Seeking financial help for his father after an unfortunate incident on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Blake Ross has launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to raise $50,000 for medical expenses and to bring him back to his home in North Carolina.
Explaining what happened, Blake wrote, “After summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro with my brother on New Year’s Day of this year, [my father] Pat [Ross] suffered a gastrointestinal tear that has left him in critical condition. After receiving emergency surgery in Moshi, Tanzania, my brother has had him transferred to Nairobi, Kenya, where he is currently hospitalized for septic shock in the intensive care unit after a second surgery. My brother, Chaney, remains in Africa with him.
“As his condition is incredibly severe and was entirely unexpected, medical costs have exceeded $20,000 and until now, have not been covered by insurance. Even if insurance can be activated, out-of-network costs will be exorbitant.
“Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro has been a lifelong dream of my dad’s and I couldn’t be more proud that he achieved his goal shortly after his 60th birthday. Pat was largely able to embark on this adventure because of the support of my incredible brother, Chaney. Creating the opportunity for Pat was a mountain in itself and has taken many years of saving and hard work to make happen. As he was in excellent health at his departure, this outcome was not what anyone expected.
“The proceeds of this fundraiser will be used to help cover Pat’s medical costs as well as support the rest of his family as they do what they can to stabilize his condition and bring him home to North Carolina.”
Within three days, the campaign has raised nearly $45,000. Sharing his thoughts about the support, Blake told NBC affiliate WCNC, “It’s just mind-blowing, this community response. It gives us hope, especially my mom, and a lot of peace knowing that the money part won’t be as dire.”
While discussing the key issues in his father’s medical treatments, Blake noted, “At the moment our available cash runs out, care stops being provided. Costs are currently running at approximately $2,500 per day. We now have to estimate that the total cost of medical expenses in Nairobi alone will exceed $35,000 in order to be in a safe place.”
Blake added, “My parents are very private, and I don’t know what my dad would have wanted us to ask for help. But if he can just wake up and see how many people care about him, that will mean the world to him.”
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