Hunter's urgent medevac to Australia

On the evening of 17 September, my kind, gentle 33 year old son Hunter Kristian Smith was found unconscious at his home in San Diego, California. 

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 an anoxic 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 is in jeopardy if he remains in the United States. 

His current situation

Hunter has since been extubated and does not need supplemental oxygen. He’s been removed from intensive care, and is now on a regular hospital floor awaiting nursing home placement within the next couple of days. We have been told his diagnosis will be anoxic brain injury encephalopathy. His mental status at present is, at best, minimally conscious.

Intensive rehabilitation efforts in this stage of his injury are paramount for an optimal outcome and his best chances of recovery.  We have been told that the services of physical and occupational therapy will most likely be limited to only a few days (two weeks at best) if he remains in the US, after which he will receive basic care called custodial care, which consists of hourly checks by the nursing staff. 

Getting him to Australia

We’re currently arranging for Hunter, as an Australian citizen, to be relocated to a hospital here where he can receive more attentive care and thorough rehabilitative treatment (at a fraction of the US cost). Though the pandemic has made this significantly more difficult and costly, we’ve been told that Hunter is an excellent candidate for medevac due to his proximity to a major transport hub (one direct flight from LAX to Sydney or Brisbane) and his condition being stable enough to place him on a commercial flight with a nurse escort.

It’s a long journey ahead, but for now, getting him here safely and quickly is our first priority. His loved ones are making great sacrifices to contribute where we can, but we urgently and humbly request assistance covering the costs of the medevac.

The cost

We’ve been told to expect costs of around AU$100,000 (approx. US72,000). This will cover:

- 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

Hunter loves being in nature, creating music, playing with children and a joke well told.   He loves his family and his little kitty Ivy. He is 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 warm my heart. He shows gratitude for everything, is 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.

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.



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Concetta Antico 
Suffolk Park NSW
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