Without the expertise of Sainte-Justine’s medical team, Esteban may not have survived the terrible scooter accident that sent him to the hospital with multiple traumas in October 2021. One year later, Esteban is leading a near-normal life. The teen is giving back to Sainte-Justine by becoming an ambassador for the Foundation’s 17th annual Winter Triathlon.
Esteban Laurie was a hard-working, athletic 15-year-old with a busy schedule. Juggling school, three student jobs, and various activities (running, mountain biking, skiing, skateboarding, etc.), he relied on his scooter to get around quickly and independently.On the evening of October 14, 2021, Esteban’s parents were surprised when he didn’t come home at his usual time. Worried, his father Hyacinthe went out and retraced Esteban’s typical route. As he approached an intersection near his house, his worst fears were confirmed: a horrible accident had occurred just moments before. His son’s overturned scooter lay on the street. Esteban had been hit by a vehicle. The ambulance had already left the scene, speeding an unconscious Esteban to the regional hospital.
The medical staff’s assessment was far from reassuring: severe head trauma, a skull fracture, and multiple other fractures. Esteban was in critical condition. Given the complexity of his case, he was immediately transferred to Sainte-Justine, where he was admitted to the trauma unit. Esteban needed immediate care if he was going to survive. The next hours were critical andhe needed surgery.
Esteban’s parents, Hyacinthe and Annie, watched in fear as the medical team whisked away their son for a life-saving operation that would last nearly 11 hours.
We waited in the small family room with a fold-out bed, but we were unable to sleep. We were terrified of what was to come. We were finally able to see him the following day, but he was still in a coma and his intracranial pressure remained unstable.
Esteban spent a total of seven days in intensive care, where he developed several complications, including thrombosis and pneumonia. But the most severe occurred on his fourth day: Esteban suddenly had severe cardiac arrhythmia, a potential complication of head trauma. For six long hours, he was in very serious danger. Fortunately, he recovered without any secondary effects.
As his sedation levels were reduced, Esteban began to show small signs of alertness. Within a week, he was able to say a few words. But Annie and Hyacinthe were distraught. Even though Esteban was making progress, he wasn’t the sharp boy they knew. As they worried about his future, Esteban was moved from the intensive care unit to the trauma surgery floor.
Two weeks later, Annie and Hyacinthe finally began to recognize their son. But a lot of work still needed to be done. Several interventions were necessary to get Esteban back on his feet. Plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopaedists, and cardiologists set to work to repair his fractures, remove dead tissue, and ensure his recovery. His road to rehabilitation had its share of re‑learning curves, grief, and disappointment. Esteban had to adjust to a new and difficult reality, and the pandemic only compounded his sense of isolation.
The once-active teen had to put aside his many activities during his recovery. But with perseverance and determination, Esteban began the long rehabilitation process, and even kept up with his education. That winter, he resumed his classes—first at home, but soon after, in person. Despite titanic obstacles, Esteban managed to complete the school year just a few months after his brush with death.
One year later, the progress Esteban has made is astounding. Thanks to the expertise developed at Sainte-Justine, the excellent care he received, and the support of his family, Esteban is just like any other Secondary V student living a normal life. Today, his rehabilitation is complete. While he still needs to have a few minor procedures, he has resumed all his activities.
We always felt supported and reassured by the extraordinary, dedicated and qualified medical team at Sainte-Justine. We are so grateful.
Grateful to those who saved his life, Esteban has decided to give back to Sainte-Justine by becoming an ambassador for the Winter Triathlon, an event that resonates with his passion for sports and reflects, in some way, his own journey: one that required perseverance, adaptability, endurance, and teamwork.
Esteban is asking the business community to put on their cross-country skis, crampons, and ice skates for the 17th edition of this Nordic sports challenge on February 17, with the goal of raising $550,000 to support CHU Sainte-Justine’s mission. Once again this year, the team that brings in the most donations will be awarded the coveted Pierre Boivin Trophy.
Go above and beyond for the cause so that Sainte-Justine can continue to give hope to families like the Lauries.