We are writing to you from the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver where John was transferred to last week. It is hard to believe it has been over 2 months since our lives changed course when John had a low speed motorcycle crash during a week-long camping trip across Vancouver Island. John went off the road near Kathleen Lake as he was headed to Port Alice. An airlift by ambulance brought John to Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). The outcome of this accident has unfortunately been disproportionate to the event, with the result being paralysis at “C3” (in his neck). Even after much progress in rehab, John still has very limited use of his arms and legs.
Now that we are here, the rehab team have started to discuss goals for life after the hospital for us. Things will move fast and our goals are clear – getting John home to be with our girls Ila and Maya and for him to continue to make a contribution through meaningful work and volunteering.
We want to express our gratitude to everyone who continues to support us through the recovery process. We feel the love and support every day through your messages and thoughts. Thank you all! It is immensely helpful.
All of your offers for help have been so appreciated and to this point there has not always been a lot of practical things where we needed help, particularly given that many of you are located around the world.
The doctors, the health care team and peer support members here at Vancouver General and the GF Strong Rehab Centre have detailed what will be required for John to live at home safely with the family. It is going to take a lot of rehab work and it is going to take a lot of specialized equipment and supplies to do this successfully. The requirements are significant and must stretch over many years including equipment, home renovations and ongoing home care and unfortunately the funds available through insurance are limited. We have been encouraged to start a fundraising effort to assist with acquiring the equipment and home modifications needed for the next phase of life - John 2.0.
We have already identified the highest priority items needed for John to get home. The Phase 1 “minimum viable product” (a software joke) includes items such as a bed, ventilator, automatic doors, a lift for moving John from bed to chair, a van to get around, a ramp to enter the house and of course, a power wheelchair. Phase 2 would include some longer-term home renovations such as accessible bathroom, ceiling lift and an outdoor covered chair lift. We won’t know what those requirements are until we have more time in rehab and get home to see how the house needs to be adapted.
The initial cost estimates for Phase 1 equipment could reach close to $200,000:
Automatic doors $16-20K
Manual lift $4K
Power wheelchair $40-50K
Total $141k - $186k
There will be other adaptive equipment we will likely need to support John at work as well, which we will discover in time.
We have a Caring Bridge website that provides progress updates, some fun photos and even a video of John driving his wheelchair! Please let us know if you would like to be included on that website if you are not already. We can add your email to send out an invitation.
We are launching a Go Fund Me campaign to help support this goal - we appreciate any contribution you can make if you are able. This is a new experience for us and it is difficult to ask you for financial support but please know it will make a huge difference in helping John get back home. If you prefer, your donation can be made anonymously.
Most importantly we continue to ask people to send out thoughts of kindness and gratitude to the world, which is the best support you can give. Thank you all again for your continued love and support.
John and Manjit
- Lisa Mackie
- Jared and Christina Brokop
- Janice E Mackie
Organizer and beneficiary
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