Help Jake Recover

Jake’s life took a dramatic turn on February 3rd, 2018 when he suffered a massive stroke in his brainstem. Jake suffered for more than a day with a blood clot cutting off the oxygen supply to his brain as he awaited life-saving surgery. It is a miracle that he is alive. The challenges did not end there, however, as he was unconscious for many weeks before waking up completely paralyzed. When Jake was finally able to open his eyes, he was diagnosed with Locked-in Syndrome - a condition in which a person is conscious, can think and reason, but has paralysis of all voluntary muscles except those that control the eyes. All of a sudden, he found himself fully aware but entirely unable to eat, move, or speak. At the age of 23, Jake went from being a young, active, and healthy man to being confined in a hospital bed with feeding and breathing tubes.

Since the stroke, Jake has been receiving around-the-clock care in the hospital from family, friends, and the medical team. Every single day for the past year Jake’s father has been at his bedside in 12-hour daytime shifts in order to help with nursing care. Meanwhile, Jake’s mother, girlfriend, sister, and friends have been caring for Jake throughout the nighttime. All of them are balancing caregiver roles with full-time employment or university course loads. Everyone loves Jake very much and is confident in Jake’s strength and ability to recover.

A Little About Jake
If you have met Jake, you already know that he is a kind, charismatic, and bright individual with a positive outlook on life. He brings smiles to the faces of everyone he meets. We seldom meet people in life with an authentic sunny disposition, but Jake is the real deal. Before the stroke, Jake led an active lifestyle and played for his university’s volleyball team. Health is very important to him and he made it a priority to eat right and exercise regularly. Jake also graduated top of his undergraduate class at the University of Toronto and planned on becoming a doctor to advocate for the health of the most vulnerable in his community. He was in the middle of completing a Master’s degree in epidemiology at the time of his stroke.

What Jake Needs

Jake’s spirit is strong and he is eager to recover. He has already regained some functions of the muscles in his eyes, mouth, fingers, toes, wrist, and neck, and has fully retained his cognitive abilities. Through recovery of finger movements in his right hand, Jake has learned to communicate with loved ones using Morse code. Despite trying his hardest, however, Jake has not qualified for any rehabilitation programs in Toronto. It is now more than a year since his stroke. Deeply concerned about the passing of time and the delay in receiving rehabilitation, Jake’s parents searched for other options. Fortunately, Jake was accepted for rehabilitation therapy at a specialty hospital in China and was transferred there on January 9th 2019. There, he is receiving therapy 7 days a week, and he feels very encouraged. Within the first two weeks, he has already made significant improvements. He is now able to bend his right arm at the elbow and breathe without a tracheostomy. All expenses for Jake’s rehab in China are being paid for out-of-pocket and will not be covered by the Ontario health system.

How You Can Help

We need your support to help Jake throughout his recovery. Our campaign goal is $200,000 and all funds raised will be received by Jun Guan (Jake's mother) on behalf of Jake, and will go towards:

o Medical transport to China ($27,750)
o Jake’s hospital room ($6,000 per month)
o Physiotherapy
o Electrical stimulation therapy
o Acupuncture
o Herbal medicine
o Medication and supplies
o 24/7 Nursing care
o Assistive/communication devices

Thank you for reading Jake’s story and getting to know him if you haven’t met him already. Jake is just a young man who desperately wishes to return to his life. Please help Jake recover by donating any amount, big or small, and sharing Jake’s story. Your support is greatly appreciated.


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  • Enoch Lam 
    • $100 
    • 8 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 23 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 (Offline)
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 (Offline)
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Organizer and beneficiary

Jessie Zhang 
Scarborough, ON
Jun Guan 
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