Charges formally laid in Abbotsford hospital attack on nurse

Neale Rex Heath faces aggravated assault charge in connection with Tuesday attack

A man in his 60s has been formally charged with Tuesday’s assault on a nurse at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, The News has learned.

Neale Rex Heath has been charged with aggravated assault and was set to appear in Abbotsford provincial court Thursday. Online court records list Heath’s birth year as 1957, which would make Heath 61 or 62 years old. Online court records do not show any previous charges for Heath.

The BC Nurses Union revealed yesterday that a patient had struck a nurse with an exercise weight Tuesday morning. The nurse sustained a broken jaw, fracture cheek bones, damaged teeth and other serious injuries. She was set to go into surgery on Wednesday. The attack took place in a medical unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

BCNU president Christine Sorensen called the attack “tragic,” and said it’s possible the victim won’t return to work.

Clarification: This story originally said the attack took place in a dialysis unit. In fact, the attack occurred in a medical unit that provides care to inpatient dialysis patients.

RELATED: Nurse suffers broken jaw in patient ‘ambush’ at Abbotsford hospital

RELATED: BCNU president says attack on nurse was preventable

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