First and foremost, we are moved beyond measure at the incredible outpouring of love, support and generosity we have received on John Owen's behalf. We knew that he was deeply loved, but we had no idea the number of lives he had impacted in his 21 years.
On April 11th, while on the phone with SOS International finalizing the quote to get John Owen home on the 12th, we received the unbearable news that he had passed away. He was an extraordinary young man, a Junior at Brown University where he studied Chinese, Philosophy and Economics. We both studied together in China for a month and through his studies at Brown he became fluent in Mandarin. The day after his accident we had heard that he was accepted into the most prestigious summer banking internship program, the Barclays Financial Sponsors group in New York City. John Owen had boundless curiosity about the world and other cultures, traveling throughout Europe, the Bahamas, the United States and Lebanon.
John Owen was joy and curiosity personified. He celebrated his friends, challenged and encouraged them to be better people; to dare more, to try harder, and to treat themselves and others with grace and respect. He loved to laugh, was an exceptional chef, and an extraordinary conversationalist. He was an animal and nature lover and gave the most thoughtful gifts. He was never afraid of doing the impossible and challenged others to do the same. He was lucky enough to spend his most recent 21st birthday with over 100 of his "closest" friends at Brown. The extraordinary support for our efforts shows us that those 100 friends were just the tip of an enormous iceberg. He had so many plans with friends and family for all the things they would accomplish together.
One of the last conversations my father had with John Owen was during this trip to Morocco. John was particularly struck by the randomness of life and how he could just as easily have been born in the desert than to our parents. He was moved by the hope of those whom he met who are living in terrible conditions but dream one day of coming to America. They taught him the importance of hope and the value of never taking what you have for granted. He met a young boy who was desperate to start a website. John Owen offered to create it for him for free. He wanted to help him realize his dreams. He told my father we have it so good and that any trip around the world would prove to anyone that it’s on us to do better and be better. He often expressed the desire to establish some kind of fund or foundation to help others have access to the opportunities that he had himself at Brown. We have decided to keep this campaign going in order to help him realize that dream. Please feel free to contribute or not, but please share this with as many people as you can.
Thank you all so very much for your incredible support, love, and generosity. As of right now, we are unsure what the true costs may amount to. Rather than setting a new target, please give as your heart says. Your gifts mean more to us and John Owen than words could ever share.
My name is Jordan Habib and on behalf of my family and his friends, I am fundraising for my brother and best friend, John Owen Habib. My brother turned 21 years old just last month on March 11th. On April 1st, he suffered a catastrophic fall while on a hike with friends in Morocco. Both his femurs, his spine, and his left ankle were all broken. He has since had several surgeries including a hemicraniectomy and repairs to his ankle and both legs. Unfortunately, he has since been in a coma with limited blood circulating to his brain. The chances of survival are incredibly slim. We are doing our best to medically evacuate John Owen back to the United States, where we hope he would be treated at NYU Brooklyn Trauma Center. Since we live in Michigan, our insurance will most likely not cover all the medical expenses. UPDATE: We discovered this morning (4/10) that Brown University is unable to cover this under their insurance. Brown University has been a great support system for our family at this time. Transportation will need to be funded privately, hence the change in our fundraising goal. The funds would be used for the medical evacuation of John Owen from Morocco, potential treatment in the United States and all unexpected medical and logistical expenses.
For those of you who know John Owen, you would know just how much he loves music. He is an incredibly talented guitar player and loves all types of music. We have been playing his favorite songs for him while we share our favorite stories and memories with him. If there are any songs or stories you would like us to share with him, please feel free to send them to jordanwhabib (gmail). Below is a video of him freestyling on the guitar. He was completely self taught.
Please share far and wide. Thank you all once again for the tremendous support to our family. Below is a video I made and some photos from when we were younger and his trip in Morocco.