Stephen Charest Recovery Fund

$95,574 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 1,076 people in 5 months
Created December 30, 2018
Friends & Family of Stephen Charest
on behalf of Andrea Charest
35749104_1546179097975752_r.jpeg35749104_1546179215965406_r.jpegOn Thursday, Dec. 27th Stephen was involved in an accident in which he fell 40+ feet while ice climbing/guiding in Smugglers Notch, Vermont, and suffered major traumatic head injuries as well as many others. He was airlifted from Smugglers Notch and remains in critical condition at UVM Medical Center. It is certain that Steve’s road to recovery will be long and arduous, with multiple surgeries and PT along his road back.

From climber and friend Taylor Luneau:

"Stephen Charest is a mentor to many, an educator, a lover of mountains and especially snow. His passion and excitement for outdoor pursuits is contagious and more than that, his love of sharing these pursuits with others is inspiring.

I’ve been fortunate to call Steve a mentor and importantly, a friend. Steve is of course so much more: a father, a husband, a son, a small business owner....I’ve always looked to he and Andrea as cornerstones of the Vermont climbing community.  Petra Cliffs Climbing Center & Mountaineering School has been a home for me and so many others.

I owe a lot to Steve for opening my eyes to the world of guiding, for investing time in my development as a climber and skier, and for giving me the tools to manage life’s hurdles. Thank you, Steve, for everything that you do."

While he is a fighter, he and his family need our endless support at this time. Steve has mentored, encouraged, instructed and inspired so many climbers, skiers, paddlers & outdoor-enthusiasts young and old that the time has come for us all to show our support. We hope that you'll help us raise funds that help to support Steve, Andrea and their young daughter McKinley through what we know will be an incredibly difficult road to recovery. Any financial stress we can relieve through this campaign will allow them to focus their attention on where it should be - on healing.

Thank you for any and all support you are able to give at this time.

* Updates on his condition will be made in time, as the family sees fit and as they become available.
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Good news....Steve's home!

He made the move yesterday morning and it couldn't have been a better Valentine's Day gift for Andrea, McKinley and Skadi (and an early birthday present for Andrea too!).

While there is still a lengthy road forward for recovery he is glad to be home among his family. The coming many months of outpatient PT and OT will continue to make him stronger every day. He's fought to get this strong, post the accident, to get out of the Hospital. Now he'll continue to work hard towards continued improvement every day while being able to relax a bit more from home.
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Steve moved to rehab today !! He is settling in and will start with PT and OT tomorrow. He played with McKinley alone for a little while (I spied through the door!) and he fed her dinner in the shared dining room. We have so much gratitude for all of the efforts of Steve’s nurses and doctors to get him here, and to all of you for being with him each step of the way . Onward and upward.
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Super Bowl Sunday and Steve was ready for the game to start!

It's been a little over a month now that Steve has been in the Hospital. And while he is definitely ready to get outta there and enjoy time outside recreating in the season he loves most, we all know that progress takes time.

A couple of us sat with Steve this evening and played Yahtzee to pass the time while we waited for kickoff. We chatted about the typical stuff; skiing, climbing, cars, etc. and obviously rooted for the Pats to score and win once the game got underway.

While he obviously would have loved to be celebrating the game at home surrounded by friends and family this evening, as he is not psyched to still be in the hospital and ready to get healthy and leave, he is forever grateful to each and everyone of you for the support you've shown him, Andrea, McKinley and his family through this difficult and tricky time.

I don't think I'd be to far off to say that he is 'overcome with heartwarming emotion' by the immense support everyone has shown, and will continue to show, as a result of the unfortunate event that took place in late December.

So, from Steve, ...a huge..." THANK YOU!" to all of you.
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A quick update! <-- ok edit, not so quick. A lot happens every day in the hospital. It has been hard to be away and miss things, i.e. it has been hard to be at work. THANK YOU to the hard working crew at Petra Cliffs and to our team running the Petra expansion project. We have a site visit with prospective contractors tomorrow- very exciting. I'm also excited for this weekend's ice climbing festival, the Smuggs Ice Bash, which Petra Cliffs manages, and I'll be able to be around a bit for it thanks to my parents and our awesome nanny. If you're in the area check out smuggsicebash.com!

Thank you all for your continued support. I'm behind on writing individual thank yous to our donors but please know that they are coming and I appreciate you all so much. With love - Andrea, McKinley & Stephen

----
Steve had a good day today. He had been transferred back into the ICU yesterday because his sodium levels were well outside a normal range and he was very noticeably more confused, fatigued, and uncomfortable. This condition is called diabetes insipidus and is likely due to damage to his pituitary gland (not uncommon in head trauma/occipital fracture). His other hormones are being regulated well so there’s hope this will correct itself in time. The floor he was on wasn’t able to manage the frequency of his blood draws to check his levels, so ICU was the answer, and continued DDAVP/Desmopressin. I love all of the RNs down there, so I was not upset!

Steve had a rough time with the transition to ICU but seemed to get good sleep last night and was fresh today. He had good conversations with his Aunt and Uncle, used his walker around the entire SICU floor, growled like bears with McKinley, played War with a Wonder Woman card deck with me, and joked with his trauma care team. He will be transferred back out as soon as a room is available.

Steve's biggest questions right now are WHEN? What's the plan, what's the timeline?!

Q: When do I get to have the trach tube out?
A: After an angiogram of the blood vessels of his head on Thursday, ruling out any procedure (angioplasty of the possibly damaged carotid artery) for which he would need to be on a ventilator.

Q: When do I get to take off these damn casts?!
A: The orthopedic team will be meeting about his wrist tomorrow morning to decide whether to put on a cast and immobilize or put on a removable brace and begin mobility exercises. His ankle will be non weight bearing for 12 weeks total- so 10 more weeks. Can't wait until he can get a knee scooter.

Q: When do I get to go to rehab?
A: When only 1 set of labs for sodium levels need to be drawn (next few days?) and after the angiogram. So as early as Friday but no definite date yet.

Q: When do I get to go home?
A: This is the tough one and the answers will unfold slowly as each of the previous questions resolve. Steve will get a lot of good therapies in rehab that I can't provide at home, and transporting to outpatient rehab for the frequency he'll need would be ridiculous. We are being patient, but this is my biggest question too. McKinley, Skadi and I miss Steve at home.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. <3
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$95,574 of $75,000 goal

Raised by 1,076 people in 5 months
Created December 30, 2018
Friends & Family of Stephen Charest
on behalf of Andrea Charest
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