Do it for Yanzhuo!

By Scott and Kelly

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UPDATE: From Yanzhuo

I want to say thank you so much to everyone for thinking of me and helping me and my family through this horrible situation. I really appreciate all the donations and the continuing support, as well as the encouraging emails and phone calls! It means a lot to have friends who care while I'm fighting to get better!

I want to give everyone an update on my current situation. We moved to a rental house in August. Everything has worked out great, it's definitely a convenient house for us with more space for me to roll around and chase Claire. It's very quiet here and I've been enjoying seeing deer occasionally stopping by and the little creek in the back yard is very peaceful.

My femur bones are healing well. I'm still waiting on the wounds on my left leg to heal thoroughly before I can be fitted for prosthetic legs. The wound is pretty deep and is taking longer than I expected. I just completed twenty Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber treatments at the Athens Regional wound care center this past Monday which seemed to help with the healing process.

In the meantime, I've been doing physical therapy twice a week at a place called Sparc to develop my core muscles and upper body strength. PT is definitely helping me a lot at getting stronger day by day, and I just learned knee walking last week, it feels great to be upright and "walk" again. Waiting on the wounds to heal is very frustrating sometimes, my mind is moving forward more quickly than my body. But I understand I need to be very patient and give my body time to fix everything...

Again, I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for all the well wishes and support over the last few months.


What happened?

On May 17th, 2016, Dr. Yanzhuo Zhang, an Assistant Research Scientist with the University of Georgia, was involved in a serious accident with a large truck. Thankfully, emergency personnel arrived quickly and took her to the hospital where she underwent surgery almost immediately.

Doctors and medical personnel did an excellent job. But, unfortunately, her injuries were extensive: Both legs below the knee required amputation. In addition, due to the severity of the accident, she suffered broken femurs in both legs and had to undergo a second surgery to insert rods that would help stabilize her legs. She is currently in the hospital undergoing treatment and hopefully transitioning soon to a rehab facility and prosthetics fittings. Due to the severity of the trauma and femur fractures, it will be at least 6 weeks before she can have the fittings and leg strength necessary to be fitted for the prosthetics. Until then, she will be working with physical therapy to build arm and upper body strength that will allow her to transition and support her body. After the prosthetic fittings, even more rehabilitation will be necessary to learn how to use them properly and safely.

At the time of the accident, Yanzhuo was about 4 months pregnant with her second child. The child did not survive. Charges are pending against the driver of the vehicle that caused the catastrophic accident. The investigation is ongoing and local newspapers are reporting on the story as it develops.

Here’s what we’re doing about it:

Yanzhuo is an amazing woman with an uplifting spirit. Everyone she meets is touched in a positive way. In fact, those that know her best consider her family. Her daughter is 3 years old and is our Goddaughter. And as a member of our family, we felt compelled to help her in this time of need. Yanzhuo is facing months of rehab and life-long changes. She knows it will be hard work, but true to form has taken to the task with a "can do" attitude. We are creating this campaign to help her and her family move forward.

Please join us in helping Yanzhuo do it!

Over the coming months, Yanzhuo will incur many costs from childcare ($800/month starting soon), unforeseen medical expenses and accessories, and the necessity of achieving a more accessible home for herself and her family. She will have a lifetime of learning to adapt to new and changing equipment. We are asking folks to pitch in and help her achieve her goal of getting strong enough to get fitted for prosthetics and walk as soon as possible. Our goal is to empower her so she can reach HER goals! She has already said she is ready to go swimming and kayaking--no surprise from those that know her!

Wu, Yanzhuo, and Claire

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Team Members

Scott and Kelly