Ethan Wang's Medical Funds

$153,206 of $175,000 goal

Raised by 1,527 people in 2 months
Created April 8, 2019
The Gang
on behalf of Willis and Terri Wang
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On March 3, while the eight of us were on holiday in Bali, our dear friend Ethan Wang was swimming in the ocean when he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Ethan has a C3 and C5 spinal fracture, but thankfully has not sustained any brain injuries. He was rushed to the nearest hospital, and later that evening he underwent a surgery to save his life. Three days later, he was medically evacuated to Singapore where he received a second surgery to further stabilize him. Here he was also treated for several other related medical conditions, including: a large blood clot, pneumonia and facial fractures. In addition to his surgeries and procedures, Ethan also endured a 32-hour flight from Singapore to Boston by way of a “Flying ICU” compartment on Lufthansa Airlines, which was operated by a US medical evacuation team. He is currently undergoing intense rehab and physical therapy at Spaulding.

Ethan is 20 years old. He is junior studying Political Science at Boston University. This spring semester, he was studying abroad in Sydney, Australia when we decided to spend our spring break together in Bali. The hard work and determination Ethan shows towards his schoolwork is now being applied to his rehabilitation process. Since his accident, Ethan has regained some movement: he is able to shrug his shoulders, wiggle his wrist and slightly twist his legs. With support he can also raise his leg a bit! Ethan has been nothing but a positive force. He is a role model to all of us, and we could not have been blessed with a better friend. During our stay in the hospital, he often expressed worry about both our and his family’s well-being. It was, and still is, the most difficult experience of his life, yet he is always thinking of others. If you know E, you know this is to be expected. He is one of the most kind-hearted, and considerate people we have ever met. Whether you are a stranger or a dear loved one, he is always there to offer support, so now we are kindly asking you to offer yours.

Ethan is strong and he continues to fight harder each day. His recovery will not only be long and difficult, but it will also be very expensive. Ethan is constantly worried about his loved ones and how they will cover the cost of these medical expenses, which continue to build. To relieve this worry and allow Ethan to focus on his recovery, we are reaching out to the community.

We (Ethan's friends, family and Ethan, especially), would be extremely grateful if you could donate to help cover these costs, and also send your positive thoughts, vibes and prayers his way. No donation is too small. He is a fighter and he is determined to get healthy. With your love and support we can help Ethan make that happen!


With much love and gratitude,

The Gang: Maria Golebiewski, Kylee Hegarty, Allie Cocolis, Brendan Sullivan, Matt Hinke, Drew Clark & Harry Perrault
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Hi Everyone!!
It's been some time since our last update and we have lots to share! Thank you for your continued support and your positive thoughts and well wishes. Thank you for keeping up with Ethan's story and keeping him in your hearts. We truly cannot believe we have raised 150,000 dollars!!!!! We are speechless! If you see this update please share his story! We are so close to our goal!!
Below is an update on Ethan's progress from his parents! Super exciting stuff, take a read!

With love,
The Gang

Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you all well, and that you are enjoying the start of summer or winter, whichever hemisphere you may be in. It’s been about a month since our last update, and to be open about it, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Ethan and us. Each week, something new occurs with respect to his recovery efforts, which continue to amaze and hearten us all. We remain so grateful for the incredible care he is receiving from the dedicated and compassionate Spaulding Hospital team – it is making a real difference.

While Ethan still has concerns with spasticity, pressure wound, blood clot, and BP issues, the progress he is making with respect to his spinal cord injury gives us hope that his quality of life will improve. As you have seen, Ethan has a fighting spirit and is working as hard as he can to heal. His neck strength is significantly better, and with the assistance of the excellent PTs and OTs at Spaulding, he has been taking steps without electric stimulation while supported by a Bioness Vector device, and he also has taken steps with a walker and PT assistance. In one of the latest photos, you can see Ethan doing push-ups with a harness. He has since graduated to harness-free push-ups on his knees with OT assistance, and he does a mean cobra! As exciting, a recent development has involved Ethan’s finger movement; last week he was able to lightly grab a playing card with his right thumb and forefinger during a therapeutic recreation session of Scat.

On another front, and in anticipation of Ethan’s eventual discharge from Spaulding Hospital, we are working hard to construct livable space in our home, obtain special equipment and adaptive technology, among other critical efforts to help Ethan continue with his recovery. We also acquired an accessible vehicle so Ethan will have no trouble making it to all of his many appointments he eventually will have as an out-patient.

We can’t thank everyone enough (particularly Phoebe, the Gang, and E’s friends) for the wonderful support showered upon Ethan; your generosity and love overwhelm us all, and continue to lift our spirits to new heights in so many ways. Thank you, a thousand times, over.

With much love and gratitude,

Willis and Terri
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Hi Everyone,

A message from Ethan's parents!

Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you all well. It has been several weeks since we last had a chance to provide news about Ethan, and there are plenty of updates to share.

