Matthew Tanner, 36, was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Victoria General Hospital after suffering a brain stem stroke at his Saturna Island home. (Courtesy of Natasha Dalton)

Matthew Tanner, 36, was in the Intensive Care Unit at the Victoria General Hospital after suffering a brain stem stroke at his Saturna Island home. (Courtesy of Natasha Dalton)

Former Oak Bay man suffering from locked-in syndrome dies

Hundreds support family of well-known Oak Bay man after massive brain stem stroke

A former Oak Bay resident suffering from locked-in syndrome following a massive stroke has died.

Oak Bay-raised Matthew Tanner, 36, collapsed and was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital from his Saturna Island home on March 9. The following day, doctors told his family he had suffered a brain stem stroke and had severe brain damage. At the time, they said the stroke was caught too late for him to survive without any brain damage.

Tanner went into a coma for about three days and when he woke on March 12, was suffering from locked-in syndrome – where a patient is aware or wakeful, but can’t move or communicate. There is no cure for locked-in syndrome.

But Tanner died on March 28.

He leaves behind his fiancee Shannon Pryor and eight-month-old son Owen.

Shannon Pryor, Matthew Tanner and their son Owen in happier times. Tanner suffered brain damage after a brain stem stroke earlier this month. (Courtesy of Natasha Dalton)

Tanner’s family owns house cleaning business Merry Maids of Victoria, where he was employed at the time of the stroke. Tanner grew up in Oak Bay and received a business degree from the University of Victoria. He played for and was an ongoing supporter of the Oak Bay Barbarians rugby team.

Tanner, Pryor and Owen moved to Saturna Island in November.

A GoFundMe campaign set up by Pryor’s sister, Natasha Dalton, has raised more than $120,000 to help the family with expenses. Hundreds of people have shown their support.

“We didn’t expect this much this fast,” Dalton said in an earlier interview with Black Press Media. “It shows the impact Matt has had on so many lives. So many people care about Matt and his family.”

READ MORE: Oak Bay man locked-in after massive brain stem stroke


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
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