Go Fund Me for Bruce Van Fleet

$21,734 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 120 people in 1 month
Created June 30, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Jen Van Fleet
Many of you know Bruce Van Fleet, and many of you may not, but I can say I am better off for knowing him.

Bruce is one of the kindest, most authentic individuals that I have ever had the privilege to know.

A few days ago Bruce, was in a plane crash in Guatemala- doing what he does best, giving through service to others with a missionary group.

I’ve known Bruce since we were just kids, and he is a fighter- More so he has a lot more to do in this world!

Please consider giving to this cause, as it is so dear to my heart, and the hearts of all he has touched! We are looking to cover medical costs, and help his family through this time and his recovery.

Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts of strength and any donations you can give!

Please SHARE this post to help our cause.

Below is the most recent update on his status from his wife Jen:

Saturday June 27th UPDATE

Wednesday Bruce left for Guatemala to visit with a ministry there called Paradise Bound. It was a trip to explore the vision of the ministry and to learn if it would be a fit for our family next year when we leave ITEC.

Thursday 6/27 around 11am Bruce was flying with another Pilot from PB (Paradise Bound). The plane crashed and what we have assumed is that Bruce was ejected from the airplane and taken to the closest hospital. Once stable he was transferred to the capital for further treatment while waiting for him to be transferred to the states.

Friday 6/28 Bruce was brought to Dallas at the Parkland Burn Unit and admitted to the ICU

Upon arrival here is what we know about his condition -

Bruce has sustained several very serious injuries -
• Minor brain swelling
• Facial fractures including his right eye socket and nose
• Broken right leg
• 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body with the majority of burns being his face, chest and shoulders, arms and hands, torso and legs
• His left hand is burned so badly they fear he will lose two fingers (his 3rd and 5th finger) and he will have some loss of function
• They have not been able to check his eyes for any damage

Currently he is heavily sedated in a medically induced coma and intubated. He will remain sedated and intubated for several weeks most likely.

At this time there are no visitors other than myself and his parents. Levi is not able to be in the ICU at all. The concern is risk of infection which is THE BIGGEST RISK for a burn victim.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

❤️ Jen
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BIRTHDAY UPDATE // AUGUST 19

That’s right! Today is Bruce’s birthday!

Bruce’s parents and night nurses helped decorate his room with a big banner and balloons

Today we celebrate the major strides Bruce is making in his recovery! He will go later today to get a “scope” test, the last step before being cleared to have more than ice chips!!

If he passes, they have said we can bring him ice cream for his birthday

He will still need to wait before gulping down some delicious “regular water” but I think he will still be pretty stoked to have something other than ice chips (even if they are gourmet juice ice chips )

Today, if you feel led, please send a special birthday donation to www.goodworksworldwide.com

The nurses ask Bruce, “what day is it?” as a part of his delirium test everyday. Everyday this past week he has answered with some version of, “Its almost my birthday”!

I just love it

Thank you for all the birthday wishes, I’ve shared a few with Bruce this morning and I’ll share more later today!

❤️ Jen
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UPDATE // AUGUST 16

Bruce’s most recent graft has a topical infection. Unfortunately, again, infections are incredibly common and expected in Burn Patients.

They are already treating it topically and monitoring his labs and vitals very closely.

Otherwise, Bruce is right on target for most of his current recovery goals and milestones. Daily he endures Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy plus other tests and wound care from the nurses. His day is non stop and he works hard all day with a great attitude and polite manners (according to his teams).

Bruce is able to mouth and whisper a few words and with a lot of practice and attention, I’m getting a little better at understanding what he is communicating. A couple days ago he kept trying to tell me “JUICE”. I asked if he has had a drink of water or juice and he told me, “never”. The look on his face said it all and my heart just broke for him. 50 days, no drinks. (He hasn’t passed his swallow test yet.) If you know Bruce, you know this alone is enough to send him over the edge. The very first thing he learned to say in Spanish was, “water with extra ice, please”. yes, seriously.

So, with a little creative thinking I went home to make him ice chips from fresh juice. It worked like a charm and he LOVES them! Watermelon, Sweet Cherry and Blueberry

According to multiple nurses, they’ve never had this idea or seen it done around the ICU. I guess they don’t know that I will literally move mountains for Bruce. Plus, I used to moonlight as a midwives assistant and this was an old tip for laboring mamas

I’m praying hard tonight against the furthering of infection and thanking God for His tender mercies everyday. Thank you all for partnering with us through this season!

❤️ Jen
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UPDATE // AUGUST 12

Bruce will be going to surgery for more skin grafting this morning. They will be grafting places that didn’t take well previously, areas on his chest and biceps .

Bruce was more tired than usual yesterday. Nurses say he is still pretty sleepy this morning (and a little out of it ). Being tired is expected after all the progress he made during PT this past week!

UPDATE POST SURGERY //

Bruce is out of surgery and doing fine. He was on the ventilator for a few hours post op, but he is currently off and using just the trach collar. His nurses have tucked him in for the evening.

❤️ Jen
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This is just the best news! Keep fighting Bruce!!!

UPDATE // AUGUST 9

Lots of good news tonight

First, Bruce is officially infection free!

Second, over the last few days we have seen a really amazing difference in Bruce’s awareness and lucidity. He is able to respond a little faster and more consistently, all of which is a really good sign!

For the last 4 days Bruce has been off the ventilator 100% of the time! He is only using the tracheotomy collar, which is like you or I using an oxygen mask. It helps, but his lungs are doing all the work now!

Speech therapy is working with him daily to help him build lung strength in order to use what they call a “speaking valve” with his tracheotomy. The speaking valve is pretty self explanatory, but it basically allows Bruce to speak with his tracheotomy. The unfortunate thing is, the valve is extremely uncomfortable. In order to speak with his the valve, he has to build up lung strength in order to push air around the tracheotomy.

During our visit today I asked Bruce if we could try the valve and maybe talk a little today. He nodded, “yes” and when they got the valve in, he took a big breath in and told me he loved me. After I replied, he took another big breath and said, “OFF”. I asked if he wanted the valve off and he nodded a hard yes short but sweet, that’s Brucey.

Physical therapy is also working really hard with him daily. So far, his PT reports that he is more than willing to work hard and that he has a great attitude during their time together.

Bruce’s entire medical team seems really impressed with the progress he has made in the last week.

Praising God tonight for all his mercy ❤️

❤️ Jen
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$21,734 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 120 people in 1 month
Created June 30, 2019
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Jen Van Fleet
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