As many of you may know, Chase Zinn was involved in a plane crash on May 22nd, 2018. This accident occurred in Port Orange, Florida, where Chase has been living while fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. Prior to the accident, Chase had completed one year of college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, followed by three more years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. After graduating from the University in May of 2017, Chase’s dream of beginning a career as a pilot came true as he became a Flight Instructor for the same University he graduated from. This job allowed him to help others perfect their piloting skills and techniques, while also earning much needed hours that would lead to a career as commercial airline pilot.
On the night of the accident, Chase was flying with a friend, Nandish Patel (Dish was his nickname), when something went wrong with the plane during take-off at the Spruce Creek Fly-in, located in Port Orange, Florida. This is a popular residential area that has a runway and plane storage hangers for avid pilots in the community. Thankfully, on the night of the accident there were spectators that were able to respond to the crash and alert the proper authorities. Unfortunately, Dish was pronounced deceased on the scene of this horrific accident.
After seeing pictures of the crash, it is unbelievable that anybody could survive the accident. Because of the spectators and first responders, Chase (with terrible trauma to his head, face, ribs, and legs) was rushed via ambulance to the Halifax Medical Center in Port Orange. The emergency medical care that Chase received, without a doubt, saved his life. Unfortunately, the trauma that occurred during the crash resulted in broken ribs, bilateral broken legs, and severe brain swelling that required the doctors to place Chase in a medically induced coma. Chase was in the coma for over three weeks to allow for the swelling in his brain to go down and the pressure values in his head to stabilize. The doctors told his family that they would have no way of knowing the extent of brain damage that would result from the trauma until pressures reduced and they could bring him out of sedation. While sedated, other medical emergencies began to surface. The trauma from the crash led to the open wounds in his legs becoming infected, after multiple surgeries performed to repair the fractures in his legs and ankles. While his left leg responded to the medications used to treat the infection, the right leg did not. During this time, Chase’s brain swelling had significantly diminished and he was brought out of sedation. The doctors still did not have a gauge on the severity and permanent nature of his traumatic brain injury. To make things worse, the doctors told Chase and his family that the likelihood of saving Chase’s right leg was becoming less viable. It was the medical staff’s understanding that his options were to amputate his right leg or continue taking the heavy doses of medication that were making him sick, with a low possibility of treating the infection. They explained that if they continued with the medication, his life would still be in danger until the infection was gone. However, if they amputated his right leg, just below the knee, his rehabilitation and recovery would speed up exponentially. It was at this time that Chase made the decision to move forward with the amputation.
Currently, Chase is finally out of the ICU, Acute care, and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation. He is now waiting for the non-weightbearing precautions to end in another two months, therefore, allowing him to be fitted for a prosthetic and begin Physical Therapy to learn how to walk again. He and his family are staying in a hotel until the next steps of rehabilitation begin.
Those of you who know Chase are aware that he is high spirited, energetic, and a kind and loving human being. Prior to the accident Chase lived his life saying that the three most important things in life are Faith, Family, and Friends (in that order). Chase faces a long and arduous recovery, where he will rely on these same three things to get him through. He will never give up on achieving the goals he has established for himself. After having the opportunity to see him and his family in Florida this past weekend, it was made clear that Chase will battle through the face of adversity. He will continue to work towards his goal of becoming a commercial airline pilot. Because of this, the costs of prosthetics and other medical care will be significant and an ongoing financial strain.
Over the past several months, we have all felt useless in our inability to help Chase. This is our chance to step up as friends, teachers, instructors, or even those who just know Chase for his engaging personality and contagious sense of humor. We all know that he merits the best doctors, therapy services, and prosthetics available. This Go Fund Me campaign is not meant to be charity, but a chance to get him back to the life he most certainly deserves to live. No donation is too small. Our contributions may be a small step for us, yet a big leap for Chase.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”- 2 Corinthians 9:7
Chase, we love you. Keep going and never give up. Those around you will always be there for you and will do anything to help you be the person that God wants you to be.
For those wondering, Chase’s father, Shane Zinn, is listed as the main beneficiary of this campaign. All donations will go directly to Chase through his parents. We thank everyone for taking the time to read this, along with your love, support, and donations.
- Theodore Geibel
- Jody Lang
- Sandra McHattie
- Nikki & JT Townsend
Organizer and beneficiary
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