The BCHF is proud to match funds being raised at an event to support Rick Thompson, a veteran foodservices employee from Coquitlam.
Every dollar raised for Rick will be matched by the BC Hospitality Foundation, up to $7500. With the help of the community, we can turn that $7500 into $15,000… or more!
This sure-to-be-sold-out fundraising event takes place on Sunday, June 26, 2016, from 5-10pm at Woody’s Pub (935 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam). Your $35 ticket, available NOW at Woody’s Pub, Woody’s Liquor Store, or through Rick himself, includes a delicious beef bourgignon dinner with all the fixins, or a vegetarian option, plus your first beverage. Live musical performances from award-winning artists Jim Byrnes and James Buddy Rogers will also be featured. A silent auction, 50/50 draw, and raffle prizes round out this inspiring evening of fundraising.
100% of all net proceeds from the evening will be given directly to Rick, including matched funds from the BCHF.
Can’t make the event on June 26? Visit Rick’s GoFundMe page, donate and share the link with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Vicki Cartwright of Woody’s Pub says, “I think it’s so amazing what the BC Hospitality Foundation is going to do for Rick. We at Woody’s are honoured to help him make this goal together. I believe we can make this happen.”
Rick Thompson worked for years in the foodservice industry – as a butcher, at seafood wholesalers, and most recently at Intercity Packers, a division of Gordon Food Services (GFS). In May 2015, Rick contracted strep pneumonia and bacterial meningitis. He was rushed to the hospital where he was immediately put on full life support and placed into a medically-induced coma for 4-and-a-half weeks. During this time he developed sepsis and necrosis causing his hands and feet to turn black due to lack of circulation. Indeed, at one point, he was observed to be the “sickest person in BC.” It has been described as a miracle that Rick is still with us today.
Once Rick woke up, he was faced with the news that he would lose his hands and feet. On June 5, 2015, he underwent a seven-and-a-half hour surgery to remove all four limbs at certain stages. He also retained massive scarring across most of his body, causing him to lose his nose and upper lip. After four months at the hospital, he was finally well enough to go to rehabilitation where he has spent the last several months recovering. It is still a long road ahead, but Rick’s spirit is bright and hopeful.
“I’ve learned that you’re still on the same path, just a different route,” Rick says. “You can’t let it get you down. You’ve just got to keep going. I’ve been lucky to so far have amazing support from my family and friends, especially my wife, Rita, who is my rock.”
Rick is able to move with the help of an electric wheelchair and lift, purchased with previous donations from his community. But in order to regain his full self-sufficiency, Rick is hoping to raise enough money for a pair of myoelectric hands called the Michelangelo. These hands will grant him the best chance of regaining his independence. Unfortunately these hands are extremely expensive and insurance only covers a very small portion.
Rick’s further hope is that he can return to school to study operations management and return to the work force. With such positive attitude and a supportive network of family and friends, we are confident that he’ll get there soon.
In fact, even while he’s still going through rehabilitation, Rick volunteers with the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation, noting that he appreciates the good work they do for the community. When he is able, he hopes to further give back by volunteering with the Amputee Coalition of BC at GF Strong. “They were able to show me there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Rick offers. “People were able to encourage me to move forward and I want to give back.”