Help Zach Fight Back!
Organized by: Brianna White-Gaynor
Zach is making his way back!
November 07, 2016
EVENT DATE Aug 19, 2016
What happened: On Friday, August 19th, Zach fell asleep on his couch after having typical “stomach-bug” symptoms the preceeding day. When he did not wake up the following morning, Zach was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital and within a few hours, airlifted to Fairfax Inova Hospital for more specialized care. Zach proceeded to spend 18 days between neuro-intensive and intermediate care units. The doctors determined that Zach was likely experiencing encephalitis, or inflammation, of the thalamus in his brain. Zach has since been transported to an acute rehabilitation hospital where he continues to receive intense physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Upon his transition home, he will continue intense, out-patient therapy at the rehabilitation hospital, and require around-the-clock supervision at home.
The cause: Specialists believe a viral infection is the most likely culprit for this rare, stroke-like traumatic brain injury; the exact etiology will likely never be determined.
The outlook: For those of you who have not had the fortune of knowing Zach, he is an extremely positive, outgoing, fun-loving, and healthy 34-year-old whom inspires others. He deeply loves his family and chosen profession. While recovering speech, mobility and memory, Zach’s personality has not wavered. He has demonstrated optimism and determination. We are praying that with time, support from his family and friends, and continued therapy, Zach will reach a full recovery.
The problem: As you can imagine, Zach and his family have been utterly blindsided by this exceptionally rare illness. Zach’s full recovery is the priority; however, emergency medical and rehab bills and the uncertainty of future medical costs loom large. Zach’s two-minute emergency helicopter transport alone totaled over $27,000 (that’s $225 per second!). That doesn’t begin to cover his inpatient tests and consults with neurologists, hematologists, infectious disease specialists and hospitalists in all three medical facilities, nor the long road of rehab ahead. While insurance helps a great deal, much of the costs are already considered to be out-of-network or out-of-pocket. These financial challenges will be very difficult to this young family. They need our help…
How you can help: We have set an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 for Zach and his family to help cover a portion of the costs that will accrue due to this rare illness. Any donation to Zach and his family will go a very a long way. Every donation is extremely appreciated, and will help Zach and his family focus on recovery. The emotional outpouring of support from family, friends, and colleagues has been invaluable to Zach, Ashley and little Landon thus far. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your kind words, expressions of hope, and any donations you are able to make. Now let’s reach our goal. Help Zach Fight Back!