Samuel (Peaches) Maxwell Ghost Ship Fire Survivor Fund

For: Samuel Maxwell - Peaches, survivor of the Ghost Ship Fire
Oakland, CA
Organizer: Wendi Maxwell
$18,520
of $50,000 goal.
Raised by 235 donors
37% Complete
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The Story

Sam Maxwell - affectionately known as Peaches to his many friends - has been fighting for his life. Please help him.

According to witnesses, Sam was the last person to leave the burning building at the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland on the night of December 2, 2016. He had the presence of mind to call friends and ask to be taken to Highlands Hospital. 36 other people were not as fortunate. He texted his parents, saying I'm alive. I'm out."

Sam was in a medical coma for four weeks, and is still in the critical care unit in the hospital. He avoided skin burns (apparently by crawling on the floor to get out), but suffered serious smoke inhalation and numerous complications. He is facing extensive physical and emotional rehabilitation. He will need considerable support during that journey. He has suffered as serious a loss as anyone affected by this fire who is still living. You can help him become whole again.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on March 23, 2017

Posted on March 23, 2017

Sam's doctor gave him "grounds privileges", so we can take him out of his room and go outside (to the front of the hospital). Sunday was his first excursion to the outside world, even though it was only an hour. It's still tiring and painful sitting in the wheelchair, so part of his daily exercise regimen is sitting in the chair for two hours at a time. (Work those core muscles!) Plus the 3 - 5 hours of therapy he gets every day...

Posted on March 16, 2017

Posted on March 16, 2017

100+ days since the fire. Sam is still in the hospital. His spirit is good; his body is slowly healing...

Posted on March 6, 2017

Posted on March 6, 2017

from Peaches' dad... "Spent the weekend hanging with Sam and his friends at the hospital in Oakland. Sam's speech is improving faster than the rest of him, but he is still making progress on all fronts. He has attained his goal of having all tubes removed from his face, and is closing in on his goal to "speak clearly". His newest self-proclaimed goal is "to walk". That is still a ways off, but he is determined and I have no doubt that he will make it. Walking and getting his hands working properly are his two big goals. His attitude is positive and his sense of humor is good. We had a few good laughs over the weekend. I can't even imagine the terror he must have experienced. First in the fire, and then waking up in a strange place, unable to move or speak, not knowing how much time had elapsed, and not even being able to see clearly until after a few days when someone thought to put his glasses on him. If you'd like to visit him, please contact us first. He's enjoying all the attention from his friends, but also has declared himself a "no media zone". He does not want to speak to any members of the press or media. When he was still in a coma, Wendi and I made the decision to talk to the media about his condition. Now that he can make that decision for himself, we want to abide by his wishes. From my point of view, I thank the gods that we live in a state and country where the best medical care in the world is available. I'm certain the folks at the Bothin Burn Center saved Sam's life on more than one occasion while he was there. I'm also grateful to Medi-Cal for picking up most of the hospital tab, which after three months must run into the millions of dollars. Heartfelt thanks to all who have donated to Sam's various other ongoing expenses. He still has a steep climb ahead of him, but with so many wonderful people pulling for him I am confident he will recover."

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