Man beaten into coma in Alberta prison sent home to Nova Scotia

Three inmates have been charged after a brutal beating inside the Peace River Correctional Centre left a 28-year-old man in a coma with a serious brain injury.

The three men — aged 18, 25 and 33 — have each been charged with aggravated assault in the alleged March 11 attack on Dylan Gogan. RCMP said the three were charged on March 13, but that information was not publicly released until June 12 in a press release, after various news outlets started reporting on the charges.

"As those accused are still incarcerated in the Peace River Correctional Centre, there is no concern for public safety," said RCMP media relations manager Fraser Logan in an emailed statement to CBC News.

Gogan was serving time for attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose in relation to a March 6 stabbing in Grande Prairie. Alberta Justice and Solicitor General said the charges against Gogan have been stayed due to his medical condition.

In the dark 

Gogan was hospitalized in Edmonton, but his mother Christine Arsenault, requested her son be transferred home to Nova Scotia. He was transferred to the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst, N.S. on June 6, Arsenault said.

"It's wonderful to have him back here," Christine Arsenault said. "It's just overwhelming to see him, and to make sure that his daily needs are going to be met, and to care for him."

"We're able to visit and show him love and support."

Every day, Arsenault said she visits him in an isolation room.

"Imagine being all by yourself like that, being in a room 24 hours a day, not being allowed outside of that room," she said. "I know what Dylan would say: he'd say it's worse than jail."

Initially, doctors told her Gogan wouldn't be sent home, and the prison wouldn't release information due to privacy restrictions.

"Pretty much left in the dark," she said as the arrangements changed.

"It's a terrible tragedy when something happens, when someone's so far away from you."

Long-term care, unknown outcome

Gogan is awake but can't communicate, Arsenault said.

"They're saying that he's going to need to be in a long-term care facility," she said.

"With the brain, it's so hard to say what the outcome is going to be," Arsenault added.

"It's a lot of work and a long road ahead of him. And what's going to take place, we don't know."  

Gogan's mother said she is going to take one day at a time.

"Just to get him back here, that's a miracle right there," she said.  

The three accused in the March 11 attack are due in court in March 2019.