Travel Blogger in Coma After Terrible Crash in Bali

The American was found unconscious and injured after her scooter crashed.
August 11, 2021, 9:12am
Blogger Bali coma
Kaitlyn McCaffery. PHOTO: Fearlesstravelers / Instagram

An American travel blogger is fighting for her life after a horrific scooter accident in the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, with her family crowdfunding nearly $300,000 in a desperate attempt to medevac her to the United States for treatment.

On July 31, two young men found 27-year-old Kaitlyn McCaffery unconscious and bleeding by the side of a road after her scooter crashed on the way back to her apartment, according to details from the GoFundMe campaign.

“She has suffered a traumatic brain injury along with multiple other serious injuries,” Dena Gustus Cruz, who organized the campaign, said in an initial post.

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The Indonesian government later issued the McCaffery family emergency visas to be able to fly to Bali, but the mandatory eight-day quarantine for arriving people wasn’t waived, an August 10 update said.

Bali was a brief haven from the worst of the pandemic in many western nations but that has changed in recent months as the Delta variant spreads across many parts of the Southeast Asian country. 

As the new epicenter of the outbreak in Asia, Indonesia has now recorded 3.7 million cases and 111,000 deaths due to the virus. It is also trying to speed up a vaccination campaign in which only 9 percent of the population have received two doses compared to more than 50 percent in the U.S.

Plans to fully reopen Bali, which relies on tourism, beachgoers and expat dollars, have been delayed as the island records some 200 cases a day. McCaffery had apparently been there for only a few months, based on her Instagram posts.

The family is now hoping to airlift McCaffery out and to admit her to a trauma hospital in California, but that comes with a hefty price tag of about $250,000 that they said her insurance coverage would not support. 

But the crowdfunding effort has now raised a total of $290,197—surpassing the goal and the cost of the medevac. Organizers did not immediately reply to a request for comment, but expressed their appreciation to people who contributed online.

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“The McCaffery Family is very thankful to all of the donors who have helped us reach our goal—raising the funds to Bring Kaitlyn Home,” the campaign said.

The family is now weighing options whether to fly to Bali or to wait for McCaffery’s condition to improve so that the company hired to carry out the medevac can safely bring her to California.

Before the accident, McCaffery said she was happy with her new setup on the island. 

“Loving where I live, the people I have met so far, and the warm, warm air. So happy to call this place home,” she said on her Instagram account, which is filled with travel pictures.

Follow Anthony Esguerra on Twitter.