Recovery Fund for Sam Smith

$78,309 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 994 people in 6 months
Created February 10, 2019
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As skydivers we know that this is an unforgiving sport, which is why we are grateful to be at this point to be able to start this GoFundMe for Sam Smith.   Many know her by her smile, others for her skydiving skills.  She is one of a hand full of women to become a tandem instructor during last month's RedBull Fly Girls event.   


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Sam has been working with my husband Trevor for the last couple of weeks.  He was so appreciative for her amazing work ethic along with her huge smile, her positive attitude was contagious.  She surprised him, she was the first person to ever give my husband a thank you card.  She was simply grateful for the opportunity to work in the sport she loved.  That pretty much sums her up.   


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On Wednesday, February 6th Sam had a terrible accident at the drop zone.  She had finished a full day of work jumps and went on the last load of the day for a much needed fun jump.  Unfortunately, she had a very bad landing and as a result shattered her pelvis, fractured her T6, broke two fingers, broke her tib/fib & femur, punctured both of her lungs as well as damaged her face.   She has already had multiple surgeries and is now in stable condition.  She opened her eyes and moved her thumb when asked, however she still has more surgeries and it looks like she won't be walking for months. 


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She will need therapy, and help financially since she will not be able to work, which is why we are now asking all of her friends, family & Sky Family to come together and give in order to lessen the financial burden ahead of her so she can focus on the recovery.


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The family has politely asked that no one visits Sam in the hospital please, FAMILY VISITORS ONLY at this time.

As soon as we have more information, we will update everyone.   Thank you so much for you help & positive thoughts.  

#SupportSam #SkyFamily

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On behalf of Sam's father, Donald Smith, Sam's mother Benita Smith & Sam's sister, Ally Smith.

-Deborah Cedar
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Hello everyone,

In the last update I said that Sam was on track to make more progress than ever before, and she has, every single day. She is back to being on a regular diet but she will still have tube feedings at night until she is able to consume enough calories on her own. She is doing more in physical therapy and pushing herself in a wheelchair further distances than before. And most importantly she is making leaps and bounds cognitively. Her long term memory is coming back and her short term memory is improving. Sam’s sense of humor and personality shine through on a daily basis and it is truly incredible. She has begun reading messages on her phone that everyone has sent her since her accident and will begin responding shortly. At this time Sam’s brain is still recovering and she is considered a Rancho Level 6 but doctors look for her to continue to improve. What that means is Sam is mostly appropriate in her responses but she still experiences confusion and can respond inappropriately at times.
With brain injuries I can tell you what has happened and what is happening now but I can’t tell you what the future holds, what I can tell you is that Sam will have my love and support, along with that of her family and friends, every step of the way. Sam is even on track to be ready for visitors soon and she appreciates everyone being so patient!
We are still working on the next steps in Sam’s recovery plan but will keep everyone posted.

The help from the gofundme has been invaluable to Sam and our family. We are immensely grateful and remain in awe of the magnitude of love and support we have received. At this time we have decided to keep the campaign open so that anyone wishing to donate toward Sam’s recovery can still do so. However, from this point forward we will be using Sam’s Facebook to keep everyone informed of her progress and will discontinue posting updates on the gofundme.

Sam has helped me write this update and she wanted to thank everyone for their support. She said it was good to see everyone in their support Sam shirts.

Love,
Sam and Ally
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Update for May 28th:

Hello everyone,

In the weeks since the last update Sam’s recovery has gone through many changes. Sam recently went through a regressive episode and lost all of the progress she had made, she had even gone back down the Rancho scale. Doctors ran numerous tests to identify the cause of the severe regression but all tests came back normal. It is truly impossible to communicate the anguish and anxiety felt watching everything Sam had worked for the past few months slip away in a matter of days.

At the worst point during this episode Sam was catatonic for several days; she was nonverbal, unresponsive to outside stimuli, not sleeping, and not eating. The episode lasted over two weeks and doctors found no clinical cause. But as suddenly as her condition deteriorated, it began to improve again. In the past week Sam has started eating again, talking, and sleeping through the night.

