Thank you for taking the time to investigate how you can help the Tyler Smith Family further.
The CDC has officially confirmed that Tyler has West Nile Virus. The severity of his symptoms has been rare, even for the diagnosis. What this family has been through and what is yet to come will require a great amount of financial support from local and extended communities. We appreciate you taking the time to understand more about their situation.
Events that led to this point:
Around the middle of August, Tyler started experiencing some flu-like symptoms that eventually landed him in the local ER on August 20th. His entry-level condition was deemed kidney failure, but as the doctors proceeded to treat his condition, there was a cascade of events, including multiple organ/system failures that placed him on a ventilator in the ICU. While in the ICU, he experienced various new diagnoses, including meningitis and paralysis from the neck down. He eventually entered a coma state. On Aug 27th, he was transferred to Cedars Sinai in central Los Angeles, where they continued to run various tests to understand what might be going on with Tyler’s body. On September 2, they received confirmation from the CDC about the WNV diagnosis.
The current course of action:
Tyler is awake! He has finally come out of his coma state and is experiencing the ability to reciprocally communicate by mouthing sentences (thanks to his tracheostomy). He is still mostly paralyzed and receiving support for some of his major systems, but he has shown great mental resilience after all he has been through. They plan to move him to an in-patient facility for monitoring as we wait to see if he experiences a trajectory of recovery. This process will take time, anything from weeks to months. (See journal posts through the CaringBridge link below for further details and status updates on Tyler's current condition.)
About the Smith family:
Tyler and Jen have called Los Angeles home since 2007. Tyler is a long-time film critic and script consultant who enjoys hosting two long-running podcasts on film criticism and review. His love for the art of filmmaking encouraged a transition to teaching in 2018, where he teaches Film History, World Cinema, and Film Aesthetics on a collegiate level. Jenny is an established wedding photographer and owns her own photography company with a small, tight-knit crew. In 2020, Tyler and Jen expanded their family by adopting their twin sons, Dashiell and Jasper. Tyler has been a pillar of his community, weaving his wisdom in and out of lives for years. His voice has brought so much gravity to so many lives.
How you can help: Pray and Give
As you can imagine, going through this kind of event creates so much need on many levels. The financial burden will be heavy when this is all said and done. There has been a tremendous amount of medical care necessary that is not covered by their insurance, not to mention the peripheral costs that pop up during a time like this (loss of work, parking fees for hospital stays, away from home food expenses, extra nanny care so family can be at the hospital or support each other…).
If you feel inclined, we invite you to prayerfully consider how you might support this family in need. First and foremost, we believe in the power of prayer, so please pray for Tyler, Jen, the twins, and the extended family and friends being impacted during this time. Next, we are raising funds to help relieve the financial burden as things continue to unfold. There are so many unknowns right now. As a community, let’s continue to support in the ways that we are able.
You can visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tylerandjennifersmith to stay up to date on Tyler's health journey.