Help Wayne Kobuke in his journey to recovery

Our names are Ben and Nathan Kobuke. We are both in our early thirties, and were born and raised in the Montreal suburbs. We are lucky enough to have been raised by two incredible parents; our mother, Charlene, and our father, Bruce Wayne.

(Our Mom and Dad at Ben and Amy's wedding ceremony in 2018)

Growing up, our favorite superhero has always been Batman. Other than the obvious reasons of him being the coolest, baddest-ass superhero, he also happens to share the same name with an even greater hero, our father. Most people know him simply as Wayne. Together with our mother, both worked tirelessly to provide for us, and have always shown nothing but love and support for all our endeavors.

(Mom and Dad dancing at Ben and Amy's wedding in 2018)

Like all superheroes, after many years of hard work, our father finally earned his retirement earlier this year at the age of 71. Our parents love to travel, and figured they would kick-off our father’s retirement by vacationing to Hawaii. Retirement was off to a good start but took a turn for the worst.

(From left to right: Dad, Nathan, Mom, Ben, Cousin Rick)

On November 21st, 2019, our parents were enjoying the beaches of Kona Island when disaster struck. Our father was overtaken by a large, unsuspecting wave that smashed him to the ocean floor. Two additional waves crashed onto him, and he was fighting to keep his head above water before a lifeguard was able to bring him to shore.

As he was rushed to Kona Community Hospital, it was determined that the severity of his injuries could only be adequately treated at Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu. He was intubated, then airlifted there later that same day.

Following his arrival in Honolulu, he underwent immediate surgery to address fractures to vertebrae C3, C4 and C5. It was also confirmed that he sustained severe damage to his spinal cord. As a result, our father was paralyzed from his shoulders down. Over the next few days, the doctors saw little improvement, and conveyed the probability that he might never walk again, nor regain full use of his arms. To make matters worse, he then contracted pneumonia - a consequence of inhaling ocean water during the incident. He was aggressively treated for pneumonia and a tracheostomy was eventually performed to help his breathing. My father is currently still using the assistance of a ventilator to breathe.

(From left to right: Amy, Mom, Dad and Nathan)

Despite the circumstances, we are, above all, so grateful that our father is still with us today. We are asking for your generosity and support in helping him go through the challenging journey that lies ahead. While we don’t know the full extent of the costs yet, we realize that these will be enormous. Over and above the costs associated with his hospitalization and his repatriation back to Canada, our father will also require specialized home care and equipment, along with necessary home modifications to help him navigate through his day-to day activities. We are thankful for any and all donations, which will be used exclusively to cover these costs.

Please share our cause with as many people as possible. Our family will be forever grateful for your kindness and generosity. We thank you all for your well wishes, prayers and support in these difficult times. Please see the updates section for regular updates regarding our father’s progress in his journey towards recovery.

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Ben Kobuke 
Saint-Hubert, QC