Rotarians Bruce and Donna Falkins RV Crash!

$13,335 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 114 people in 7 days
Rotarians Bruce (Past District Governor, #5060) and his wife, Donna, were on the the trip of a lifetime.  They had traveled in their RV from  their home in British Columbia, across Canada to New Brunswick, and then south into the United States.  On their way to see friends in Colorado, they were completely stopped in traffic on 6 July, when an 18-wheeler plowed into the back of their RV at full speed, completely totaling the RV.  To give you an idea of the impact, the bumper/license plate was pushed a full five feet into the RV.

Donna was airlifted to a Denver hospital with critical injuries to both legs, spine, aorta, and numerous broken bones, some in her face.  She sustained a lot of internal injuries.  The hospital is a level 1 trauma center so she's receiving excellent care.  She's currently in ICU and heavily sedated.  She is in a room with one-to-one nursing (one nurse per patient).  

Bruce was significantly injured as well, but less so than Donna.  He's in stable condition and working hard to manage all of the information about his health issues as well as Donna's.

Thankfully, Tara, their daughter, was able to fly to Denver from British Columbia the day after the crash and is staying at the hospital to be close to her parents.

Doctors have said Donna's recovery will take MONTHS.  They are expecting her stay in the hospital to last at least a month, maybe more.  She's already had a couple of surgeries, and will need numerous future surgeries, and then most likely several months in rehab.  

Monies raised will be used to cover Bruce's living expenses in the Denver area for the months Donna will be recovering until she can travel home, as well as Tara's and other family members' travel expenses.  Two local friends helped Tara recover as much as possible from the totaled RV, but there wasn't much left so they will need personal items while they are in Denver.

Thankfully, and quite miraculously, Sammy (the cat) survived without a scratch; we think she used up three of her nine lives that day!  She's staying with friends in the local area waiting to be reunited with her people.

We were going to post pictures of the totaled RV.  Trust me, it isn't pretty and quite frankly, the images are too raw.  

For those who don't know Bruce and Donna, they are wonderful friends, exceptional Rotarians, and probably the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.  This is going to be a long and painful road for them to travel.  Can you imagine being almost 1400 miles from home, in a foreign country (to them) and having this happen?

