Help Cooper & his family

Closed Cause page created in the Kiwi Kids category by Antonia Rogers for "Cooper Snowdon"

  • $24,201.50 donated
  • 347 generous donors
  • I should be dead: Cooper Snowdon is defying odds after he broke his neck mountain biking     18 January 2018

    I should be dead: Cooper Snowdon is defying odds after he broke his neck mountain biking

    By: Amy Wiggins

    Please see article for photos.

    Article date: 27 Dec, 2017 5:00am

    This week, the Herald is speaking to Kiwis who have survived illnesses, accidents and crimes that almost killed them, as part of our I Should be Dead series.

    In the week after Cooper Snowdon broke his neck doctors told his family he would either die or be reliant on a ventilator for the rest of his life.

    Nine months later, the tough teen is proving them wrong.

    The 16-year-old was mountain biking with his older brother Geordie at Kowhai Park in Whanganui on March 21 when he went over a jump, landed on his head and broke his neck.

    He was airlifted to Christchurch hospital where he was in a coma for two weeks and spent 69 days on life support.

    Cooper is paralysed from the neck down but can breathe, eat and talk on his own and is making the most of life back home in Whanganui.

    He had already bought a V8 ute for him and his brother to work on since getting home in August, Mum Kim Ostern said.

    Instead of using the hoist to lift the engine, the pair used it to hoist Cooper over the motor so he could instruct Geordie about what he wanted done, Ostern said.

    While Cooper can't move his fingers, he could lift his right arm up to his face and the family were hopeful he might regain some more movement in it to help him become more independent.

    "He's doing so much more than they ever said he would do," she said.

    In hospital he learnt to use a computer mouse which he could operate with his head to allow him to use Facebook and watch Netflix.

    His first Facebook post since the accident came in late May when he used the mouse to type two simple words: "I'm back".

    Back in Whanganui, where he moved to from Tauranga just days before the accident, 20-year-old Geordie is Cooper's carer and tries to make life as normal as possible for him.

    "Like a typical 16-year-old he doesn't like to hang out with his mum," Ostern laughed.

    While there were hard times, Cooper was getting on with life and was already looking to the future.

    He has told his mum he wants to do a mouth painting course.

    Ostern said she was amazed by all the support she and the family had received both through Givealittle, where almost $24,000 was raised, and by the team working with Cooper to help him recover.

    But most of all, Ostern said she was proud of how both her boys were handling the situation and amazed by Cooper's resilience and attitude towards life.

    "I can't even believe anyone can think about living life how he is," she said. "He's really strong. He's an amazing, amazing young character."

    Throughout it all, Cooper had done things his way, Ostern said.

    Doctors did not think he would breathe on his own again, but he did. They thought he would need therapy to learn to speak again, he didn't.

    The family was now working toward giving Cooper as much independence as possible, Ostern said.

    "We're just focusing on doing things he loves to do. We're just so thankful to have Cooper. He's an amazing young guy. He's going to do amazing things. Watch this space.

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  • Coopers new contact details at Burwood Hospital Spinal Unit     05 May 2017

    Cooper and family love hearing from you.

    Contact Details:

    Burwood Hospital Spinal Unit.

    Milner units. Unit 1

    Ward HG. PO Box 4708

    Christchurch 8140.

    Cooper is doing ok, they are still trying to wean him from the ventilator. Cooper has access to the internet now. All operated by his head. Amazing technology.

    As always, thank you all for your continued support!

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  • Update from Cooper’s mum Tuesday 25th April 2017     26 April 2017
    Main image

    Your human kindness and compassion just keeps flowing. Cards, letters, donations, hospital staff, friends and family, words cannot describe what your support means to us. Cooper received a hand written letter from a complete stranger yesterday. The mum and her thirteen year old son, talked about how Coopers story affected them (Your words touched our hearts)

    Words from a stranger:

    "I don't know the future anymore than you do, but I do know that the lovely picture of you and your mum warmed my heart and if you are able to do that to a complete stranger, I can only imagine what you are capable of doing to others, in person. Stay strong, loving and lighting up the room, handsome young man. You remind me a lot of my son and like you he makes people smile and laugh quite a bit to. From a mothers heart, Thank you for your courage and determination to let your mum know you still love her, even though some people never get the courage to tell people they love them their entire lives".

    Cooper has spent 34 long days in Intensive care and although he still requires assistance to breathe he has fought hard and as a result is getting shifted to the Burwood Spinal Unit in Christchurch tomorrow. The doctors are extremely hopeful that Cooper may be able to breathe on his own in the near future. Cooper enjoyed seeing his dad over the weekend and was very excited to see his friends Johnny and Seth yesterday. His sister is due to arrive from Australia tomorrow and his brother Geordie is flying to Christchurch on Friday.

    I am so proud of my sons right now, their courage and determination brings tears to my eyes. As Tony Christensen said "The sky is the limit" Geordie's love for his brother remains as strong and connected as the day Cooper was born.

    I love you both to the moon and back xxx

    Picture is of Me, Geordie and Cooper in 2003

    "The struggle you're in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow"

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  • UPDATE from Cooper’s mum Kim     14 April 2017
    Main image

    UPDATE from Cooper’s mum Kim

    21st March 2017 will remain a day that changed our lives forever. As you know Cooper (16) had an accident doing what he loves, mountain biking, laughing and having fun with his brother Geordie (20).

    I can hear them laughing and when I close my eyes I see their smiles...

    The message from the doctors left us wandering, 'so many questions'. We have been told that Cooper will have permanent paralysis from the neck down "How could this be happening, he’s my little boy" We hold hope close by and believe that "If anyone can Cooper can". His strength and determination is an inspiration.

    Cooper is full of life and passionate about living. Always looking for the next adventure. "How high can I climb", "How fast can I go"? It is hard to comprehend the challenges ahead. Our focus right now is, "one hour at a time, one day at a time".

    24 days in Intensive Care and counting, Cooper is still reliant on the ventilator that is helping him to breathe. He is using his facial expressions and his able to mouth words, this is improving everyday. We are hopeful that he will be moved to the Burwood Spinal Hospital here in Christchurch very soon.

    Your messages and support has warmed our hearts and given him the courage to carry on. I read all your words and tell him everyday how many people care. Family, friends, Hospital staff, fellow mountain bikers and Complete strangers. Your love and support has been amazing.

    Human compassion and kindness at its very best.

    Please keep those messages rolling they are helping him SO much.

    On behalf of my family, THANK YOU ALL. Our words just cannot express enough what your generosity and kindness means to us.

    Where there is darkness, light always appears, each and every one of you is giving us warmth and hope at this time.

    Cooper is looking forward to seeing his dad this weekend and is counting the days until his brother can be by his side. His sisters are messaging everyday.

    If you would like to contact Cooper, please don't hesitate to send him messages. All mail can be sent to:

    Cooper Snowdon

    C/- Kim Ostern

    Ronald McDonald House

    33 Cashel Street 8013

    Christchurch Central

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  • $24,201.50 donated
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This cause page was created on 26 Mar 2017 and closed at 23:59 NZST (UTC +12:00) on 30 Dec 2018.

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