Christian Mason's Recovery Fund

For: Christian Mason
Organizer: Rayna McGinnis
of $100,000 goal.
Raised by 10 donors
1% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Christian was injured in a rock climbing fall on August 16th2013. He was hit by rock fall while ascending the North Chimneys on his way to climb the Diamond in Rocky Mountain National Park. He fell 50-60 feet, hitting numerous body parts along the way. He suffered a fractured C2, a crushed T6T7, a fractured scapula, left skull bone and seven broken ribs. He also has a punctured lung. While he was extremely lucky to come away from this incident not paralyzed and without brain damage, he will be unable to work for a while and has a very long recovery ahead of him.

So far he has had his spine fused from t3-t9and had a chest tube. He may also undergo surgery to have his neck fused if it does not heal on its own. We'll know more in 10 more weeks.

Christian does not have medical insurance (He was in the process of finding an affordable health insurance option that didn't exclude rock climbing under the adventure sports clause...) and will need follow up care including xrays and physical therepy. St. Anthony's has taken great care of him but we don't want the care to stop now. His current bill is around $400,000, not including follow up care. 

Christian recently bought his first home and has been the main source of income in our family for the last few years. He is a freelance software engineer and was my main second shooter for photography. He obviously won't be working for a while since he can't sit without pain and his neck is in a c-collar. I am doing a paid internship now and am picking up every photography gig I can get but I also need to be available to take care of him.

Prior to the accident, Christian had been very active in the climbing community. He taught a rock climbing course at the University of Pittsburgh for 3 years, donated his time to the Explorers Club of Pittsburgh and has actively introduced others to the sport. He is a very safety conscious, experienced climber. Here is his story from the perspective of one of his past students:

Money donated will be used to cover necessary expenses that we cant currently afford ( house and car payment, any medical equipment he will need at home ) and Christian's medical expenses (medications, physical therapy, follow up care and hospital bills). Thank you so much!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 8, 2013 by Rayna McGinnis
Today was Christian's second follow up appointment for his neck fracture and thoracic fusion. They took x-rays of both and both are looking good. 

His thoracic fusion: Hasn't moved at all and he can start weening off of his Jewett body brace. He took it off for about a half hour today and his core was shaking. This week he's allowed to have it off for a total or two hours each day. :-)

His C2 facture: Has only moved .07 mm which is good. His surgeon said he was suprised that it hadn't moved any more than that. This is a very good sign for union but we still won't know about that for another 6 weeks. 

His next follow up appointment is on Tuesday, November 19th. We'll know then if he'll need neck surgery or not. We're both keeping our fingers and tossed crossed!

On a side note: We're still waiting to here back from Centura (St. Anthony's) to see if they'll be willing to work with us. Keeping everything crossed for that too. 

Posted on September 24, 2013 by Rayna McGinnis
Christian took a field trip down to Room & Board yesterday. We try to keep him out of the car as much as possible since a small bumper to bumper accident could be dangerous for him but he needs a desk chair and we haven't had much luck ordering them online and trying them out. So we drove down to Cherry Creek and found one that fits him, the only one the sales person thinks we will find him. It's expensive, kind of cool looking and of course, out of stuck. It does fit him well because it is adjustable in the thoracic area and we can make it hug his back almost perfectly. Hopefully it'll show up in the next week or so and Christian will be able to sit semi comfortable, for short periods of time, at a computer. 

I'm kind of jealous. I want a sexy chair... 

Posted on September 19, 2013 by Rayna McGinnis
Sorry, I haven't updated in a while. Life is very hectic, as you can imagine. 

On 9/12 Christian had his trauma follow up and they said everything was good. We found out that Christian actually have TWO skull fractures, they just failed to mention that in the hospital. They're both doing well, he just gets dizzy when he rolls over sometimes. 

Overall, he is doing okay. He can walk for 30-60 minutes most days - slowly of course and I have him on a pretty basic PT program, lifting no more than 5 lbs at this point, usually less. I'm sure it is incredible frustrating to him. He has always been a go hard and heavy or light and fast kind of guy, never a light and slow one. I'm sure right about now he would want to interject something about how the slower you are, the more objective risk.. blah, blah, blah. :-)

Nothing too exciting really, we're taking it one day at a time. He's still in a bit of pain and he still can't do much but in time. We're hoping his Jewett body brace comes off in another 3 weeks and then he will be allowed to bend, lift and twist - at least a little bit. 

Posted on September 10, 2013 by Rayna McGinnis
Christian had his spine and neck follow up appointment. The doc said his back looks good and his neck is "acceptable". He still thinks the neck will heal and we have another follow up appointment in 4 weeks. At that point, he should be able to take off his Jewett brace. 

On the plus, the car ride there went well. The one back was a little more painful but definitely an approvement. 

Please keep the positive thoughts coming!


Posted on September 5, 2013 by Rayna McGinnis
Hey Everyone, 

This is a new donation page for Christian because the other one charged a 7% fee and this one is free. Hopefully this isn't too inconvenient for anyone. 

Starting off from where we left off on the last one...

- Christian is enjoying be home and the cats are enjoying it too. Weenie insists on sitting on his lap everytime he sits down and she tries to lay on his head when he's in bed. We're trying to stop that. Katie is sitting watch, something has his dad cat by the neck. Dusty isn't quite sure about that neck thing either and Sue thinks she can rub it away.

- Christian is quite frustrated because a lot of the things he thought he could get back to are proving to be even harder than expected. Cars are a no for the time being because of all of the bumps and lack of neck stability, our showers are not ideal for shower chairs, even preparing his own meals is painful and difficult since he can't look down. 

- We should have a follow up appointment with a spine surgeon in the next 1-2 weeks. At that appointment they'll take x-rays of his spine and we should know how much longer he needs to wear his Jewett brace. They'll also x-ray his neck to see if it's healing or if it's moved at all. 

- I'm trying to keep Christian as active as possible. He's very tired though so he needs distractions and encouragement. If you're in the area, please consider stopping by to keep him company and to go on short walks with him. The more active he is now, the better his recovery will be. 

Thanks again for all of your continued support. 


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