Help Bring R.C. Home to Monterey

$200,000 goal

Campaign created 7 months ago
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On Thursday, June 22, I picked up my parents in Rome for their first visit to see us after six months. It was their 43rd wedding anniversary and we were all excited for the reunion. We attended a Papal Audience, where their youngest granddaughter was kissed and blessed by Pope Francis. We were enjoying our own “Grand Tour of Italy” - visiting ruins in Capua, the most beautiful churches in Rome, strolling through Positano, and visiting the ancient Greek colony of Paestum. But, most importantly, my Dad was doing what he loved most – teaching his grandchildren.

On Monday, July 10, 2017, my Dad, R.C. Schwertfeger, experienced a near-drowning while swimming with his grandchildren and wife, Mimi. My Mom pulled him from the water and fellow swimmers began attempts to resuscitate him on the pool deck.  He was taken to the closest ER, where they were able to regain a heartbeat. Upon ventilating R.C. and placing him on life support, he was transferred to a local, private Italian hospital and placed in the ICU.

EEG tests and CT scans have indicated that he has suffered massive brain damage. His brainstem is functioning to some small degree. However, he remains in an irreversible vegetative state.  Italian protocol is to move him to a “department” for other patients in this condition and keep him there indefinitely. We do not know for how long we can postpone this action. WE MUST BRING MY DAD HOME NOW!

We are living a nightmare that we pray no one else has to endure. To witness a strong, healthy, vibrant, intelligent man reduced to this is heartbreaking beyond words. Adding to the pain is the difficulty in getting him home.

For R.C. to return to California, to his home, requires an international flight in an air ambulance. An air ambulance must be paid for in full before they will even begin to coordinate with the Italian hospital and arrange the flight and any associated needs. To date, we have been quoted a minimum $137,000 for the flight and crew that could safely transport him from Italy to a hospital in Monterey.

I humbly ask that, if you are able, please help us take my Dad home to receive the care and comfort we know he would want and can receive in the States. And, please, continue to pray for him, for my mom and our family as we carry this Cross.


Love and prayers,
Marisa Schwertfeger Merkle

Jesus, we trust in You!

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To our dear family, friends and supporters,

Thank you again for the prayers, love and support you have blessed us with over the past few weeks.

We welcome you to celebrate R.C. Schwertfeger's life.

Vigil and Funeral Mass

Vigil: Tuesday, 8 August, 5:30-7:30 pm
Ord Military Chapel
4280 General Jim Moore Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955

Funeral Mass: Wednesday, 9 August, 11:00am
Ord Military Chapel
4280 General Jim Moore Blvd, Seaside, CA 93955

Please continue to lift R.C. in prayer.

“Jesus, we trust in You!”
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It is with profound sadness and pain that I inform you of the death of my father, R.C. Schwertfeger.

My mother, husband, children and I were summoned to the hospital yesterday morning, as it became clear that Dad’s heart was beginning to fail. Our family was blessed to share in his last moments upon this earth to express our love and gratitude for everything he did to help us become the people we are today. As we were leaving the ICU, the department head told us to remain at the hospital as it appeared his passing was imminent. Shortly thereafter, we were told that our beloved father, husband, and Agape had died. His heart, overflowing with love for so many, was finally able to enjoy the rest that has eluded him these last two weeks.

The outpouring of love, support and prayers from those near and far, family, friends and strangers, has been a source of strength and comfort for which we will forever be grateful and treasure. It has truly been a beacon during our darkest days.

We thank you and we ask that you continue to hold R.C. in prayer. We also ask that you continue to hold us in prayer during the days ahead as we prepare to bring R.C. home.

“Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen”

Information regarding R.C.’s funeral mass will be shared at a later date. We are working with GoFundMe to issue complete refunds of all of your generous donations.

“Jesus, we trust in You!”
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The continued outpouring of prayers, love, support and generosity is truly overwhelming. Thank you for helping us as we try to bring R.C. home!

May God bless you all.

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$200,000 goal

Campaign created 7 months ago
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