Overall, each week continues to be different for Ethan and he is making a lot of progress at Spaulding Hospital. We are constantly amazed by the wonderful care Ethan has been receiving by his medical and physical and occupational therapy teams. As mentioned previously, Ethan’s spinal cord injury was incomplete and he has slowly gained some ability to feel and move parts of his body. His condition amazes us as Ethan could not move below the neck while in Bali (the Bali doctors actually said he would not be able to walk) and for much of his time in Singapore.

Despite an increase in spasms that have caused some challenges, the gains in movement have allowed Ethan, with assistance from his therapists, to do more hydrotherapy in the aquatic center, attempt a quadruped position (on hands and knees with assistance) after laying on his stomach, and walk for several minutes with the use of the EksoGT suit by Ekso Bionics. It’s not every day one gets to be the bionic man! Ethan also is learning how to use adaptive technology, from voice command software to other wireless devices that allow him to manage his phone and computer. Today, he tried the Armeo by Hocoma which focuses on strengthening upper extremities through targeted exercises through video games.

We are so grateful to Phoebe who continues to take turns with us sleeping over at Spaulding with Ethan to support him through the evening as he still has limited arm and hand mobility. She has been tremendously helpful with keeping Ethan’s spirits up. Ethan also continues to be supported by his many amazing friends from Boston University who visit regularly, several good friends from high school home for summer break, and was recently surprised by visits from some of his friends who just returned from Australia - Allie, Maria, Kylee, Emily, Brendan and Drew - who helped save his life along with Matt and Harry (truly remarkable young people).

We feel so blessed by the overwhelming support from so many people. Thank you so much for the love and support you all have showered upon Ethan. We are so grateful.

With much love and affection,

Willis and Terri

-The Gang
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Hi Everyone,

We are less than $50,000 from our goal!! We could not have achieved this without you all, so we wanted to take the time to say a big thank you and give you another update on the guy we are all rooting for! We are extremely grateful to everyone who has been generous enough to donate, share Ethan's story and keep him in their positive thoughts. Thank you so much for your kind words and positive support, it means the world to Ethan, his family and us! Our time in Sydney is quickly coming to an end and we are beyond excited to get back to Boston and see Ethan! His parents, Willis and Terri, asked us to share this message with you all:

Dear Friends,

As spring begins to take hold in New England and Passover and Easter are celebrated, the meaning of these events does not escape us -- and we have to add that two weeks ago dolphins were spotted for three days in the harbor channel outside of Ethan’s hospital room, a place they never previously were seen according to folks at Spaulding! We embraced the weekend celebrations and observances of difficult journeys taken, with a renewed sense of hope and strength - and an enjoyable Easter dinner Spaulding-style.

We also remain immensely grateful and so moved by the continued outpouring of generosity and emotional support for Ethan which helps him find the strength to keep fighting. It has not been easy for Ethan, and knowing that so many care continues to lift his spirits when needed most. Thank you.

Fortunately, each week has been different for Ethan, and he is experiencing more progress than not. Last week Ethan experienced a few encouraging achievements we wanted to share, from standing with assistance with limited blood pressure issues and walking a few steps (partially on his own weight) with the help of his PT’s and the Vector harness, to his first hydrotherapy session in Spaulding’s aquatic center. Ethan agreed to share the following photos.

Thank you so much again for your love and positive well wishes for Ethan.

With much affection and gratitude,
Willis and Terri


We hope this finds you all well and that you enjoyed your holiday weekend! Please continue to share Ethan's story and keep him in your thoughts.

All our love,
The Gang
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Dear Friends,

We are so overwhelmed and touched by the tremendous outpour of love, support, and encouragement expressed for Ethan from an incredible number of people from all over the world. We can’t thank you enough! We are deeply grateful for your kindness and affection. Your well wishes and generosity have lifted Ethan’s spirits, along with ours and his family’s, and inspired hope in us all. 

Ethan is fighting the good fight to give himself the best chances for recovery. While he continues to have good days and bad days, overall since arriving at Spaulding on March 25th, he has made some progress while knowing his path ahead will be long and hard.  Last week was a particularly exciting one, despite an increase in spasms affecting his therapy.  Ethan was able to hold a Cheeze-It with his left index finger and thumb! He has moved to a new motorized wheelchair that he can drive using head controls and only crashed once, taking out a Purell hand dispenser . He has increased his time being fully stimulated on the FES, Functional Electric Stimulation hand-bike. He has attempted the Lokomat gait trainer machine, which is a cool robot assisted technology used to help improve certain functional abilities of those with incomplete spinal cord injuries (SCI), like Ethan’s. It can also stimulate metabolism, stabilize circulation, and reduce spasticity, among other possible benefits for those with complete and incomplete SCI.

Below are some photos that Ethan wanted us to share of his recent rehabilitation efforts.  The entire team at Spaulding has been amazing. The care Ethan has been receiving from everyone there has been remarkable and so helpful. We are extremely appreciative for what they are doing for him; they are making a real positive impact. 
 
Again, thank you so much for supporting Ethan and lifting his spirits at this difficult time. He is determined to get stronger and your love is helping him mentally sustain his efforts.

All our love and gratitude,
The Gang
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$153,206 of $175,000 goal

Raised by 1,527 people in 2 months
Created April 8, 2019
The Gang
on behalf of Willis and Terri Wang
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