The man bashed at the Fountainhead Pub in March has improved only marginally in the last nine months, says his friend Lindsay Wincherauk.
Ritchie Dowrey was allegedly propelled backwards by a punch in the face Mar 13. He was knocked to the ground, hit his head and suffered severe brain damage.
“I glanced over and saw a clenched fist,” Wincherauk alleged a few days after the incident. “And the next thing I saw was Ritchie dropping like a board. There was this sickening thud.”
“He fell like a board to the ground,” Wincherauk told Xtra West. “So hard that a hollow thud could be heard throughout the bar. I felt like I was going to throw up. I felt ill. To tell you the truth, I’ve felt ill ever since.”
Shawn Woodward faces one charge of aggravated assault in connection with the incident. He goes to trial before a provincial court judge in July.
The attack left Dowrey in a coma for weeks at Vancouver General Hospital, where spokesperson Tiffany Akins initially described his vital signs as unstable on Mar 23. By April, he was conscious and speaking, if not lucid.
“It’s very encouraging,” Wincherauk said at the time. “It’s a long road ahead.”
Eight months later, the road ahead is unclear.
Although Wincherauk says Dowrey looks healthier, most conversation with him remains “nonsensical.”
Wincherauk last visited Dowrey, who now lives in a care home in Langley, on Dec 18. He says his friend looked healthy, had good skin colour, smiled and even showed some movement in his legs, though they are still spasming. But he couldn’t remember Wincherauk’s name.
“I feel happy that he’s not in pain,” Wincherauk says, “but there’s not much there.”
Dowrey, who turned 63 in October, is not really cognizant of what’s going on, Wincherauk says. He has no concept of time passing and forgets people’s visits from one day to the next.
“His improvement is very slow,” Wincherauk says, “marginal at best.”