Ben Umstead Benisrecovering

First post: Feb 7, 2016 Latest post: Apr 11, 2016
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. Below is Be's story on the way back from Sundance, written by Todd Brown, Editor of TwitchFilm (one of the places Ben works) plus there is a Go Fund Me Campaign

On Monday, February 1, while returning home from the Sundance Film Festival, freelance writers Ben Umstead, Jeremy Harris and Zach Gayne narrowly avoided tragedy in a terrible car accident. They're all still standing -- some a little more wobbly than others -- but all three are left with significant injuries and hospital bills while far away from home.

Choosing to drive from the festival in Utah to save costs, the trio hit a patch of ice on the road and slid into the ditch. That wouldn't have been a big deal, really, except for the car behind them that did the same thing -- and crashed directly into them at the side of the road. 

Harris was still in the car at impact and suffered a concussion and other injuries, requiring stitches. Gayne, who was out of the car, avoided breaking any bones but his leg was badly injured. And Umstead? Well, Ben now has a fractured T8 vertebra in his back, a broken forearm and a shattered collarbone that will require surgery within the next two weeks. 

The car? That's a write off.

The consequences of the accident vary for each of them. Gayne is going to head back to Canada, where he'll be taken care of through their medical system. Harris and Umstead, though, are significantly under insured andsystem. Harris and Umstead, though, are significantly under insured and both need help to cover their existing medical bills plus future physiotherapy. 

And all three need help just to get back home.

Money can't buy happiness, that's true. It can, however, pay for medically administered morphine, surgery, ongoing therapy and costs to travel back to family and loved ones who can take care of the trio while they recover. Let's make sure they don't have to worry about finances while they're getting better.

For those unfamiliar, and so you know who is who in this scenario, allow me to introduce myself since I'm the person you're entrusting your funds to. I am the founder and editor of - the Toronto based film website that Ben, Jeremy and Zach were all contributing coverage to from Sundance. Funds raised are being used to cover the travel costs to get Zach and Jeremy back home to recuperate [these funds have actually already been sent] and to cover medical costs incurred by Jeremy and Ben (Zach's costs are being covered by the Canadian medical system) with money being divided between the trio and sent out via Paypal as it comes in.

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