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

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

Lake Flashback: Sandy Berry is featured as our look back at Decembers past continues

WFI got a Christmas gift in 1978, but by 1993, some residents were in need of a police warning

Ship sinking in Cowichan Bay

As heavy rains fall and winds kick up waves, a ship was… Continue reading

VIDEO: Celebrate New Year’s Eve ‘Youbou style’ with Eagle Eyes, Joint Chiefs at this big bash

Music, friends, dancing, and fun: sounds like a great way to welcome 2019 for Cowichan Lake folks

Baby, it’s nasty outside: wind and rain will continue across Vancouver Island

Police warn drivers and pedestrians to use precaution during expected rain and winds

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Coming up in Cowichan: Celebrate the second floor with the HUB

Celebrate the second floor this weekend at HUB at Cowichan Station Dec.… Continue reading

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

High streamflow advisory in effect across the Island

River Forecast Centre issues advisory as Pacific storms batter the coast

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Most Read