***UPDATE*** (August 3rd, 2017)
Zach and Shawna (Zach's Mom) arrived back in Canada on Sunday after a long three day journey. Zach is now an inpatient in the Rehab Unit at Kelowna General Hospital. He faces many weeks and possibly months of healing, treatment and further surgery. Shawna will live in Kelowna part time for now. She would like to thank everyone for their continued prayers, love, support and concern. Zach is now able to accept visitors.
(July 24, 2017)
Zach headed back to the OR this morning as the bands and wires securing his jaw shut snapped and need replacement. Due to his short term memory loss, he often forgets that he is not supposed to talk or even yawn. He also had an episode, which was possibly vasovagal syncope or a small seizure, it's not clear. He's been unusually somnolent over the last 24 hours. The past couple days have felt like two steps back, but our hearts are full of hope and remain positive. We have bumped up our goal to $20 000, due to these setbacks. Thank you for your continued love and support.
Our sister's son and our nephew, Zach Swan, has been in an accident while travelling in Thailand. He has a head injury, with multiple fractures to his skull and jaw. He needs surgery and is currently in hospital in Ko Samui, Thailand. The surgery has been quoted to cost $6000 Canadian dollars. This is an extremely urgent situation and we need to reach out to our friends and family for help. Even the smallest amount will add up.
We will keep you updated on his condition.
Thank you on behalf of Zach's Family.
Erin & Kim Swan
(July 21, 2017)
The following is from our sister Shawna:
Today is Saturday in Thailand and Zach is 10 days post-accident and 5 days post-op his first surgeries.
The good news:
Yesterday his surgical drain was removed (one less tube!!). He expressed feeling hungry for the first time since this happened. Travel buddies came for a visit and he was more alert and lucid, following conversation and at times participating. No obvious signs of infection. Slight decreased pain and need for analgesic. He is also getting is sense of humour back.
Some of the challenges:
Hearing loss and visual problems (blurred and double vision) as well as effected balance are a source of frustration. He will often say, "I can't hear" or "I can't see". Still has pain and headaches when trying to focus or from any exertion. His ears are still draining a blood-tinged fluid.
As he has increased periods of wakefulness, boredom is surfacing. Because both cognitive and physical rest are key to recovery, he is screen/device free. We are also trying to maintain a calm low stimulus environment.
Encouraging him to consume enough liquid calories is a challenge and he is losing weight rapidly.
He is learning to process the losses/grief as his awareness of his situation increases.
Thank you for your messages, prayers, warm thoughts and support.
Shawna (Zach's Mom)
(July 19th, 2017)
The following is from our sister Shawna:
In a lucid moment Zach asked to go on Facebook yesterday, but was unable to login without assistance and then couldn't focus on the screen due to double vision and pain. We spent a little time reading comments and going through the list of donor names together. He becomes overwhelmed and exhausted very easily and still spends the majority of his time asleep or resting. He is being very strong and working through his frustration and grief as he becomes more fully aware of the reality of his circumstances.
The Doctor informed us this morning that the Neurologist strongly advises no airline travel until a minimum one month post-incident. This means we are forced to remain in Ko Samui for at least three more weeks.
Trying to focus on the positives today, such as his decrease in pain and swelling. An improvement in skin colour and slight improvement to vital signs. Concerns still that there is draining blood tinged fluid from his ears. I witness him battling with the stages of grief. Little by little the short and longer term losses sink in. Outside these hospital walls is a tropical paradise. Inside there is a young man coming to terms with having his dream life crumble in an instant. I remind him what a blessing it is that he is alive. That after he fell, he was quickly pulled from where he lay face down, unconscious in the water and given CPR to revive him. That the paramedic team worked to stabilize him and transport him to first a clinic then the next day the hospital here on Samui. A chain of helping hands when misfortune struck, prevented a complete tragedy. And now an incredible circle of love and support from friends, family and co-workers continues to encourage us despite the daily challenges being faced. Thank you all for your help. Thank you for reaching out and offering to be there. For sending good energy and divine assistance with your prayers. For helping to pay for his unexpected medical costs. There are no words that can adequately express our gratitude. Complete strangers have reached out to help or to donate. We are humbled by this generosity.
