Elias Dolbani, 21, is awake after being in a medically induced coma following a collision on Oct. 10 in Chilliwack. (Facebook)

Elias Dolbani, 21, is awake after being in a medically induced coma following a collision on Oct. 10 in Chilliwack. (Facebook)

Surviving victim of fatal Ballam Road crash in Chilliwack wakes up from coma

Elias Dolbani, 21, is alert, responsive, moving feet six weeks after collision

A man who was in a medically induced coma following a fatal car crash on Ballam Road in October has woken up.

The news of 21-year-old Elias Dolbani was announced on the public Facebook group ‘Support and prayers for Elias and family’ on Nov. 19.

“Elias is awake! Up in a wheelchair, responding, very alert! Moving feet etc.,” an organizer posted.

Dolbani was one of three occupants of the vehicle in the Oct. 10 crash which killed 18-year-old Rachel Plowman and 17-year-old Ruby Kingma.

READ MORE: Chilliwack mourning loss of two young women in Ballam Road crash

Around 11:30 p.m. that night, the vehicle they were in crossed the low cement barrier and flipped down the embankment before landing in the Fraser River.

Dolbani was airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital following the collision. The public Facebook group for him and his family was set up soon after to help with financial costs and to keep people updated on his condition.

On Nov. 17, he was moved out of the intensive care unit.

He has been showing “huge progression” since waking up, according to another individual, adding he’s no longer under any sedation and is more alert. Dolbani will follow people with his eyes when they speak to him and has been moving his lips, making sounds and attempting to speak, she later added.

“Friday was an amazing day of progress for him, however by the end of the day, he was absolutely exhausted and slept most of yesterday.”

The support page has been home to many fundraisers for the family over the past month and a half. Just three weeks following the crash, enough money was raised to pay for two months rent for Dolbani’s family.

His mother is from Syria and has been spending all of her time at the hospital by her son’s side.

“Elias was very close with his mother and sisters. He worked hard and contributed financially towards making the ends meet for the family as his mother has been unable to work due to COVID. Elias’s family are Syrian immigrants. They have no other family out here and very small support network.”


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Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
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