Local motorcyclists are asking for the community's help with donations for a Canadian family staying in Lubbock after an accident.
Karleene Schmidt, 53, was riding her motorcycle across the country with nine other people from Canada to New Orleans. On June 23rd, that trip ended in a horrible accident just five miles outside of Brownfield.
Trying to put on her breaks after a truck stopped suddenly in front of her, Karleene was thrown from her motorcycle and had to be airlifted to UMC. She is currently being kept alive through life support in their surgical intensive care unit.
A Canadian native – Karleene's family and daughters Roxanne Schmidt and Danialle Sagmoen were more than 2,000 miles away. "It was panic. We had no idea whether she was alive or not," said Roxanne. "We were terrified and felt useless because we are so far away from her. It's not like we could just run to the hospital," added Danialle.
With no way to get to their mother's hospital bedside, a British Columbia motorcycle group stepped up and paid for their airfare to Lubbock.
"It didn't look like her at all… it's been tough," said Roxanne. "We know she can hear us because when we call her she opens up her eyes."
Danialle says during the accident one of her mother's main arteries was severed in her arm, keeping blood from flowing to her brain. That caused several mini-strokes, and now doctors believe she has damage to her sight, speech and balance. While their mother is fighting to stay alive, her daughters stay day after day at UMC by her side.
"We've brought them snacks and sodas, so they don't have to eat out of the vending machines," said Joan O'Brien with the Lubbock's Harley Owners Group, HOG. "We want to take their mind off it for a little bit. We can't even fathom how stranded they must feel."
O'Brien says the local HOG has set up a fund at American State Bank to continue helping Karleene's daughters stay in Lubbock.
"Who would think the Canadian HOGs and the American HOGs could unite to help support one family," cried Danialle. "It's amazing, there are no words… it's just amazing. We are so thankful and grateful for what they've done," added Roxanne.
In a rush to get to their mother, Roxanne and Danialle didn't have time to pack a lot of things. Most of their clothes are sweaters and jeans, not suitable for the July heat in Texas. They also have to stay at a hotel when they're not at UMC.
The money donated will help with buying needed items like food, supplies, and help with transportation, hotel and hospital bills.
Donations can be made at any American State Bank.
Roxanne and Danialle say when their mother is stable, she can be transported back home to Canada – but until then she will remain at UMC.
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