Arvada man paralyzed in crash in Thailand; family works to bring him home

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ARVADA, Colo. -- A Colorado family is asking for help bringing their loved ones back home.

Arvada native Shawn Marshall was in a debilitating scooter accident in Thailand on Nov. 5 that left him paralyzed.

Over the past few weeks, his family has been raising money to cover the $60,000 it will cost to medically transport him overseas, as well as to help with the mounting medical bills.

Marshall was in Thailand with two of his friends on their way to visit a temple when the crash occurred. Marshall was on a scooter and was hit by a person also on a scooter head-on.

“While he was sliding, the guy tried to avoid him and hit him in the head with the front tire. His head got whipped around and his helmet was shattered,” recalled his friend Eric Leonard.

He remembers thinking his friend was dead.

“I saw him breathing. Yea it was a miracle,” Leonard said.

Marshall was rushed to the hospital. Eventually, his Colorado family heard the news.

“Just knowing that he was alone in that bed and in pain. We just kept all thinking that he does not deserve this,” said Marshall’s soon-to-be sister-in-law Rachel McNally.

Doctors said Marshall suffered injuries to his brain, neck and lungs, and is paralyzed from the chest down.

The 29-year-old known for his sense of adventure and infectious personality, has been lying in a Thailand hospital bed for weeks.

“He’s just lucky to be alive,” Leonard remembers thinking in the aftermath.

While Marshall might have suffered major fractures, his spirit is not broken.

“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times and he’s still Shawn,” Marshall’s cousin Alex Kelly said.

Their only focus is getting Marshall back home and supporting him during his recovery.

So far the family has raised $52,000 through a GoFundMe account. Their goal is $100,00 to help cover the transportion and his recovery.

“He’s deserving and it’s his time to be taken care of now. He’s always taking care of everybody else so it’s his turn to be taken care of now,” Kelly said.

If everything goes as planned, Marshall will be returning home Sunday, a moment that can’t come soon enough.

“It means getting my brother back. It means my sister getting her husband back. It means everything to have him back here,” McNally said.

In addition to the GoFundMe page, the family is also hosting a fundraising event on Dec. 8.