Medical Jet evac and funeral expenses

$6,200 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 74 people in 47 months
My Brother John Thomas is a kind and gentle soul who would give you the shirt off his back to help someone in need. Anyone who has had the pleasure of knowing him is aware of how loving, caring and intelligent he is.
John enjoys traveling. He has been on numerous backpacking trips though North and Central America. He is no stranger to traveling alone and has done so several times. His sense of adventure, fearlessness and wisdom is admirable. He has done what many of us would fear to do. He enjoys learning about different cultures as well as reaching out to and helping those in need. He has had the pleasure of meeting and sharing stories with hundreds of people along his travels.
On March 28, 2014 my family was contacted by the U.S. Embassy located in Nicaragua. My brother had been climbing a volcano near Rivas, Nicuragua when he fell. He was found dehydrated, suffering from possible head trauma and going in and out of conciousness. After a 2 hour transport he was hospitalized in an ICU in critical condition at Lenin Sonseca hospital in Managua, Nicaragua. He is currently in a coma on a respirtor and on dialysis.
By the grace of God, the power of social media and the Help Of the U.S. Embassy we were able to make contacts with An American medical mission currently stationed in Managua. A friend of my brother had a friend who had just landed in Managua as John arrived at the Hospital. He went straight to the hospital and after much effort was able to get to his bedside to pray over him. We have been receiving updates via phone from him, another Americn and the embassy as often as they can. We have also been in touch with a Catholic priest who has blessed him with the Anointing of the Sick.
We are not only dealing with financial and emotional factors but also language and distance barriers. For that reason I am currently in the process of expediting a passport and making travel arrangements. At this time all we can do is Pray. My family has never been the type to ask for assistance but after such overwhelming response, offers of assistance and encouragement it was decided to accept donations through this website. Please continue to pray for my brother and God Bless you all!
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I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended On Thursday as we laid my brother to rest. It was without a doubt the hardest day of my life. I would also like to say how much I admire my moms strength and resilience. She has always been an amazing women and wonderful role model from whom I am able to draw my own strength. As a gift to her son she insisted on being the lector at his mass just like she lectors every weekend at her church and as she spoke she never faltered.
At the Cemetery, As I sat next to his grave I held a tiny little ladybug in my hand which from now on I will see as a symbol of his love for me. I'm sure he was very happy watching from above and probably very honored to hear taps play and the guns fire. He now lays to rest next to our grandmother and grandfather.
On my way out of town yesterday I stopped by the cemetery once again and placed a single red rose at his grave.
I am so heartbroken that I had to leave my mom and step dad but I know I had to push myself at least for my children's sake to return to the Philadelphia area and return to my daily routine. I know he would definitely tell me as he has before, "Enough with drama I don't have time for that". I know he would want me to stop the crying and move on with my life. Easier said than done!!

There have been some additional developments concerning his injury which resulted in his death but I am currently in the process of gathering more information and will share when and if I feel I am ready. At this time I have decided, at least temporarily to keep this website up and running as a memorial to him. Thanks again for all your support. I am truly humbled by everyone's prayers, messages, calls, texts and contributions.
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Funeral arrangements for my brother are as follows:

Thursday April 24th 2014
9:00-10:45 their will be a viewing in the chapel of St. Joseph's Catholic Church 18 Center Street Danville, PA 17821.
11:00 Mass
Burial Service immediately following at St. Edwards Cemetery Shamokin, PA
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Because this website has a great many followers who are not my Facebook friends I am compelled to follow up with what may very well be my last post:

John Paul Thomas
Born August 9, 1970
Died April 19 2014

It comes with great sadness that I announce the passing of my brother.
I have lost a witness to my history and my childhood companion.
He was always by my side and always had my back when I needed him. We spent countless hours as kids playing baseball in the school yard as well as many mornings hiding behind the cereal box so we didn't have to look at each other.

At the age of 5 and 8 our parents divorced and our Nana sat us down and told us that all we had in this world was each other and we should always look out for one another. The moment I found out he had been injured and was in a coma in Nicaragua those words began to resonate in my head. Although It took several days to convince my mom and step dad why I needed to go and help him they eventually gave me their blessing.

Sadly this story wasn't suppose to end this way. I pictured a happy ending. He was a fighter, he was strong and he was a miracle over and over again. This whole story from beginning to end has been a very tragic one. Exactly what happened we will now never know. I had so much to tell him, so much to show him and an amazing adventure I wanted to share with him. After all he went through and everything it took to get him back to Pennsylvania I never, ever thought he would leave me and now at this moment i cant help but feel so all alone.

He was in a great deal of pain and the way it all ended breaks my heart but I take comfort knowing he is at peace and will be watching over me always (like a big brother should) but from heaven.

Thank you everyone for all your prayers and support. This whole experience has changed my life forever in so many ways I can't even begin to explain. I encourage everyone to take chances, set goals and follow your heart no matter where it takes you as
Mark Twain once said, "Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Rest in peace my brother.
I Love You Always,
Joanie

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I just got word that my brother was able to complete his flight on a medical jet to Pennsylvania and has now been admitted to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. More details will follow as soon as I have more information.
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Read a Previous Update
Anna Garancheski
46 months ago

Joanie, I am so sorry for your loss! I hope that you can find some peace and comfort knowing that John is no longer in pain and with Our Lord & Savior! May the sympathy of those who care for you and the precious memories of your brother help to comfort you in the days ahead. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

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$6,200 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 74 people in 47 months
Created March 30, 2014
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DN
$100
Donna Nassor
46 months ago

My deepest condolences for the loss of your beloved brother John Thomas. May he rest in peace in a place where there is no sickness, sorrow, pain or suffering. My heart is broken for you and for all those who loved him. Sending prayers and love to all.

$200
Anonymous
46 months ago
$20
Anonymous
46 months ago
$25
Anonymous
47 months ago
$25
Anonymous
47 months ago
EK
$100
Eileen Kehr
47 months ago

My prayers are with you and your family, Joanie.

$50
Anonymous
47 months ago
$20
Anonymous
47 months ago
Anna Garancheski
46 months ago

Joanie, I am so sorry for your loss! I hope that you can find some peace and comfort knowing that John is no longer in pain and with Our Lord & Savior! May the sympathy of those who care for you and the precious memories of your brother help to comfort you in the days ahead. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

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