Hometown: Saskatoon, SK
John Cowan had recently moved from Saskatoon to attend NAIT in Edmonton when he had the misfortune of requiring emergency transport by STARS after a motor vehicle collision near Didsbury on July 13, 2008.
John has no memory of the crash but was told that his car drifted to the left and was struck by another vehicle in a highway median crossing. He was taken to the Foothills Medical Centre, where the physician on duty in the ICU happened to be his uncle, who called John’s parents in Saskatoon with the news.
The collision left him with a severe brain injury, multiple facial and skull fractures and broken bones in his left arm. He spent a total of 85 days in hospital, the first month in Calgary, after which he was transferred to the Saskatoon City Hospital to be closer to his family.
After his recovery, John was told that due to the severity of his injuries, most people expected he would be noticeably and permanently disabled. However, only three months after the accident, John told the team on the Rehab unit that his goal was to regain “full, functional and capable independence.”
“Typically with that level of severity, you can’t live by yourself and you can’t get a journeyman certificate in an industrial trade,” said John, who proved that statistic wrong when he graduated from NAIT just under a year later.
Today John lives in his own place in Saskatoon and has recently begun a new career in the hospitality industry. John is grateful for the role STARS played in his survival and recovery from the accident.