On August 19th, 2018 the unthinkable happened. Chris was with a friend in Vernon when he dove into a lake and hit his head on a rock. When he surfaced, he wasn't breathing and it was clear that he needed emergency attention. He was brought to the shore and given CPR for 15 minutes before the ambulance arrived. He was then driven to Kamloops before being air-lifted to VGH.
When he was assessed at VGH the family was told that he has a C4 spinal cord injury.
He has already undergone surgery and it is early days but it has already been determined that Chris is paralyzed. He may or may not regain control of his arms. He has pneumonia and they are still removing traces of lake water from his lungs. His family is obviously distraught, as are his friends and colleagues.
While he is currently in intensive care, Chris's medical team has already told the family that whatever rehabilitation he will need will include a stay of approximately 2 months in hospital in the Spinal Clinic followed by at least 6 months at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. Chris will also need a wheelchair that will need certain adaptations in order for him to move it with his head.
Chris's family does not live in Vancouver (where Chris will be staying at GF Strong) and he also has 9 siblings who do not live in the area. His mother is trying to figure out how to support her son in Vancouver while continuing to parent her younger children in Vernon. The siblings are worried about how they can care for him when they can't afford to move their families to Vancouver.
The money raised for Chris will also go towards supporting his family - who are going through an awful time. They have already spent thousands of dollars to get to Chris and be there for him during this traumatic time. There will be many expenses ahead, including: a wheelchair that will need special adaptations, accommodation for the family as they travel between their homes and Vancouver, helping to adapt a house/care home for Chris and many medical bills.
Everyone is stunned and trying to work through their grief and they know they have a long road ahead of them. Any support you can give the family at this time would be such a great help. Chris and his family are so grateful for anything you can give.
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