The community has come together to raise more than $100,000 for a Red Deer man who suffered a back injury that may cause permanent upper body paralysis.
Graham Lindquist suffered a complete spinal fracture and dislocated C7 vertebrae on Jan. 23 when he jumped into a pool during a vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, with his wife Chandra and some of their friends.
Shortly after the incident, a GoFundMe page was launched to support Lindquist and his family during this time.
Lindquist’s doctors believe he will be confined to a wheelchair indefinitely, the GoFundMe page stated.
“They have also indicated that Graham may suffer permanent upper body paralysis. These medical opinions have been absolutely heartbreaking to Graham’s family and friends,” said the online fundraiser.
As of Monday morning, which is one week after the accident and just a few days after the fundraiser’s launch, more than $113,000 has been raised.
Brad Balon, the fundraiser organizer, said in an update on the GoFundMe page that the generosity people have shown to the Lindquist family is “simply amazing.”
“I think I, along with half of Red Deer, teared up multiple times as we watched our fundraising total grow yesterday,” Saturday’s GoFundMe page update states.
“I would really like to do as much as we can for this family. The demands they will face as they come home will be significant. These fundraising efforts will not take these demands away, but it might make some of them a little easier to cope with.”
According to a text message from Lindquist’s wife Chandra, which was shared in the GoFundMe update, Lindquist has been moved out of the ICU in Cancun.
“Our only major prayer now is to do everything we can to avoid infection and pneumonia,” Chandra’s text message said.
“The longer we can keep him stable the closer we are to getting him back to Canada for a recovery close to all of our friends and family. We can not thank you and everyone else enough. Everyone’s prayers are being heard.”
Lindquist is a coach for the Red Deer U11 Phone Experts Chiefs hockey team.
For more information on the fundraiser, search “Rebuild the Life of Graham Lindquist and Family” on www.gofundme.com.