I am so relieved to write this update.
Richo is now finally home on the Gold Coast with his son and sleeping in his own bed!!
He said to me yesterday that this is the beginning of his new life. The support for him shown through
the GoFundMe page has given him so much strength. The donations elevate an enormous amount of stress, but the act of donating shows how much love and compassion you have, and that has been the emotional support and positivity he has needed.
Many thanks once again.
UPDATE FROM RICHO 8.30am 09/10
Hey everyone first thing I want to say is that I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of support I have received from all the people that have donated. I have gone through and made sure I checked everyone single donation one by one and all I can say is how grateful I am and it’s brought tears to my eyes. From old friends to old work colleagues right through to parents of old mates and former high school friends as well as old footy mates and some some of my coaching clients I am so blown away by all the support. From the bottom of my heart I want to personally thank every single one of you. This has been a life changing journey for me and one of the most horrible ordeals I would not wish on anyone. From being unbelievably sick in a Bali hospital with no access to my blood type I had so many people attempt to give me blood which I am eternally grateful for. But unfortunately it just wasn’t getting to me and I had to be medically evacuated to Darwin where I went straight into emergency surgery to save my life. From there it’s been a roller coaster ride of getting better and then taking a turn for the worst. I have since had 3 emergency surgeries with the last one being successful to this point. I am currently being monitored closely in Darwin hospital in the hope that everything is now ok and I maybe able to make it home to my son later in the week if all things are positive. So not out of the woods just yet but so far so good. I will have ongoing health issues to deal with from this and am not sure when I will be able to start back with my coaching. The donations will go along way to helping me get back on my feet and with the ongoing medical costs involved with my rehabilitation. I can’t thank you all enough for your generosity. On behalf of my family and me I would like to sincerely thank everyone of you. There’s a ton of other people who I would like to thank and I will in a press release that I will do once I get home and am feeling better. This has been a very humbling experience for me and even though it has been absolutely terrifying and so painful I truly believe I am meant to learn some things from the experience. Looking forward to ticking the boxes I need to tick off and making back home soon to my family. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
UPDATE 12pm 01/10 From Family
Richo Recovery Update -
Firstly we are so grateful for your love, support and healing messages.
As many of you are already aware, Mark was thankfully medically evacuated back to Darwin in a critical condition from Bali after illness which quickly escalated. Mark’s great surfing mates Gary Cruikshank & Miko were on the ground at Mark’s bedside in Bali. He was not receiving enough A- blood supply as he was obviously profusely haemorrhaging internally from an unknown source at that time given his critically low haemoglobin levels.
Yes he did receive a handful of units however despite multiple confirmed donations of A- from very kind individuals local and people travelled all over specifically to donate. Unfortunately the vital supplies weren’t getting all to Mark. Many people informed us that they were turned away at the blood bank as it was suggested that they had enough blood! We also became aware that O- blood was not authorised to be used for him in Bali which was surprising given this is commonly used as the go-to blood type in emergency situations in Australia. Hence some confusion arose as many O- universal donors were also questioning this and continued to step forward and donate.
A- blood type, whilst rare, it is not the rarest blood type in the world, however a lower percentage is found in the SE Asian population. Hence many travellers and expatriates stepped forward in Bali including the surfing community who rallied around this cause. What we have learnt: an A- can only receive A- in Bali and a direct match is required for all blood transfusions.
Even still now there is an incredible surge from generous people in Australia and from around the world willing to send or even jump on a plane to give blood.
Concurrently, Mark was rapidly deteriorating deprived oxygenation. This led to a cascade of events, ICU, hypovolemic shock, hypoperfusion, with still no diagnostic testing of haemorrhaging cause except indicated duodenitis which is inflammation of the small intestine. His haemoglobin was indeed critically low.
The usual clinical pathway for upper gastrointestinal bleeding would be to perform an gastroscopy/endoscopy. This was not performed as the hospital suggested Mark was too unstable?
Mark’s haemoglobin was a 2 and required at least a 8 to be transported.
It was becoming quite surreal.
As he wasn’t receiving all the blood donated as now an a blood supply of 10 Units of A- blood from the Red Cross in Australia for family to deliver directly. The hospital in Bali verbally agreed to receive. Then on our way to pick up the blood outbound to Bali from Brisbane airport we received a call saying the Bali hospital wouldn’t sign off to accept international blood.
Now no other option in a critical condition Emergency air ambulance from Townsville with blood supply flown directly to Darwin. Reason for haemorrhage still unknown and unstoppable Mark was given blood, intubated, sedated on pick up in a-critical state.
Darwin medical staff have been amazing now conducted all diagnostic tests, surgery and treatment that had been required.
Bacterial infection, perforated very large Peptic ulcer clipped and bleeding stopped immediately. On Friday Mark had
intubation removed out of sedation and now eating solids and watched the AFL yesterday with our long life friends John & Nicky’s by his side.
Recovering so well everyday now.
Next step hopefully out of ICU to ward.
Thank you for your ongoing support and love.
( all updates are directly from family and doctors reports )
UPDATE 5.30am 29/9
Richo healing update
Mark is still stable, ICU sedated and incubated.
Best news receiving his treatment he needed his finally got his colour back. Thank you so much for support.
UPDATE 6pm 28/9
Richo Recovery Update
Best news Mark is in the Darwin Hospital! Thank you for all your love & healing energy to help him. He was sedated for the flight. The doctors couldn’t believe the state his body was in on pick up, and said it would have been fatal had he stayed in Bali as he was haemorrhaging. Firstly we want to say how blessed we are to have such an amazing medical team and system in Australia. The Darwin doctors have been next level with hourly updates.
As Mark has been overseas they had to put in extreme hospital health precautions before proceeding with anything today.
Mark is still ICU incubated unwell but is stable. He has finally received the testing procedures and some diagnosis and the treatment he required a week ago
- Due to the lack of blood and oxygen for a week he is suffering hypoxia
- Platelet levels are very low they are trying to investigate why ?
- CT scans of head, chest, abdomen showed all good except bowel.
- Fluid all around lungs and abdomen
- Endoscopy the surgeon said the Parasite most likely inflammed the duodenum and inflammed an extremely very large peptic duodenum ulcer had ruptured which has been haemorrhaging hence so much blood loss. They can’t remove the ulcer so to stop the haemorrhaging have used metal clips and another procedure. Bleeding has finally stopped.
They will need to do a biopsy of ulcer once his more stable as it was to risky today.
Doctors are treating the parasite and investigating why the platelets are so low. Biopsy ect to follow
Mark will remain at Darwin till 100% . We have family friends John and Nicky on the plane now too for additional support.
So now focusing on healing Mark to get home
UPDATE 6.30am 28/9
Just want to let everyone know Mark has arrived safely in Darwin
He is in ICU get the expert care he needs.
Thanks again for the overwhelming support.
Great news. Mark is being evacuated by LifeFlight from Bali tonight. He will arrive in Darwin around 11pm. Blood is being sent from Townsville to Darwin now. As soon as he is in the ambulance leaving hospital he will receive blood.
The hospital in Bali has refused to accept the 10 bags of blood that was to arrive from the Gold Coast today. Absolutely outrageous. Therefore no choice but to get him out asap even though he’s not stable.
Thank you everyone for your support and incredible generosity.
Mark will have to spend significant time in Darwin hospital receiving treatment as they have done absolutely nothing here…they’ve barely kept him alive.
Insurance company is still working out what expenses will be covered. But it goes without saying Mark will need every cent that has been so generously donated for his recovery.
Thanks again to everyone in our amazing country that has got behind this.