On his honeymoon with his wife Kaelene Tappe, Joe had a freak accident boogie boarding this past Saturday afternoon. A big wave pushed him into the ocean bottom, where he was concussed. He was then flipped over onto his back and fractured his back t5 t6 vertebrae. Barely escaping an unconscious drawning, he was rescued out of the water and rushed by ambulance to Maui memorial hospital. He was scheduled for major surgery yesterday but has been pushed off until today (7/19).
He has a very long recovery journey. Due to covid protocol, Kaelene has not been allowed to see him other than the few hours the afternoon it happened. They are recommending at least a 7-10 day stay after the surgery to prepare him for travelling home, which includes some rehab.
He will have a long road to recovery once he gets home, which will involve rehab and the inability to lift anything or bend over for months. He will not be able to go to work for at least 5-6 months while he rehabs and recovers.
Money will go to extra travel expenses, hospital bills, living expenses and bills since he can’t work. Funds will be supporting his young family (wife who's in school, in addition to working, and their 2-year-old daughter Aurora).
Update: Surgery went as well as it could have. Doctors confirmed that it's a miracle he wasn't paralyzed as one of his vertebrae was completely crushed.