Unfortunately I was told last night that 18 year old Chris Obrien, a former bowman
on Moondance, suffered a serious neck injury this week while surfing on Block Island. There are some details of the incident below. He was airlifted to the mainland and has gone through surgery. At this point it apperars he has regained some movement above the waist.
Chris is a terrific, bright young man and started his big boat career on Moondance as a 14-15 year old. Many, many young people cycled through our program with my own kids over the years, Chris is without doubt one of the best in every way. He is just a great kid. He has a very big challenge ahead of him and needs our prayers.
It's very early days, but a Facebook pages has just been established to follow his progress and cheer him on. Go on to Facebook and search 'Chris O'Brien's Determination Page'
There is a fund being established to help the family with some out of pocket expenses. If you are interested send me a PM and I will forward the contact information for the person in charge of that. They are going to take donations up until Aug 21. Below is the message that was sent out.
By now most of you have heard of the terrible accident that our good friend Chris O'Brien was involved in last week. Chris was in Block Island, miss judged a wave and broke the fifth vertebrae and damaged the fourth. Yesterday, Tuesday at 6:30pm he had the surgery at Rhode Island Hospital to replace the fifth vertebrae with titanium. The fourth vertebrae is re paring. The good news is he came out of recovery, is breathing on his own and no longer has to wear the weighty Halo on his torso. Chris will have a neck brace this will make it easier for him to move, and enable him to begin intensive therapy Within a few days after the surgery, maybe by Friday, he will be moved to a rehab hospital.
Many of you have asked us how you can help the O’Brien family. After thinking a bit about this, we’ve decided to accept donations . At this point, the best things we can do are pray and send money. We will put everything together onto one VISA card as a group gift. We will list the names of all the participating families in alphabetical order on a card. This way they can use our gift for meals, gas, hotels, or for whatever they need. Any
amount would be extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.
Good luck Chris
(College of Charleston Class of 2014).
Looking forward to your full recovery!
Chris on the bow of Moondance at the start of the 2009 Vineyard Race