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Pole caused brain injury

A North Vancouver family is joining with RCMP to urge a skier to come forward and explain how his ski pole left a 13-year-old boy with a serious brain injury.

Max Keir was skiing on Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver on Mar. 30, when he crossed paths with an adult skier and swerved to avoid him.

In a news conference organized by North Vancouver RCMP, David Keir says his son thought the older skier was travelling erratically and then the man allegedly threw his pole at the teen.

The boy's injury initially appeared to only require stitches, but David Keir says an emergency brain scan done a few hours later revealed a three centimetre hole in his son's skull and bleeding on the brain.

Sgt. Peter DeVries says police have had no luck finding witnesses or the adult skier and they also haven't been able to determine if the injury was intentional or accidental.

Police have some video from Grouse Mountain but want to speak to anyone who was on the hill or the Screaming Eagle chairlift around 7 p.m., as well as the woman who helped the teen when he reached the bottom of the hill.

David Keir says the pole damaged a section of his son's brain responsible for memory, recall and information processing, also affecting his balance and motor control.

"When the doctor on-call showed me the CT scan and I saw the fragments, the hole in his skull, the pool of blood in his brain, you freak out as a parent," Keir told the news conference on Wednesday.

Max spent four days in intensive care and is slowly recovering but can only attend school for an hour or two each day and isn't able to resume his favourite sports of skiing and baseball.

Keir says the adult skier may not realize what he did and he appeals to the man or anyone who knows him, to come forward.

Keir says the family is optimistic about Max's prognosis.

"He's a great kid, a strong kid and everything is moving in the right direction," he says.

"We're hopeful that six, nine, 12 months from now, we'll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel."



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