Childress COVID Care

Patrick and Rebecca Childress are icons in the cruising and sailing world--writers, authors, vloggers, leaders in the blue water sailing industry and truly, awesome, inspiring people. For over thirteen years, we’ve followed them and SV Brick House as they’ve circumnavigated while sharing advice and experiences with others who embrace their passion for sailing or travel. They’ve helped countless people in these years. They are my friends and I’m honored to know these two amazing folks. If you’ve ever had a conversation with either of them, you’d feel the same. Rebecca and Patrick are kind, transparent and lovely—the first to help other sailors with weather advice, support or technical advice.

Now, they are in new and dangerous waters and they desperately need our love and support. COVID-19 has struck them while on a passage to Cape Town, South Africa. Both tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, May 15, 2020. Rebecca was able to quarantine on the boat in the Cape Town Marina, as she’s sick, but not experiencing life-threatening conditions.

But Patrick is much more seriously ill. He is an ICU inpatient in the hospital in South Africa. He was experiencing profound shortness of breath, and although the physicians tried to keep him off a ventilator, his blood oxygen levels got too low to sustain him without the mechanical support of a ventilator. Since then, he’s been experiencing life-threatening conditions common to those with this Coronavirus, including renal (kidney) issues. He’s still on a ventilator, heavily sedated as required by that procedure. The medical staff are trying to wean him off the vent daily, but it takes time for patients to learn to breathe on their own after being ventilated.

His kidneys are now suffering shock and are not working properly. At this point, May 24th, no one knows the long-term effects he may experience.

We hope and pray for his full recovery, as apart from this virus, he’s in excellent health and he has no comorbidity.

But their insurance has rejected the claim, stating they won’t cover pandemics. Rebecca has no way of knowing their final costs, but as you can imagine, over a week in infectious disease ICU is going to be quite costly. Even if he regained consciousness today, he’ll need medical care for some time to regain his full strength and health.

This, especially for a pair sailing together for over a decade, is emotionally devastating. Lives of cruising couples are intertwined in ways only sailors understand. And separation is so painful under these circumstances. Rebecca is not allowed to visit Patrick—even when she’s over her illness and past the quarantine she’s under—the hospital isn’t allowing visitors. An ICU nurse at the hospital used her own phone to call Rebecca and held the phone up to Patrick’s ear, so she could beg him to keep fighting. He wasn't responsive, but we believe he heard her. 

 When Rebecca told me what she’d said to Patrick, it broke my heart for them, but it's telling the sort of love they have for each other. “Please keep fighting. Patrick...you really are deep down there in the weeds right now...but you must NOT give up. Keep swimming up to the surface where I will be waiting for you. You must really, really fight now. You must consider this the biggest, worst storm you have ever been in and just fight it with everything you have to keep us afloat.”

There’s no doubt about it—Patrick is fighting the worst storm of his life. And Rebecca is fighting for him and advocating for his healthcare and her own health. We’ll all wishing and praying for him to keep fighting and swimming to the surface.

But they need our help now. Emotionally and financially, Rebecca and Patrick are in need of your support.

Please contribute to their fundraiser. Share this if you can’t donate.

And send them your love and prayers. 

We’ll keep updates here for everyone. Much love to all of you.

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Donations

  • Chris Smith 
    • $100 
    • 12 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $21 
    • 22 d
  • Kevin Pohl 
    • $10 
    • 26 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 29 d
  • Justin Valderrama 
    • $10 
    • 1 mo
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Leanne Coffman 
Organizer
Indianapolis, IN
Rebecca Taft Childress 
Beneficiary
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