Online donors back brothers paralyzed in separate accidents

Online donations are pouring in for two brothers from Kalamazoo who were paralyzed in accidents eight months apart.

As of Monday afternoon, an account on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe had raised over $52,500 to help pay for expenses for Adam and Matt Chaffee. More than 700 people have donated money, with help coming from as far England and Scotland.

“It’s definitely helping us be more positive about the situation,” Matt Chaffee said of the outpouring of donations and support. “Because of this, Adam and I are probably going to be able to stay together and be independent.”

Eight months ago, Matt Chaffee was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, and his brother cared for him. Adam Chaffee, a senior at Western Michigan University, injured his spinal cord in a swimming accident late last month. He’s in stable condition at Bronson Methodist Hospital, but is currently considered a tetraplegic, meaning he has completely lost the use of his limbs and torso.

After Matt Chaffee’s accident left him a paraplegic, he moved into his brother’s Kalamazoo apartment so he could receive help with everyday tasks. Both he and Adam hope to stay together and continue living independently.

“Because of this we think it’s a real possibility,” Matt Chaffee said. “It’s definitely relieving a lot of financial worries. There’s so many costs” with adaptive equipment and visits to doctors and specialists.

The brothers plan to use the donations to purchase a mobility van, which isn’t covered by insurance, and voice recognition software, among other medical expenses.

Adam Chafee has begun to feel sensation on the top of his hand and nerve pain, which could be a sign of sensation below his collarbone returning, Matt Chafee said.  (AP)

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