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It's A Long Walk

Closed Fundraiser page created in the Health category by Sara Syme

$12,815 donated
Given by 133 generous donors in around 8 months

8 determined people walked the 76km from Akaroa to Christchurch for the Canterbury Wespac Air Rescue Helicopter.

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  Canterbury Search & Rescue Event

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Dean's accident, and the mountains he has had to climb for his recovery, his wife Sara, parents Alison and Ian Syme, friends, Hannah Blair, Ben Groters, Owen Mugridge, Colin Spary and Harley James walked the 76km from Akaroa to Christchurch! It took a little over 16 hours! Over 100 more walked parts of route, drove support vehicles and provide refreshments!

Notable achievement by the 12 year old Aisha who walked 49km of the route to honour her very proud parents who have both been airlifted to hospital by the Westpac Helicopter!

The accident:

On 24th January 2015, Dean was scuba diving out at the Akaroa heads when he encountered difficulty. By Gods grace Dean was air lifted by Christchurch hospital where he spent a week in a coma on a breathing ventilator. He had extensive brain damage caused by cerebral gas embolisms which travelled by an unknown PFO hole in his heart. Despite the odds and doctors advice, by Gods grace once again, Dean came out of the coma with mobility issues but no cognitive impairments.

Through the past 12 months of rehabilitation and physio therapy and having to learn to walk all over again, Dean's had a positive attitude and determination, you wouldn't know anything had happened if you met him for the first time. His recovery is still not complete but he is determined to get back to 100%.

The family thank God everyday, for allowing Dean to live when medical professionals expected him not to and so I can share our story.

They thank God for the all people who were there to help Dean in his darkest hour, William Sewell, Mark Butler, Brian Franks and his dive team, Patsy Little of Akaroa Dolphins, Westpac Helicopter, Christchurch hospitals, a&e, Hyperbarics department, CICU, Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Rehabilitation centre, and Insight home care.

Also thank God for Dean's positivity which has not only helped himself and his family through this traumatic event, but spurred others he has met in similar situations.

The walk celebrated Dean's hard work and to thank and honour all of those people and organisations above and to especially acknowledge the privately funded charity of the Westpac helicopters; without that service, it's a really long walk to the hospital!

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Who's involved?

Tax credit Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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This page was created on 10 Aug 2015 and closed on 24 Mar 2016.
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