Community helps fundraise for Oregon Vietnam Veteran struck by s - KPTV - FOX 12

Community helps fundraise for Oregon Vietnam Veteran struck by sneaker wave during vacation

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

An Oregon Vietnam Veteran was on a family vacation in Hawaii when he was struck by a sneaker wave, according to family members.

On April 23, Bill Hilbert’s family said he was struck twice by strong waves which fractured his neck, spine, ribs and face.

“I was convinced he was dead,” Hilbert’s daughter Hannah Partridge said. “His eyes were gone and lifeless.”

According to a Go Fund Me site for Hilbert, he was transported to Queens Hospital in Honolulu and his family wants to transport him to Seattle to a specialized hospital. Partridge said transportation costs for Hilbert ranges from $50,000 to $70,000.

“Bill has VA insurance but as of now they are telling us they won't cover Bills transportation state side, and we are unsure to the degree of coverage for other expenses he will have,” according to the site.

Since the Facebook page for Hilbert and fundraising site were set up about two weeks ago, the family said they have enough to send Hilbert to a Seattle hospital which can specifically treat his needs.

“The journey has only begun,” Partridge said. “It’s going to be a really long journey from here.”

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