On Friday 24th April an American ESL teacher had a near-fatal motorbike accident in the Chinese capital. Currently on life support and in a coma, he's suffered severe brain damage and his friends are trying to raise funds to get him sent home.
Jonathan Sokoloff, a promising teacher 31-year-old from Gainesville (Florida), had just been to see local cover band The Beijing Beatles. He waved goodbye to friends at midnight as they left The Garage in Beijing's Houshayu district, and was found unconcious fifteen minutes later by a local security guard. Unfortunately, he wasn't wearing a crash helmet for the brief journey home - a common trait among Beijing motorcyclists.
Soko, as he's known to his friend, arrived at the hospital around 1am and has been in critical condition ever since.
The shocked Beijng expat community has so far managed to raise over $20,000 and 80,000RMB towards the mounting health care costs, but more is still urgently needed.
A fundraising event is taking place on Friday 1st May at Home Plate BBQ.
This is the post doing the rounds on Chinese social media:
"Dear friends thanks for all the support u showed at our dear friend's tragic accident and many of you asked me if any help was required before we didnt need any help but now is the time to please step forward and help jonathan's family with financial aid - to help the family come over or pay expenses (over what the school is paying) to cover funeral (or repatriation of ashes) if needed?) docs still keeping him on life support till his family can make it here.
The fundraiser includes not only the expenses mentioned but also 6-12 months worth of support for his mom, since Jonathon was supporting her financially. Below is the link given to help Jonathan's family. Please spread the word."