Family needs medical flight to get son home, became ill during FL vacation

Chandyn Thompson became ill during vacation. Family photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It was supposed to be a fun beach vacation in the Tampa Bay area, but it took a frightening turn for the worse for one Michigan family.

Jeff and Randi Thompson have been by their 10-year-old son’s side, Chandyn Thompson, since he became ill last week.

Chandyn Thompson is hospitalized. Family photo
Chandyn Thompson became sick during vacation in the Tampa Bay area. Family photo

Not only are they fighting to save him, but they’re trying to find a way to get him safely to doctors back home. The mission will require a medical flight, which could cost thousands of dollars.

It all started last Thursday when Chandyn told his dad his head was hurting during a trip to the beach.

“My son was complaining of a headache on the beach and we took him up to the room, after determining it wasn’t getting better. When he was in the room, we gave him some Tylenol and he just kind of spiraled from there,” said Jeff Thompson.

Jeff said his son started to vomit and that’s when they rushed him to Urgent Care in Bradenton. He was unresponsive by time they reached the facility. From there, Chandyn was flown to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and eventually brought to Tampa General Hospital.

Chandyn Thompson's parents are trying to get him back home.
Chandyn Thompson’s parents are trying to get him back home.

Doctors diagnosed him with Arteriovenous Malformation, a rare brain disorder. “It’ll either take you or you can get there in time to get the help you need and when he arrived here he was closer to death than life,” said Randi Thompson, Chandyn’s mother.

Doctors operated immediately. For now, Chandyn is in stable condition, but he’ll need around-the-clock care, even on the way home.

Jeff said it will take doctors, equipment and a plane to get Chandyn home. A medical flight is not only tricky for his condition, but could cost between $20,000 to $30,000. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family pay for the trip home.

Doctors plan to run a test on Chandyn Friday to see how his brain responds to the pressure. That will determine the flight he takes and the path home.

“What type of plane depends on what happens with the bleeding,” said Jeff Thompson. “I was told today that if they have a shunt, or if they have to keep the tube separate, will depend if he can fly above sea level or at sea level, cause at sea level they can’t pressurize the cabin and it takes twice as long to fly and the cost go up exponentially. If he can fly above sea level he can get there in a couple of hours and the cost are less.”

In the meantime, they ask for continued blessings for Chandyn. “There’s been so many prayers and so much support throughout the community. I just think people are rallying around Chandyn because he is such a special kid,” said Jeff Thompson.

If doctors give the all clear, the Thompson’s could try to book a plane as early as this weekend.


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