Anton Smirnov Surgery & Rehabilitation Fund

My brother, Anton, was on vacation with his family in Samara, Russia celebrating his son's 5th birthday.  Anton, his wife Sasha, and 2 sons, Nikita (13) and Roma (5), were by the Volga river enjoying the sun and water.  Anton was playing with his sons, having some great father and son moments, when he decided to do a somersault into the lake. 

This tragic accident  will forever change Anton and his family's life.  He landed on a shallow spot of the lake, head first, and lay unconscious in the water.  Sasha and the boys thought he was playing a practical joke, but started to worry when he didn't move from the water.  Nikita pulled him out of the water and found him unconscious. 

Anton was rushed to the hospital and into surgery.  He had suffered damage to his spinal cord and nervous system.  His C4, C5, C6, vertebrae were shattered to pieces, he had a compressed spine,  internal bleeding, and wasn't able to breathe on his own.


The initial emergency surgery was to remove the pieces of bone from his shattered vertebrae, stabilize his cervical spinal nerve, remove a piece of his pelvic bone to use as a temporary placeholder for his C4, C5, C6 vertebrae and stop the internal bleeding. 

The first  surgery was a success, however, Anton is still fighting for his life and will need to undergo another surgery very soon.  Anton is still in critical condition and unable to breathe on his own. He is paralyzed from the chest down and  connected to a ventilator for support. He has inflammation around his cervical spinal nerve. 

There is a long road ahead for Anton's recovery.  Currently, he is in the ICU at Pirogov Clinical Hospital Samara.  We are waiting for the inflammation of his body to subside before the spinal cord specialists can perform another surgery on him.   They advised that we are looking at month end for the second surgery to take place.  After that surgery is completed, Anton will be required to stay at this hospital for another 2-3 months to ensure there are no further issues and complications. Once discharged from the hospital, the plans are to transfer him to a rehabilitation centre to continue his recovery.   

This tragic accident has been a nightmare for our family. At the young age of 33, Anton is fighting for his life and recovery will be a long journey, with unpredictable outcomes. Our mom dropped everything and flew out from Vancouver to be with him the same day this happened.  She is still there now, caring for him and lending support to Sasha and the boys.  They are all in a foreign town.  Samara is an 8 hour train ride from their hometown of Orenburg.   They are currently renting an apartment and will stay by Anton's side until he is well enough to complete the next surgery.


Your donations will be used to pay for Anton's next surgery, as well as the vertebrae implants that need to come from Germany.  Surgeries of this caliber will cost about $20,000. 

After the surgery, there will be costs for the following:

- Medication
-  Trauma care such as the use of a ventilator
- Rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, and mental health counseling
- Long-term care, including cost of in-home aides
- Medical equipment such as wheelchairs, and retrofitting home with assistance equipment

Your donations will also ensure Sasha, Nikita and Roma  have the necessities taken care of during Anton's road to recovery.  Sasha is currently travelling back and forth from Samara and Orenburg to work and be by Anton's side as much as she can.  Although Sasha does work, Anton was the main provider for the family.

Sasha and my mom are currently renting an apartment in Samara, and will continue to do so, as long as Anton remains in Samara.  My mom has left her responsibilities in Vancouver to be with Anton, and care for him in a foreign place.   She will not leave Anton's side until he has completed his second, crucial surgery, and relocated.  Her work paid vacation days are limited, after that, she will be on unpaid leave.  Your donations will enable her to stay by her son's side  during a time when love and support is needed most.   

As he has a tube down his throat, Anton is unable to speak, but can communicate through eye-blinking, grunts and facial expressions. 
Anton is in good spirits and even joking with mom and Sasha.


Please send positive energy and thoughts to my dear brother Anton. If you would like to help, and able to contribute, my family and I will be greatly appreciative of your kind support.  If you are unable to donate, please help us by sharing this with others.

Sharing this campaign:

Please share Anton's story to as many people as possible.  Sharing via all social media email, Facebook/Instagram platforms will ensure Anton's story reaches the most people. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support and kindness.


UPDATE 15/01/2020:

It’s been awhile since our last update..During this whole time Anton was in the Intensive Care Unit fighting pneumonia and complications with blood clots. Unfortunately, he had to spend the holidays in the ICU. It was an extremely difficult period for us all.

However, I’m happy to report that Anton is doing much better now. The Pneumonia is gone, his lung (that previously collapsed) has recovered, and according to the latest ultrasound, blood clots have dissolved. Anton regained some sensation up to his pelvic area (from neck down). He is still paralyzed but can feel when pinched, and he can now feel pain from the bed sores and open wounds (previously he couldn’t feel anything). Since Anton is stable, he has been transferred back to a regular room 2 days ago.

Anton is very happy to be out of the ICU and is determined to get better. He set a goal for himself to get better by June, and wants to at least be able to sit in a wheelchair and move his hands so he can return to work. Currently, Anton is working hard on his back support so that he can sit up and not collapse. It’s not an easy task. Each time the medical team sits him up for short periods of time (started with 2-5 min) and have to closely monitor his blood pressure and temperature.

In one of the pictures you will see Anton sitting up in a wheelchair (he is tied for support), that picture was taken yesterday. The nurse took him out on “a ride” around the department and he was so happy. As I’m writing this I can’t stop the tears... I can’t even describe to you how I felt when I saw this picture... seeing him so happy just because he was able to finally look out the window and get out of his room while sitting up. ❤️❤️❤️

We are feeling extremely motivated to continue fighting together with Anton towards full recovery.
In the next few weeks, Anton will be working intensively with therapists at the hospital and we are looking to hire specialists outside of the hospital as well. We’ve contacted several rehabilitation centres to transfer Anton to when he is ready and the costs range from $160-$250 USD/day. Additionally, he will need mobility equipment (such as wheelchair, bath and shower transfer system, air pressure mattress, etc), transfer to rehabilitation centre.

We are appreciative of everyone who has donated thus far and all the funds have been used towards Anton’s surgeries, nursing, day-to-day medical expenses.

We are asking for your support to help spread this campaign to your social circles, in hopes we can help raise more funds for the long road ahead.


Donations (0)

  • Alla Kovalchuk 
    • $10 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 6 d
  • Colin Yeung 
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 8 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 9 d
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Fundraising team (2)

Elena Chau 
Raised $5,670 from 46 donations
Vancouver, BC
Frank Chau 
Team member
Raised $1,325 from 20 donations
This team raised $17,250 from 131 other donations.
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