they had together.

“I had a chance to spend time with him for more than a year,” his mother said.

“It was a gift of time. I’m very thankful for that.”

READ MORE: ‘Not time for Valhalla’ – Langley man fights to overcome critical injury in Thailand

The Langley man spent three months in hospital in Thailand after he suffered critical head injuries while on vacation in the Southeast Asian country.

Toth and a friend from Vancouver had been exploring Thailand together, but the friend had returned to Canada and Toth was on his own when he got on a motorcycle and went for a ride.

With about a week left on his six-week vacation, Toth collided with a car and suffered a severe head injury that left him in a coma.

He was taken to a Neuro Intensive Care Unit in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s northern capital, about three hours away from the scene of the crash, where doctors performed surgery to remove bone shards from his brain.

At the time, the doctors reported Toth’s brain activity was at four per cent and rated his chance of survival at 15 per cent.

After two months in hospital, Toth suffered a setback when he fell out of his hospital bed and suffered a new head injury that required more emergency surgery.

Doctors told his family that Toth suffered severe damage to the portion of his brain that handles memory.

But soon, he was able to open his eyes wide and smile at his mother.

He was strong enough to be transferred back to Canada.

The 14-hour charter flight to Seattle on May 5, followed by a road trip to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster cost $45,000 — $20,000 of it paid by the medical insurance company and the rest donated by supporters.

READ MORE: ‘Rollercoaster’ recovery for Langley man injured in Thailand

The Hungarian-born Toth was a year old when he came to Canada with his family.

At the time of his holiday, Toth was living with his father and worked in his father’s landscaping company.

Pictures on Toth’s Facebook profile show a muscular young man with a broad smile that at least one friend has compared to Tom Cruise.

A celebration of life is planned for this Friday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hungarian Cultural Society at 728 Kingsway in Vancouver.

In lieu of flowers or wreaths, the family asks people to make a donation in Zsombor’s name instead to the First Hungarian Presbyterian Church or the Hungarian Cultural Society.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in Prince Prince, Terrace, etc.

Mobile complaint team coming to B.C.’s northwest

Ombudsperson’s office wants to hear from wronged residents

Bears hyper-focused on feeding

Public urged to remove attractants as bears get ready for hibernation

Spirit North funding annoucement now expected any day

Indigenous Services Canada annouces new timeline for funding annoucement

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read