‘I didn’t think, I just wanted to save his life’: Survivor of Nanaimo shooting tells her story

'I didn't think, I just wanted to save his life': Survivor of Nanaimo shooting tells her story
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Regina Hampson saved a friend’s life and the Nanaimo woman risked her own to do it.

“I couldn’t see him not live another day. I don’t know, I just didn’t think, I just wanted to save his life. I didn’t want him to go anywhere,” said Regina Hampson.

The 33-year-old mother was in the hospital for over a week after she stepped in to help a friend in a mental crisis and was hit by the blast of a shotgun.

Now back home in Nanaimo, she tells CHEK News that she is trying to cope with what unfolded in the Groveland Drive home on April 3.

“It got really serious and I did everything I could to stop it,” said Hampson.

It all unfolded at 6 a.m when she found her roommate about to commit suicide with a loaded 12 gauge shotgun. Hampson said that’s when she reacted and grabbed it.

The blast exploded in her face and hand and has since required skin grafts, leading to a permanent loss of vision in her right eye.

“It was incredibly selfless and heroic that she gave no regard for her safety,” said Hampson’s friend, Jo-Lyne Wikkerink, on April 5.

“Her friend was in danger and she intervened,” she added.

“She put herself in an extremely dangerous situation,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP back on April 5 as well. “There’s no right or wrong answer. She went with her gut instinct and tragically she was injured.”

Hampson said she felt she had to do it and she claims she would do it again.

The Nanaimo medical office assistant added there were very few signs of her friend’s escalating crisis and, while after the shooting he was admitted to hospital for 24 hours, there’s been no programming to help him since.

“No psychiatrist has seen him. Nothing. How could nobody take care of him? Everybody’s taking care of me, why isn’t anybody taking care of him?” emphasized Hampson.

According to Nanaimo RCMP,  mental health calls have exploded in volume during COVID-19 and 2021 is on track to double the calls of 2020, also a record-breaking year.

Amid this incident, Hampson hopes people will talk more openly about how many are experiencing mental health problems and she has hope that her story might save a life.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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