|Artem Leibenko (middle) holds a photo of his sister, Anna Leibenko, 24, while posing with his sister's friends. From left: Julie Provo and Mandy Monroe. From right: Tatyana Fursenko, Robbie Garcia and Vanessa Montejano. (Ernest Doroszuk / QMI Agency )
TORONTO - It took barely a week for friends and family of Anna Leibenko to show how much they care.
That’s all the time it took for them to raise nearly $70,000 to bring her home using an air ambulance - but it looks like she will have to remain in hospital for another week.
The 24-year-old Toronto woman was travelling in Europe with her three friends when tragedy struck.
On Aug. 17, she slipped off a three-metre-high catamaran on the Adriatic Sea, hitting her head on the boat. She was unconscious by the time she toppled into the water.
“She might have to stay another week because she’s not fit for travel,” Leibenko’s brother, Artem, 26, said Thursday. “So, it looks like we might need (to raise) more money, but we’ll just go from there. They’re saying maybe her condition got worse.”
The former Toronto Argonauts cheerleader remains in critical condition in a Croatian hospital and her family has estimated they will need over $93,000 to pay for her medical bills there and bring her home using an air ambulance.
It costs $7,000 a day in fees to stay in the Croatian hospital, Artem said.
“My mom is still there and we’re all just trying to get as much money to get her back,” Artem said. “We’re all happy so many people are so many people are contributing to this and the communities are working together.”
Leibenko’s friends have organized several fundraisers to amp up donations. People can also donate online using PayPal or drop off cheques to help support the cause. More information can be found at: help-anna-leibenko.org.
The very earliest Leibenko could be released from hospital would be early next week. She had to stay in “a state of total tranquility” for seven to 10 days in order not to develop any air pockets in her brain.