Bringing Nash Home

My name is Stirling. Never have I reached out for such an ask...
On June 7th I received a phone call from our long-time, amazing friend, Jo-Anne (‘Jo’) in Victoria, BC. There was silence on the line and then un-controllable sobbing. Something was terribly wrong…Soon after I was able to understand a few words, “ Nash is Dead”. Those 3 words immediately rocked me to the core. How could this be? All the questions started.
Over the past 4 days, between countless emails, phone calls and WhatsApp messages, I began to piece together the unfolding of this tragic event.

Nash started his journey from Victoria to Guatemala on June 5th with his brightly coloured backpack that he was so proud of.

When he finally arrived in Antigua Guatemala, Nash had gone out for a bite to eat, and then returned to the hostel. Unfortunately, at some point during the night he got up and fell to the floor from the top bunk. He was attended to by a couple of travellers, who called 911, the Canadian consulate, and accompanied him to the public hospital. Because they did not have scanning equipment available at the public hospital he needed to be transferred to the private hospital for a CAT scan to determine the extent of his injuries. The scan revealed there was no trauma to the brain however revealed that Nash had excessive internal bleeding of his liver and needed to be operated on immediately. Since there was no ICU at the private hospital, Nash was rushed back to the public hospital and spent several hours undergoing surgery. When Nash was moved to the ICU he was in a “precarious” condition still. Unfortunately, due to the excessive blood loss, Nash went into cardiac arrest, and they spent 45 minutes working on him without success.

During the entire process, Nash was never alone. The travellers, Leo and Matteo and hostel owners, Lorena, Joep and Dean, were always there for him. He was never alone with these angels by his side, giving him strength and courage until the end.

Nash certainly had challenges through his life. He always seemed to have a dark cloud that followed him from early days with health issues and just life challenges in general, but Nash just kept sailing through on his journey through life. No challenge was ever too much for him to take on which is what led him to this trip.

Nash’s passion was boating and his dream at some point was to work as a deckhand on a super yacht. Nash was working at Victoria international airport with his air yachts and the fabulous Air Canada Jazz crew.

Nash’s biggest and proudest joy is his beautiful 2-year-old daughter, Saylor Joanne Thornhill who he shares with her loving mother Mika. Although Saylor and Mika lived up in Campbell River, Nash tried to visit when he could and treasured the moments with Missy Moo. He was planning visit them when he returned from his trip with all sorts of stories of his adventures.

Why I Started this Fundraiser?

As you can imagine, trying to navigate this tragic situation from afar in an unknown country, with different language, culture, and processes, has taken its toll on the family.
Nash and his family have been part of our family since he was almost one year old. Nash was like a son to our family, and like many families and friends, people are wanting to do something to assist Jo-Anne and her family during this very rough time.
Beside the unmanageable emotions, hardships and grief faced by Jo and her family going forward, I realized that there were huge financial implications faced by Jo-Anne, family, and best friend to just get to Guatemala. There is the possibility of having to be in the country for 2+ weeks, bringing Nash home, funeral arrangements, and future care for Nash’s daughter, Saylor.
Jo-Anne, being a single mother, is fortunate for a very supportive family, friends, and employer. These people have stepped-up to assist with some of the current financial needs, but future needs are huge and unknown.
Where Will the Monies Raised Go?
Very simple, my hope is that the monies raised through this campaign with assist in Jo-Anne and her family three ways…
• Assist in the travel and medical costs to and in Guatemala, and to bring Nash home to Canada;
• Allow for a funeral in Canada; and
• Assist Nash’s daughter in the future years
Next Steps…
From the bottom of our hearts, we humbly ask that you share this link with friends and family and if possible, in giving a donation (any amount will help).

We thank you for your support and God bless each and every one of you!!

Stirling, Jo-Anne, and on behalf of Nash’ family and friends

Donations (342)

  • James Schrock
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $300 
    • 3 mos
  • Susan Tse
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Trevor Greenwood
    • $350 
    • 5 mos
  • Sharilyn Johnson
    • $200 
    • 5 mos

Organizer and beneficiary

Stirling Fraser
Kelowna, BC
Jo-Anne Hellwig

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