Although Bryan Oakley remains on full ventilation following abdominal surgery, there are some encouraging signs, said Katie Hannah, a close friend of the Saanich family.
“Bryan has been moved from intensive care to the spinal unit,” Hannah said from the ferry on the way to Vancouver, where Oakley was moved following a work-related accident in Metchosin on July 26 that left him paralyzed from the neck down. “Just moving out of the ICU is a very positive thing.”
In addition, Oakley sat up for two hours on Wednesday, which is more much-needed positive news, Hannah noted.
Although the abdominal surgery on Aug. 5 caused by complications has Oakley back on full ventilation, Hannah said she’s hopeful that will change soon.
“Just getting off the ventilator and back to breathing on his own would be huge,” said the longtime family friend of Oakley’s and a close friend of his fiancee, Caitlin Ross. The couple, who have a two-year-old son named Ryder, planned to marry later this year.
“They’re doing OK considering what they’re facing,” Hannah said. “They have a great family and support and are hanging in as best they can. Caitlin and the family are just so grateful for all the support and donations from the community.”
She said the doctors, nurses, staff and everyone involved with Oakley’s care at Vancouver General Hospital have been extremely supportive as well.
Hannah organized a GoFundMe campaign to assist the family through this difficult time that has raised more than $48,000 so far.
“We’re planning more fundraising events soon as well,” she said.
Hannah encourages people who would like to follow Oakley’s progress to check out Bryan’s Road to Recovery on Facebook for regular updates.
Anyone who would like to make a donation should visit gofundme.com/2gv5g6s.