Will you please consider making a donation to help them?  Will you also help us spread the word to other Rotary clubs and districts, as well as anybody else who might be interested in helping them, please?  Thank you so much!
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Good morning, Friends of Falkins! Tuesday morning, 16 July, 10 am, Mountain time.
I spoke to Bruce last night and yesterday was a really tough day.
Bruce is progressing through many hours of rehab each day which, as you might imagine, is physically exhausting. Tara leaves today for home and we're expecting her back in about ten days. Her employer has been very supportive so we're all thankful for that. Janice and Ian have decided to stay for "a while" and they will be a big help while Tara is gone. Bruce says they expect he will be released from rehab and the hospital mid next week so there's an urgency of finding him housing near the hospital. Also as you might imagine, all of this is emotionally draining and stressful on the family.
While we have been focusing on the positive steps Donna has been making, during their doctor team meeting yesterday, they clearly stated that Donna is STILL in critical condition. I believe she's had a couple more surgeries on her legs since I last updated you. They also discovered that she had broken her elbow and now has a cast from her shoulder to her wrist. (!!!) When I updated last time and said she had been moved to the burn/ICU unit, I should have mentioned that was because she's going to need skin grafts on at least one leg. The doctors told Bruce and Tara this is going to be a very long process...Donna might be in Denver for SIX months because of her injuries.
We are all very thankful for the thoughts, prayers and donations. The news about the fact they will most likely be here for six months was especially hard to hear, and thankfully there's a bit of a financial cushion with the donations...having done some math, we're sure it isn't going to be enough to cover Bruce's living expenses, and trust me, we're using very conservative numbers.
Would you please consider making a modest MONTHLY donation? We'll be leaving the GoFundMe website up for as long as they need help. Thanks, in advance, for your continuing thoughts and prayers. Please continue to share Bruce and Donna's story. They are thankful, humbled and blessed by the generosity shown by all of you.
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Good morning, Friends of Falkins! David and I saw Bruce and Tara last night. Their British Columbian friends (Janice and Ian) have arrived in their motor home and will be staying in Denver for an undetermined amount of time.
Tara is heading home for about ten days to catch up with her family. She's expecting to return to Denver in about ten days. She's been a HUGE source of help and comfort to Bruce and Donna.
Bruce has been moved to the Rehab unit and is undergoing physical therapy for several hours per day. He' walking with either a walker or cane but is having problems with one leg being swollen. His hands are still bandaged and he's managing the best he can.
Donna has been moved to the burn unit (still in ICU) and is still undergoing surgeries, mostly on her legs. She's got leg braces on that will have to be on for for at least six weeks.
In a bright spot of news, one of their local friends went out to the wrecked RV with all kinds of tools and such and managed to find their passports! Sammy, the CAT..(not car, like my typo in a previous update!) is still staying with that same friend and missing her people.
The family is extremely grateful for the calls, texts, emails, and donations. Thank you all for your generosity in this very trying time. It is all very much appreciated!
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Good morning, Friends of Falkins! It is Friday morning, 1100. I just got off the phone with Bruce. They have moved him to a rehab room in the same hospital, a few floors up from ICU where Donna is. He's getting at least three hours of rehab per day. He told me that some of the rehab is "speech therapy to help him talk more"...those of you who know Bruce know this is NOT an issue. :>) He and Tara are completely astounded and grateful for the outpouring of love (in the form of good thoughts, prayers, and donations) from everyone.
Donna had the breathing tube out yesterday afternoon, which is BIG news! Her throat is sore because of the tube but she's able to at least whisper. Bruce and Tara were standing at her bedside visiting her in ICU and one of the first things she said to Tara was "get your Dad a chair"...sounds just like Donna, don't you think? :>) She's having another surgery today to continue the process to close up some of her leg wounds. It is a fine line between the pain meds that make her drowsy and her being able to communicate. Bruce and Donna are the only ones allowed in to see her, still.
Tara will most likely be staying until next Wednesday and then heading home for a bit and then returning.
From what I hear, Sammy, the car, is seriously missing her people, as you can imagine. She's still with another friend of theirs in the area.
Like most things at this point, plans are up in the air.
Thank you to all of you who are following this, who are praying and sending good thoughts, and who have made donations. Your actions, however small they may seem to you, are making a significant impact on this family and they can't thank you enough.
We'll continue to update when we have something to tell you.
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Good morning, Friends of Falkins! I'm writing this as of 0930 on Wednesday, 10 July, to give you an update on Bruce and Donna.
First and foremost, words are totally inadequate to express the gratitude to all of you for your prayers, good wishes and financial donations. We (David, my boyfriend and I) have seen Bruce for the past couple of days. He is completely astounded at the level of support you all have shown. They are humbled and grateful for everything you're doing.
Here's what I currently know:
1. We expect that Bruce will be in the hospital for a few more days. His right knee ligaments were torn and he's unable to put weight on it at all. The doctors have said that he won't be released until he can walk. Both of his hands are bruised and pretty sore...the coloring of the bruises is amazing. He has a thumb splint on his right hand from jamming it on the steering wheel. The top of his left hand sustained an injury and is bandaged. It will take a bit of time to heal. He's eating well; the hospital food is surprisingly good. He gets his choice of meals off a fairly extensive include Haagen-Dasz ice cream!
2. As mentioned in the post, Donna's injuries are significantly more challenging. She's had a couple of surgeries on her legs. No bones were broken but there are skin and vascular issues her team of doctors are addressing. She also had spinal surgery to repair an unstable vertebrae and that went well. Her doctors are addressing the most serious injuries first and working their way down the extensive list. She's obviously still in ICU; Bruce and Tara get to see her a couple of times a day and have worked out a communication method of "one eye blink for yes, two eye blinks for no". She's also able to squeeze their hands. She's got a breathing tube that is staying in until they finish the major surgeries; apparently it is better to leave it in than take it out and reinsert it after each surgery. Bruce has had nothing but high praise regarding the medical care they are receiving.

Nothing moves fast in this arena. Healing is slow but progressing on both of them. I know people are frustrated that there isn't more news. We'll do the very best we can to keep you updated. I think it is reasonable to expect that they will both be in Denver for at least several months. Bruce obviously won't go back to Canada without Donna and her recovery is going to take a quite a while.

With regard to other issues that people have asked:
1. Yes, they have insurance but that's a slow process and they have financial needs in the meanwhile. Bruce is extremely grateful for the support everyone is showing, as is Tara.
2. We are waiting for the police report and have no information about the semi driver. This part is really out of our hands.
3. We are doing some preliminary exploration of interviewing personal injury lawyers in the area. the meantime, please keep sharing their story, keep the prayers and good wishes coming and let us know if you have other questions.
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$13,335 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 114 people in 7 days
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