ESL Teacher Passes Away

Yesterday I linked to a series of sights regarding Bill Kapoun, the English teacher who was badly burned in an apartment fire and was having problems paying his medical bills. This morning on his facebook group this bit of news popped up.

Bill passed away. I don’t know what else to say.
Please keep us in your thoughts,

March 7, 2008

Sorry this has taken me so long to post. I have been wrapped up in trying to get the details together to get Bill home that I hadn’t had time to add everything together, but here are the fundraising totals.
As of last night we had raised $41,251.02! I am absolutely amazed. I almost didn’t believe the calculator when I had added it all up. This does not include what our friends in Germany have collected or what has been sent to the fund in Korea. This is just from the paypal donation button and the PO Box. You are all wonderful. The gratitude that my family feels could never be expressed in words. Thank you so much for all your support.

Additionally, here is an update from my mom on what we are trying to do~

Thank you all for your love and support. The current plan is our attempt to have Billy transported by medical ambulance to Cook County Burn Center in Chicago. The doctors there are willing to accept him with open arms. It is a state hospital, supported by tax dollars, with a world-renowned burn unit. He has been fairly stable for two days, and the doctors assure me that, with the proper medical equipment on board, he is transportable. His dad and I would accompany him. One of our biggest concerns, even more than the medical costs, is his psychological well-being. Psychological counseling for a burn victim must begin from the moment they are conscious. Here in a Korean hospital, where visiting hours are for 1/2 hour twice a day, he will be unable to communicate. We have been very satisfied with the level of treatment he has received as of now, but his psychological needs will not be met. Billy was an incredibly handsome man; the adjustment to his disfigurement will be very difficult. At this point, however, I cannot get beyond profound gratitude that he is alive.

Your generosity has been amazing. We have applied every penny (and won) that we have received to his local hospital bill. We just took out a loan from the US Embassy for the initial cost of the transport ($70,000 to $120,000).

Billy’s friends here in Seoul have kept Dan and I afloat. Without their love and concern, we would not survive this ordeal. They have kept a vigil here at the hospital, 24/7, since the incident. Everyone is working so hard. My daughter Laura, who is spearheading all details in the states, is working round the clock. She is graduating from IU in May, and has her wedding planned for May 17. At a time that should be so joyous, she is my right-hand. She is helping Grandma and the boys hold things together at home.

It is quite humbling to ask for money. Please continue to be generous, as his local bill is still staggering.

With love to all of you, Judy Kapoun

Incredibly sad. If we can learn anything from this it’s

1: Get Isurance, Get Insurance, Get Insurance. South Korean labor laws don’t require employers to provide insurance for part timers not working a significant number of hours per week. If you’re only working part time make sure you have insurance.

2: Fire Safety. It sucks in Korea. Make a plan. Sorry to all Crime Dog McGruff on you but think of what you’ll do. Buy your own fire extinguisher if your apartment doesn’t provide you with one. Get a fire blanket. Put a few mattresses outside your window so you can jump out in case of fire. Do something.

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