Peaches' Recovery Fund - GhostShip
Sam Maxwell, or Peaches as he is known to his many friends, was the last person to leave the Ghost Ship during the disastrous fire of December 2, 2016, when 36 people lost their lives. He was hospitalized hours later, remained in a coma for six weeks, and in the hospital for five months. He is now living with his parents while he works on recovering his health/
Sam's brilliant mind is completely intact. He did not suffer skin burns, but had severe smoke inhalation and was in a medically induced coma for 5 weeks. He has had to re-learn how to breathe, how to swallow, and is now re-learning how to speak and how to control his body so that he can sit up, eat, and eventually walk. He faces a very very long and slow recovery, but he is stubborn and strong and tough and will eventually get back to full health.
We are fortunate that Medi-Cal paid for his hospital bills. A year later though, he must change insurance, and our expenses are rising. He needs help paying for specialized equipment, speech and physical therapy, and for ongoing counseling for emotional trauma. This is where you come in.
We, his parents, are raising money to help pay for the ongoing treatment that Sam may need over the next several months and possibly years. Think of Peaches as your friend, or think of Sam as your son, and help with whatever you can. (You can also send donations directly to his trust account at the Bank of Stockton, 301 E. Miner Avenue, Stockton CA 95202.) Set up a piggy bank or pass the hat at an event and help him out, not just once, but every once in a while...
One of Peaches' many friends first started this crowdfunding site. Her lovely reminscence follows:
"Peaches is a very dear friend to me. I have known him for many years. I met him first as an artist, then got to know him better as a friend that cared about his people and making their lives better. "
"I am so grateful he is still with us."
"Once when i was running in the street I fell and scraped my knee. Peaches was working the front desk at Walden Pond Bookstore (where he manages the rare book room). I needed help and he gave me a bandaid and neosporine. It was a just a skinned knee, but it hurt and it meant a lot to me in a lesson in human kindness."
"When I ran into Peaches on the street, he'd greet me with a warm smile and a hug. His laughter and generous spirit were infectious and no matter how bad your day was, you would soon be laughing with him. Peaches is one of the most caring people I know and is someone you can always turn to for help or advice. He has enriched the lives of so many, strangers and friends alike."
"I want to help Peaches up when he gets out financially. I can't do it alone, i need help from other donors. if you cannot donate money, donate a card, or flowers, anything to welcome him back knowing he is loved by many. I want Peaches to see how much love and support there is out there, as he would have been there for any of us through our darkest and most joyous moments. "
"Ever since i have known him he has been helping people no matter who they are or where they were at. I first met Peaches at a community center where he volunteered. The center was open to the public and anyone came through. On cold days Peaches was there with a smile to lend a helping hand. It would mean a lot for me to return the favor to my friend."
"Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate all the help in supporting our friend who is in need after this tragic event. if you cannot donate money, send him a card, write on his facebook wall, let him know he is loved, as he has loved so heroically in life."
"Peaches will be needing help with his recovery: emotional counseling, speech therapy, rent, etc. Check the updates regularly to see how he is coming along."
"Seeing your friends’ backs for what you later realize was the last time – it hella sucks.
But I know my spirit is as indomitable as all those who perished. I know all the eyes in this room are no strangers to tears.
Let me tell you a little about my injuries – my injuries rather than problems. I ain’t no lawyer, and this is just a summary. I don’t know the extent yet, so the final outcome is subject to change.
So first of all, I suffered carbon monoxide poisoning which affects my speech – that should be obvious. It also affects my ability to balance and multitask. Also my nerves are fried – that affects my being able to walk or use my arms.
At first I thought “Oh this is like being hella drunk and dyslexic.” Then I realized it was like being a marionette with each body part weighing 300 pounds.
It’s like an indefinite jail sentence, but for rehabilitation. No one has told me I can’t get back to normal, so I keep working at it, 5 days a week, with weekends off. I don’t care how long it takes; I’m coming back.
I have a great team. My parents, Bill and Wendi, and my friends. Doctors, physical therapists – I call them physical terrorists – both on land and in the water. Speech, someone to help me with technology, psychologist, massage, barber, and my caregiver who’s more like a trainer. He makes me count my 100 sit-ups a day…
Despite all those injuries I consider myself lucky because I get to say goodbye to my friends and comrades when that was denied to so many people. Those goodbyes are important. So farewell to those who won’t be seeing me again… but to those who still have a role to play, I’ll be seeing you.
Thank you again to everyone who made this event possible. Most importantly, thank you to my partner Jessamyn for being my rock for the past year and a half. "
That's great to see him reunited with his dog. That smile is so good to see on him. I'm glad he's out of the hospital. Let us know how we can still visit if possible. Thanks and tell him I said hi. If he's out of the Bay Area, maybe you can send me an address over a personal message so I can mail the other Saga volumes to him to add to the big one I dropped off. Thanks, again!