Oak Bay sailor dies while attempting solo world voyage
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for the family of Glenn Wakefield to help cover medical costs incurred while the sailor was in hospital in the U.S.: (GoFundMe)
VICTORIA -- More than $151,000 has been raised for the family of Glenn Wakefield, an Oak Bay man who died while attempting a solo voyage around the globe.
Wakefield began his sailing journey on Sept. 6. It marked the third attempt the sailor had made to solo circumnavigate the planet.
On Sept. 16, he suffered a massive stroke approximately 500 nautical miles west of San Francisco, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by his family.
While at sea, he was able to send a call for help to his family before he lost consciousness.
After that, a 48-hour rescue mission and medical evacuation took place. Wakefield was flown to a specialized trauma centre in San Jose, according to family. There, he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.
Family members say they were unable to visit him at that time due to COVID-19 and worked to have him flown back to Canada.
He remained in the San Jose hospital in critical condition for several days before being transferred back to Victoria. He was on Vancouver Island when he died on Monday evening, according to family.
“As in life, Glenn chose the way he wanted to die which was to do it on his own terms, and without any assistance,” wrote family members on a website dedicated to the sailor’s solo circumnavigation attempt.
“He left this world much like he lived it, surrounded by his adoring family, who wished him fair winds and a smooth journey.”
A GoFundMe campaign remains active to help family members cover Wakefield’s U.S. medical costs.
Family say his time in U.S. hospital care cost approximately US$370,000.
“Glenn did not anticipate touching U.S. soil, and as such, did not have U.S. medical insurance,” reads the GoFundMe campaign.
“It’s overwhelming for us to think about ever being able to cover these expenses, but knowing so many of you have reached out to support him helps us to continue to remain positive that together it is possible to reach our goal,” adds the online fundraiser.