Donations and prayers are pouring in for a New Minas man in serious condition in a Thai hospital.
Mark Schofield moved to Phuket, Thailand, to teach junior high age students in August. He was injured Sept. 6 in a scooter accident there, suffering a broken jaw, two broken arms, broken collarbone, a shattered eye socket and brain trauma.
His sister, Julia, and brothers, James and Scott, have set up a website where friends and supporters can get updates on the 34-year-old’s condition and make donations to help cover his medical costs. Within 24 hours of the site going live, more than $27,000 in donations had been made through PayPal and a number of supportive messages were added. By late Thursday afternoon, there were more than 800 Facebook shares.
“This is the first time I’ve had a smile on my face since we’ve gotten the news,” Julia said Sept. 12.
“He has so many supporters out there – people who know him and love him - (and) we’re completely in awe of the people who don’t know him (who offered) support."
The family, she said, is very grateful for all the support
“It’s really uplifting,” Julia said. “We’re really in awe. We all feel indebted to people for their love and support.”
One hundred per cent of funds raised will go to Mark’s medical care and rehabilitation while in Thailand, until he can return to Canada. Mark's workplace and visa provide only minimal medical coverage.
The family appreciates both the financial support and also the caring messages left by supporters, added Julia.
“People are sending their prayers and their positive energy,” she said, both from Kings County and around the globe.
“He was a world traveller and along his journeys he has touched a lot of people.”
After graduating from Acadia University, Mark taught in Korea for seven or eight years, where he met his wife, Rachel. He returned to Wolfville last year to complete his bachelor of education at Acadia. During his studies, Mark had teaching placements at Central and West Kings high schools.
Mark’s parents, Douglas and Kathleen, along with his wife, Rachel, were expected to arrive in Phuket late Sept. 12, after two days of travel.
“We’re hoping sometime tonight they’ll be able to send an update,” Julia said Thursday afternoon.
Communicating with the Canadian embassy, the hospital and police has been challenging for Mark’s family at home in Nova Scotia. The circumstances of Mark’s accident are a mystery to the family at this point, Julia said.
“As far as we know, it was a single motor vehicle accident. That’s all we know. Unfortunately, he was there by himself," she said.
“We are incredibly heart warmed by our dear friend Teresa Mayich, who was doing missionary work in Bangkok,” Julia said. “She found out about the situation and knew our family wouldn’t be able to be there for a number of days. She has been there since Monday afternoon and wanted to stay until our parents and Rachel arrive.”