On Thursday 11 October 2012, the lives of Richard Holland and his family changed forever. Whilst training for an Ironman Race, Rich was hit from behind by a car and sustained multiple life-threatening injuries, including a severe injury to his brain stem, resulting in an immediate coma.
Rich’s condition is now stable but he remains unable to move or talk and requires intensive medical supervision to care for him round the clock. Rich faces an unknown hospitalisation period. After a severe brain injury, particularly to the brain stem, which controls motor function, it is only possible to guess at the recovery time and the likely outcome. All that is certain is that recovery is a slow process and will take months and years, rather than weeks.
Back On Your Bike has been established to assist Rich Holland and his family by raising money to cover his :
- Immediate and future medical care (including neuro surgery, ICU and hospital stays in Dubai & South Africa);
- Intensive neurological and physical rehabilitation in South Africa to provide him with the very best chance of recovery;
- Long-term hospital fees and out-patient care
- Home care: Modified house, custom wheelchair, customised vehicle for transport, hospital bed, hoist and other medical equipment.
- 3 x daily liquid feeds for the future through PEG tube at R150 per day.
- Unforeseen medical and related expenses.
During this tragic time, we turn to you in urgent appeal for your help in donating what you can to help Rich and his family. R100, R1000 - absolutely every bit helps! If you aren’t able to donate financially, but can assist by sharing our story with family and friends, we’d be so grateful.
How is Rich?
Rich received excellent medical care from both Rashid Hospital and The City Hospital in Dubai, UAE. Click here for a full run down of his accident and treatment.
Rich is South Africa born and thus has been repatriated (on 23 Jan 2013), courtesy of AXA insurance, to Cape Town. South Africa. He is currently on a solid and comprehensive out-patient rehabilitation programme at the Vincent Palotti and we are hopeful for the future. He is living at home with his parents and girlfriend Krysia who look after him round the clock. Rich has a few wonderful carers who turn him every 3 hours to prevent bed sores, care for him, deliver his liquid feed (Peg Tube into his stomach) and provide constant support to his physio’s and other specialists who are working hard to give Rich the best chance of recovery of his mobility and speech in time.
Reachable fundraising goals have been set for the various stages of Rich’s recovery. Our first fundraising target of R1,500,000 will cover the most pressing medical expenses and those of the next year or two. These targets will be increased as we learn more about the Rich’s recovery process.
*Rich was living in UAE and therefore does not have full medical cover in South Africa yet. This means that his care and ALL costs currently are being covered by the family, and through your generous donations. The costs are astronomically high and we are already so immensely grateful for all the donations received thus far.
Given the uncertainty of the recovery period, the total fundraising target is far higher. This amount has been estimated based on the first 6 weeks’ treatment, the multiple surgeries he has already undergone as well as future scheduled procedures, physiotherapy (neuro and physical) and the projected amount of rehabilitation treatment required in the long term. This amount was validated using information from the DANA Foundation which calculates the lifetime expense of a coma patient between US$600,000 and US $1,875,000. In Rands, that is upward or R15,000,000.
The road to recovery will the toughest challenge Rich has ever faced. We all know him as a young man in the prime of his life; a fighter of fierce courage and steely determination. We believe that with love, care and support, Rich will get back on his bike and continue to live his life doing the things he loves so much.
Back On Your Bike Trust is officially registered in South Africa; under South African law and signed on 14/12/2012.
To assist Rich with his medical rehab and other related expenses, an independent trust has been set up, controlled by RMB Private Bank, a division of First Rand Bank Ltd in South Africa. RMB Private Bank will act as trustees and administer any donations or contributions made by members of the public to support Richard.
The full beneficiary of the Trust is Richard John Sothern Holland (ID 8211305191087).