We are now faced with weeks of convalescence and months of rehab. A repeat CT scan in 2 1/2 weeks here in Samui and then eventually, the removal of the banding and plates back in Canada.
Thank you for lightening the load.
Shawna (Zach's Mom)
(July 17th, 2017)
Zach underwent his two scheduled surgeries today. He is recovering well from Nasal Septum and Jaw surgery. His jaw is banded shut and he is in a severe amount of pain. But his mom, Shawna, is very happy with the high level of postoperative care that he is receiving. We are very thankful that these initial surgeries went smoothly and now we enter the long road to recovery. We will keep you posted as we learn more and are incredibly thankful for your continued support.
(July 16th, 2017)
We are happy to share that there are slight improvements this morning. Tiny but significant change to neurovital signs, coordination, visual tracking/focus. He awoke less disoriented and knew where he was. He forgot an hour later, but it's still a good sign. Shawna has shared that hundreds of people are rooting for him and sending messages of love, support, concern and well wishes. He has difficulty processing, but was overcome by emotion and gratitude. Zach requires a lot of care. Shawna has taken this on as the nurses don't seem to function on the same scope as in Canada. She spoke with two Doctors today who came by briefly to assess. The language barrier was a huge hurdle. The foreign services office opens tomorrow, which will give Shawna the chance to connect with English speaking staff. Financially, these donations have enabled us to pay for all medical expenses incurred since the accident. Including the initial emergency response and transfer from Koh Tao to Koh Samui. The initial CT Scan, Neurologist and Surgical Consult with a Maxillofacial Specialist, Medications and Nursing Care. We also have enough for all known surgeries at this point. Any further donations will help cover his recovery period and transfer to either Bangkok or hospital convalescence in Koh Samui and travel home to Canada. Shawna has only been there for 24 hours, so no decision has been made regarding a transfer. Our mother will be flying out to BC, ASAP, to help care for Shawna's second son, Asher who is four years old. This will help aid Shawna's husband Lawrence, so that he can continue to work. Thank you again for your continued love and support! We are beyond grateful.
(July 15th, 2017)
Zach's mom, Shawna (who is a nurse) arrived in Koh Samui last night and is currently at the hospital. This is her latest update: Zach is in rough shape and it's quite an initial shock despite the updates and reports that I received before arriving. He's suffering from severe short term memory loss. Each time he awakens he needs to be reoriented to place, time and what happened/why he is in the hospital. He has no memory of the accident. He's in a tremendous amount of pain and even swallowing liquids is sometimes too difficult. I just spoke with the neurologist and watched his assessment. It is conservative treatment for the subdural hematoma. The current plan is surgery in approximately 5 days to repair his jaw and nasal septum. Despite attentive and professional care, the conditions at the hospital are generally run-down. He was moved from the crowded 25 bed open ward to a private room shortly after my arrival and request was put in. There's no air-conditioning and everything is rationed out by request only, from a clean sheet to a drinking straw. We are giving some thought to relocating to a more modern hospital in Bangkok if he improves in the coming days.
(July 14th, 2017)
Zach's mom Shawna is still in transit to Thailand. She should arrive within the next 8 hours. She did manage to speak with the hospital and we received the following update; Zach does have neurological effects from his head injury, significant short term memory loss, difficulty with visual tracking and confusion. They are now predicting that he will be unable to fly home for one full month after the surgeries take place. This means that his medical bills are going to be much higher than we had previously thought. We are also hoping that if enough funds are raised, we can Medivac him to a larger hospital. Please continue to give as we are still in the very early stages of figuring out the exact costs. We have bumped up our Goal to $15 000, to cover his extended stay. You may see this Goal change several times as we learn more details about the situation. Every little bit means the world to us and we are beyond grateful for the outpouring of love and support.
(July 13, 2017)
I have increased the amount as per Zach's Mom's request. After his surgeries, he will be in hospital for at least a week before he can be released. There are many costs associated with accidents/ injuries overseas. Also, it may be of interest to you, the reader, that Zach had travel insurance, but he extended his trip, and it expired, hence the urgency. Thank you!
- Alicia Williams
- Angelia Tran
- Corie Peace
- vera vlot
- Jonas Cadham
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more