A Castlegar teen’s grandmother’s house has always been a safe space, a spot for the teen to retreat to when she wanted to escape from stress or needed some breathing room.
On Feb. 21, that space was marred with blood in a chaotic turn of events that ended with the unnamed teen, 15, being stabbed and her friend being injured by a complete stranger brandishing a knife.
As the physical injuries continue to heal, the Castlegar teen who had only recently been fighting for her life, is ready to tell her story – perhaps as a way to heal the invisible injuries that come from a traumatizing event.
On the night of the incident, the teen and a friend were hanging out at her grandma’s. Expecting another friend to arrive soon, the pair left the door unlocked. They didn’t show, and the two girls fell asleep on couches in the living room.
Some time later, the teen awoke to find a stranger in the house, rummaging through the kitchen.
She says the woman allegedly located a large knife and began swinging it from over her own shoulder towards her abdomen saying that she needed to kill herself.
“She started saying nonsensical stuff,” said the teen, who described the woman as being in a crazed state of mind. “Like we are trapped and they are going to find us. Then she said we all need to kill ourselves.”
The girls tried to calm the woman down, but when that failed, the teen said she was going to call the police. That seemed to set the intruder off even more.
“Whenever we said we were not going to kill ourselves, she would slash the knife at us,” recounted the teen. “Not like a little jab, but like a full-on serial killer slash.”
The teen’s friend was struck with the knife, but was able to escape out the back door, running for help.
The teen headed towards the front of the home, making it just outside the door. The woman continued to attack, slashing her forearm before tackling her to the ground where she continued to punch her.
The teen escaped through a small opening between a fence and the back of a commercial building.
“I went and sat on the sidewalk, and there was just blood pooling around me.”
What happened next remains a bit cloudy for the teen as she was in and out of consciousness. She remembers her best friend showing up, flagging down an ambulance and staying with her while she was loaded inside.
Her wounds are numerous — both inside and out. There were eight serious stab wounds and a multitude of other lacerations that required stitches. One punctured her lung, one needed surgery. The teen will have scars on her back, legs, torso, forearm and face – a permanent reminder of the attack.
Then there are the emotional scars. The teen’s mom says the teen has been experiencing flashbacks and night terrors.
The teen expects the night of Feb. 21 to stay with her in the immediate future, but refuses to have it define her as a person.
“Before, my concerns were about if people at school liked me, now I realize there are much bigger problems,” she said.
The teen’s injuries are also going to keep her from pursing her passion for gymnastics for a while, with doctors warning some of the damage may be permanent.
Before the attack, she could be found on the gymnastics floor five days a week. But the stab to her calf ripped through muscle and tendon and the teen is not allowed to put any weight on it for a month. She will then start physiotherapy with the hopes of one day returning to the sport she loves.
Sasha Prokaski, of no fixed address, is facing assault charges, as well as break and enter. She remains in custody. None of the charges have been proven in court.
She is expected to appear before a provincial court judge in Castlegar on March 17.