Therapy continues to work with her every day.
Brain injuries are very complex and the road to recovery is not only long but full of highs and lows. I share both with you in hopes that I can help you understand more of what Sam is going through while she recovers. Sam continues to fight hard every day to get better and is on track to make more progress than ever before. I continue to let her know daily just how much she is loved and supported by her friends and sky family. At this time it is still unclear when Sam will be ready for visitors but I know when she is ready she will be so happy to see everyone. The continued positive thoughts and prayers are so appreciated and as always, thank you for all that you do to continue to show love and support for Sam and our family.

Love,
Ally
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Hello everyone,

I have great news for you, Sam has continued to make amazing progress since the last update! Doctors have transitioned Sam from a purée diet supplemented by 24/7 tube feeding to a regular diet with only night time tube feeding, she is also able to drink regular liquids.

Over the past few weeks Sam has slowly but surely been getting stronger and just recently she has been able to push herself in a wheelchair short distances! Even more good news, she has finally had her external fixator removed!! Sam’s memory is incrementally improving as well and she is able to hold longer conversations. At times Sam even laughs and makes jokes (sarcastic of course). However, due to Sam’s brain injury there are instances when she does not make sense and she is still easily overwhelmed and agitated if too much stimulus is present.

I make sure every day Sam knows how much she is loved and how many people support her. When I show her pictures of people wearing her shirts out and about or while jumping, her face lights up.
I know many people continue to ask about seeing Sam and I would like everyone to understand while Sam’s physical progress has been incredible, due to her severe brain injury she is still not ready for visitors at this time. Myself, my family, and Sam appreciate everyone’s continued patience. Sam has not transitioned to a rehabilitation facility yet but I will continue to keep everyone updated on her progress.

To everyone reading this right now I just want to say ‘thank you’. Every day since Sam’s accident you have gone above and beyond to show unconditional love and support. Sam has a long road to recovery ahead of her but I know she will get through it because of people like you. Everything you have done and continue to do is nothing short of incredible and I am forever grateful. Please know that without you none of this would be possible and you are appreciated more than you could ever know.

You are all heroes in my book.

Love,
Ally
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Update for April 12, 2019:

Hello everyone,

I’m so happy to tell you that miracles do happen and Sam is one of them! She continues to make progress every day. She has improved from a Rancho Level 4 to a Rancho Level 5. Sam is a lot less agitated and can recall certain memories at times but she is still unable to learn most new information. She can follow simple commands consistently and can communicate her immediate basic needs. During this stage Sam can be easily overwhelmed or confused by too much stimulation, however, she can have longer conversations and gives appropriate responses more often. Sam’s personality is starting to slowly come back as well! When I asked her if she wanted me to cook for her she said, “No.” When I asked her why she replied, “I want to eat healthy.” If you know Sam then you know she loves a good sweet potato hash or bowl of spaghetti squash! (It should be noted that I don’t cook and I don’t eat healthy, which she remembered!)

Doctors have started Sam on a purée diet and she eats a little bit of food at each meal. Once she is able to eat more her feeding tube will be removed. Sam continues to have physical and occupational therapy daily and works hard towards her goals. Sam is still not ready for visitors but she is on the right track to be ready in the future and I will continue to keep everyone posted on her progress.

Sam has made and continues to make amazing strides in her recovery each day and she would not be able to do it without all of you. Your love and support have helped make the impossible possible. Thank you so much for everything, you are all truly extraordinary.

Love,
Ally
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$78,309 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 994 people in 6 months
Created February 10, 2019
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BB
$40
Bonnie Bodolus
1 day ago
SM
$8
Sam Manning
10 days ago
DC
$100
Debra Carroll
11 days ago
MC
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Madigan Carroll
13 days ago
$50
Anonymous
1 month ago
SM
$8
Sam Manning
1 month ago
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$225
#HugsForBen 10way Speedstar Comp at Dallas
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CK
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Casey Knoell
2 months ago
KL
$300
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2 months ago
SM
$8
Sam Manning
2 months ago
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