Family tries to help Houstonian hurt in Costa Rica

November 20, 2010 5:15:08 AM PST
An injured Houstonian is in a Costa Rica hospital. He was seriously hurt during a vacation excursion there and now doesn't have the means to be transported back in a safe way. Now his community is coming together to change that. It's been a tough month for Chad Swenson and his family. Half of his loved ones have spent time in Costa Rica at his bedside, while the other half remained in the Houston area, hoping to raise enough money and he'll get well enough to get transported back to the Bayou City.

On Friday night, music, candlelight and prayer brought together friends and family of Swenson, who is fighting for his life in Costa Rica.

"This is Day 25, Day 25, of Chad still being unconscious," Swenson's brother, Jared, said. "We're continuing to pray and continue to hope for the best and hopefully, we'll get him to Houston soon."

Swenson and his wife Eden were on the second day of a long overdue vacation when a tree limb fell on him during a white water rafting trip. Since then, he's had four surgeries and remains in intensive care in Costa Rica.

"The way this has brought us all closer together is just amazing," Matt Swinger said.

Singer is Swenson's best friend, and he just returned from his bedside.

"It's hard to see him that way, it's hard to see him, but that's our boy; that's our best friend. We know what a fighter he is. We know how strong he is. And he would do this for me," Singer said.

While Swenson fights to improve, friends and family have set up a website in order to raise money for his recovery. They are writing on a support wall and selling T-shirts.

At the candlelight vigil, they leaned on each other.

Lea Swenson is his sister.

"We're trying to stay strong for Chad," she said. "It's the support team that's helping us get through that."

The goal now is to get Swenson stable enough so an air ambulance can transport him back to Houston, hopefully by Thanksgiving.

The air ambulance transportation he needs isn't covered by his insurance, which is why the family is set up the account on his website. However, family members say they're still not even sure when Swenson will be stable enough to be transported back to Houston. They're hoping it happens as soon as possible.

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