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Candice Stark; 21 and Suddenly Paralyzed

Organized by: Joan Barkovich

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October 3, 2016
October 03, 2016

Candice is awaiting transfer to TIRR Memorial Hermann for intensive rehabilitation. We are hoping the transfer will be conducted by Wednesday, See More


On the evening of September 26, 2016, my beautiful 21 year old niece sustained a C5 spinal cord injury. The events of that evening are best expressed by her boyfriend of five years, Christopher Simon:

"Something Candice regularly did everyday after work was join me and her best friend, SirJean Demont and work out in the gym. After our workout in our apartment gym we went for a swim in our pool to cool down and swim some laps just like we always do. Unfortunately Monday wasn't like every other day. We were all racing back and forth in the pool then Candice and I jumped in at the same time to see who could get to the other side first. I was halfway to the other side when I noticed Candice wasn't right next to me like she always was. I immediately stopped swimming and turned around and when I looked back, I noticed Sir Jean pulling her up out of the water. The first thing I heard from across the pool was her gasp for breath and tell me she couldn't feel anything and that she was unable to move any part of her body at all. I held her in my arms and kept her as still as I could while Sir Jean called 911. We impatiently and frantically waited for what seemed like hours for the ambulance to arrive. As soon as they got there, they jumped in the pool with me and helped us get her onto a life-board and into an ambulance. They were on the way to Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands, but change their route to Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza in downtown Houston due to the severity of her injury. The injury has rendered her paralyzed."

Candice has undergone two surgical procedures performed expertly and successfully by Dr. Mark Prasarn. Candice is preparing for the moved from Memorial Hermann to TIRR Memorial Hermann (One of the best, if not THE best rehabilitation and research centers in the nation. Candice has remained extremely positive throughout this ordeal, and if anyone is going to pull through it will be her. "Every time I see her, she talks about how she can't wait to get back to caring for all of her animals and making artwork. She is the most caring person I know and doesn't deserve what has happened to her, " adds Christopher.

She is blessed to have insurance, but they only cover 80% until the out of pocket maximum is met. With all the surgeries and time in the ICU, she already has a hospital bill over $500,000, and the coverage on the rehab is still unknown. Whatever has to be done to give her the best possible care, is what will be done. She has such amazing parents that would do anything for their daughter because they know she would do the same for them in a heartbeat." Her boyfriend, Christopher adds, "The hardest thing financially is of course the portion of medical bills we have to pay, but it is also the rent of our apartment on a month to month basis until she is able to return home. Also with the hospital being downtown, it's costing $200 a week in gas to go there, because we all go at least once a day, and will continue to as long as necessary. Memorial Herman hospital as well as the rehab facility, charges 13.00 daily for parking, and she will be there for at least 30-90 days. We also know she will need a lot of special equipment in the future and I know Insurance will only cover so much. Since she will not be able to return to work for quite a while, due to the extent of her injuries, we are looking to raise funds to put into a savings account for Candice. This will reduce worry and stress on Candice, so she can concentrate on her recovery."

Everything is one day at a time right now, but we all continue to remain hopeful for the future, and we know the Lord will be with her everyday. On behalf of Candice, know any amount you could give, would be greatly appreciated, there is no amount too small. Even if you are unable to give, a simple prayer for Candice will go a long way.

Additionally, I want to personally thank you in advance for taking the time out of your day to read this request for help. I know her parents, Kevin and Jeanie Stark, and boyfriend, Christopher Simon, and Candice's many friends and family members are prayerfully hopeful, but if you have any words of encouragement I can convey to those closest to Candice please do not hesitate to send them along.

Respectfully, Joan M. M. Barkovich (Candice Stark's Aunt)



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Joan Barkovich

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Donor Comments




Many prayers for Candice and her support crew 2 years ago

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