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Help With Claire’s US Medical Bills

$34,231 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 559 people in 6 months
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Created May 6, 2018
On Tuesday 22 May Claire was hiking in Joshua Tree National Park when she slipped off a high boulder and fell 15ft onto rocky ground, shattering her pelvis. She couldn’t move, not even to sit up or lie on her side. Her left ankle was dislocated.

She couldn’t get a signal on her phone. And nobody knew she was there. She was housesitting for absent friends so, although she’d mentioned to them she was going on the hike, there was nobody to notice her not returning home. All she could do was lie where she had fallen, scream for help, and try to protect herself as best she could from the desert heat. By Wednesday afternoon she ran out of water so had to drink urine. She fashioned a curtain from a stick and a plastic bag and held it between her face and the scorching sun for hours on end.

On Friday 25 May - four days and three nights of being splayed, broken, on the desert floor - Claire’s travelling friend sensed something was up. They called neighbours to check in on her, and eventually her car was located at the trailhead. A few hours later Claire was rescued by helicopter search crew and taken to Desert Regional Medical Centre.

The hospital staff have done all they can to minimise her pain. Claire says she is blown away by the level of care she is receiving, and praises the doctors and nurses for their amazing care. Of course, the costs do mount up and although Claire has US medical travel insurance, it is limited. Two helicopters, round-the-clock meds and opioids, multiple x-rays and CT scans, surgery by a pelvic specialist and ongoing physical therapy... there are going to be big bills.

We’d be so grateful for any contributions to these medical costs, no matter how small. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Ps: To those asking why this GoFundMe was set up earlier than the date of the accident (and it’s a good question): Claire was previously crowdfunding via friends and family to buy a used car. When she had the accident those same friends and family offered to put that money towards the medical expenses. From there it was shared with the public. (Claire will not be driving for quite some time!)

Funds: as Claire does not have a Canadian bank account, for the purposes of banking, the beneficiary of the funds is Caroline Nitsch, Claire’s close friend and bedside companion who helped set up this campaign. She will be transferring the funds to Claire for medical costs.

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Hello all,

A well-overdue update! I am now in Canada, where I was originally meant to be traversing the TransCanada Highway, but am now traversing a condo in downtown Toronto in a wheelchair. Still, I’m grateful to be here at all. I’ve still got wheels turning.

My lovely mother flew to California to be my non-medical escort back to Toronto, where she is helping take care of me for the next few weeks. I must admit the trip was physically hard on me, and I spent the next two days sleeping it off.
But feeling good today. Last night was the first time since being discharged that I didn’t keep waking up to ice my left foot, which has been electrified with nerve pain - likely due to the still-healing cracks in my sacrum and tailbone.

Pain remains my biggest obstacle.

Thanks to your donations I was able to get physical therapy in Joshua Tree, and cranial therapy here in Toronto (which has incredibly tapped into and helped release some of my trauma). The funds have also gone towards hiring my wheelchair, and purchasing a shower seat, donut butt-cushion, ice-pack socks for my foot, transportation to appointments, and much-needed medication. It also covered my flight back to Canada (thankfully the insurance company DID agree to cover the cost to upgrade me to a flatbed - mind you, there really is no comfortable class of travel when you’ve shattered yer pelvis! )

For those wondering, I am still battling the insurance over my medical costs and am yet to see any bills from the hospital - they say it’s going to take a couple of months at least.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart and my broken bones for all your kindness, generosity and support. I am still in awe at the goodness in people. Xx

PS: this might amuse y’all... My new favourite discovery - mobility scooters at Walmart and grocery stores!
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Good morning,

Please note we have raised the goal target as we now know Claire’s insurance is not going to cover any form of rehab. It’s frustrating and surprising, but it is what it is and we have to look forward now. Claire will be relying on your generous donations to pay for rehabilitation, so thank you so much for your help. Please spread the word and let’s see if we can meet the new target.

Love and gratitude from all of us.
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Hi all,

Every time I receive a donation I write back a thank-you message. But I have just found out that these haven’t been coming through to any of you! This makes me so sad! I am on the case to get it sorted, but wanted to let you know, lest you think me bad mannered...!

I appreciate every single donation and love reading every single message. Thank you.

On a different note, I’m still tangled up in a web of medical insurance. Despite having insurance both in the US and Canada, limitations and policy restrictions on both sides mean I won’t be covered at either end for any sort of rehabilitation (eg. physical and occupational therapy). Therefore, at this point it looks like I’m going to be discharged - despite limited mobility and being unable to walk. I’ll be flown to Canada where I will need to pay for my own rehabilitation. The situation may still change, but this scenario seems most likely.

So thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind donations. These funds will really help me get the treatment I need to get back on my feet.

Claire x
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Every day walking a little bit further! So far the furthest distance I’ve made is 150ft, which is huge progress from a week and a half ago, when I struggled to walk from my bed to the door. It’ll be three months until I can put weight on my left leg, but am pleased to say that, in time, I will make a full recovery.

In other news have upgraded from a bed wash and am able to have an actual shower from time to time (sitting down of course). And it is HEAVENLY. Never taking a shower for granted again!
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$34,231 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 559 people in 6 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Created May 6, 2018
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LM
$420
Lisa Macario
1 month ago
$25
Caspar Addyman
2 months ago
$15
Anonymous
2 months ago
BA
$25
B. Scott Andersen
3 months ago
$20
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3 months ago
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$10
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3 months ago
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$45
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