He was admitted to the intensive care unit of Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista, where he was intubated and received full life support. Hunter was found to have sustained a severe hypoxic brain injury, the definitive cause of which has not been discovered - COVID, seizure disorder, drugs, cardiovascular disease etc have all been ruled out.
What we do know, is that his rehabilitation and future care was in jeopardy if he remained in the United States.
When Hunter was extubated and removed from intensive care we were told his diagnosis was severe hypoxic brain injury encephalopathy. As Hunter is also an Australian citizen, money was raised on this platform and spent thus far to relocate him to a hospital in Australia via urgent medevac transportation. The pandemic made this significantly more difficult and costly. His condition last November was stable enough to place him on a commercial flight with a nurse escort. His loved ones have made great sacrifices to contribute where we could, and this gofundme provided the rest of the costs of the medevac, which included:
AU$100,000 (approx. US72,000) constituting
- Road transport from Hunter’s hospital to the airport
- Passage for Hunter (on a stretcher) and his medical escorts from LAX to Australia (requires booking 3-4 rows of the flight)
- Transport from airport to hospital
- Any quarantine costs incurred by Hunter and his nurses
His current situation
Hunter has now been in hospital for a total of 6 months. He arrived in Sydney via medevac November 14th, 2020 and is currently still at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital there, awaiting placement in a high needs/permanently disabled carer facility. He has limited consciousness and the areas of his brain damage have severely affected his ability to walk and his memory/speech. He is emotionally traumatized and cannot participate in many activities at all. He is bedridden and has very high physical needs and requires many carers for basic functions.
Hunter is permanently disabled and the tragedy and hardships to his quality of life and to the lives of his family are immense. He needs unlimited amounts of support and therapies of every kind. Please help Hunter while we await a permanent home with the government's assistance, the wheels of which move very slowly. We still hold hope that Hunter will find some joy if we can provide loving help and care and the best therapies available. He says " I love you" and " This is horrible". Both are true - it is heartbreaking.
Hunter loved being in nature, creating music, playing with children and a joke well told. He loved his family and his little kitty Ivy, which are all now gone. He was funny, charming and always loving and whether picking a flower for me, or telling me (and anyone who would listen) that I am the best mother in the world, his "way" and his bright smile always warmed my heart. He showed gratitude for everything, was always willing to help and greeted strangers as if they were his best friend. He made the world a better place, and the world loved him for it. Please help him now in this heartbreaking condition he will be in for the rest of his life.
Any amount that can be spared is deeply appreciated. I know times are tough right now, so if you can't afford to donate please, please share this page around. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hunter's Mother.
- Tracy Nielsen
- Roma Ferriter
- Holly Callaway
- Ritamba Allen
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