Recovery Fund for Sam Smith

$76,913 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 975 people in 3 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,

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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Update for April 5, 2019:

Hello everyone,

Today marks 58 days since Sam’s accident and I’m happy to report that she continues to make progress every week. I chose to write this update more informally and hopefully help people understand Sam’s condition a bit better. My name is Ally, I am Sam’s sister and I’ve been with Sam since the day after her accident. With the support of my parents I coordinate Sam’s care and meet with her doctors, nurses, therapists, and case manager. Every time I sit down and write an update I try to convey as much information as possible. I choose my words carefully and I really hope that the tremendous amount of love and appreciation myself and my family have for all of you has come across in each update.

With that said, I am really excited to share just how much progress Sam has made since I last wrote. On March 25th Sam’s trach was completely removed and she has been breathing entirely on her own! A small bandage covers the area where the incision was made but it will eventually heal and close on its own. A few days after the trach was removed Sam began to say a few words. As of today she can have small conversations and can be quite vocal at times! As stated before, Sam suffered a traumatic brain injury and is currently in the confused/agitated phase of her recovery (Rancho Level 4). What this means is that Sam’s brain is trying to “wake up “and reestablish cognitive function. Sam is more aware of her surroundings (feeding tube, external fixator, position of her body, pain, etc.) but she is unable to fully comprehend or understand her situation. I can tell her what happened and where she’s at but she’s not able to make sense of or retain that information, her memory is almost nonexistent right now. For the most part Sam knows who I am but there are times she does not remember my name or that I am her sister; so even though Sam is able to speak what she says does not always make sense. However, there are times she answers basic questions correctly and can converse appropriately in short sentences or ask simple questions.

There is even more good news! Two days ago Sam was able to eat and drink for the first time since her accident! She had a little bit of thickened apple juice and several spoonfuls of applesauce. Therapists are going to continue to work with Sam with the goal of starting her on a purée diet soon and eventually removing the feeding tube. The next step for Sam on her road to recovery would be to enter into a rehabilitation facility where she can receive intensive therapy and with continued progress Sam will be ready for that step soon.

I know that there are many people that would like to visit Sam and I really appreciate everyone’s continued patience and understanding. My family and I feel that it would be best for Sam to make decisions regarding potential visitors for herself and we are waiting until she is lucid enough to be able to do so; I will be happy to let everyone know when she is ready. In the meantime I will continue to write updates and keep everyone informed of her progress.

I hope in this update I have been able to give everyone a more complete picture of what Sam is going through during this time. Thank you for all the love and support you’ve shown Sam and my family, we would not be able to do this without you. As you all know my sister is strong and she is a fighter and she has to be both of those things now more than ever. Thank you everyone for being Sam’s strength and for helping her fight. May she see you all in the sky again soon.

Love,
Ally
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Update on March 22, 2019:

Sam has been making progress almost daily in the last two weeks as her brain and body work to recover. In order to asses patients like Sam after a traumatic brain injury doctors use the Rancho Los Amigos Levels of Cognitive Functioning Scale; Sam has recently progressed from a level 3 to a level 4 on that scale and doctors are optimistic she will continue to improve.

Sam’s facial lacerations and scars from her previous surgeries are healing very well. Doctors recently took x-rays of Sam’s pelvis and determined the external fixator will need to be in place for another 6 weeks. Doctors have also started trials to cap Sam’s trach which would allow her to speak if she is able and is another step towards having the trach removed. Sam continues to have speech, physical, and occupational therapy several days a week. She is still able to use hand signals to communicate however the frequency remains inconsistent. Due to the delicate nature of Sam’s condition visitors will remain limited. The family apologizes for any frustration this may cause and continues to be appreciative of everyone’s understanding. Updates on Sam’s progress will continue to be posted on this page as they occur.

Several people have reached out asking if there is anything they can do to help and the family wanted to relay this message:
“During this difficult time Sam’s friends have truly been invaluable, especially her sky family. For those that keep her in their thoughts and prayers, post on her Facebook, donate, share, reach out, send videos and positive energy— please don’t think you’re not doing anything or enough, you are doing so much! Everything you have done and continue to do for Sam and for us means more than we could ever put into words. We couldn’t do this without all of you and there hasn’t been a second that has gone by without one of you helping us in some way. You are all truly incredible. To know that when Sam wasn’t with us and was out traveling and pursuing her passion, she was surrounded by all of you amazing, caring, and loving people brings us a comfort we can’t even begin to describe. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for everything.”
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$76,913 of $80,000 goal

Raised by 975 people in 3 months
Created February 10, 2019
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