KUNA - Last month, the Kuna Fire District launched a fundraising campaign to help bring fire Captain John Charlton and his family back home from Indonesia. The Charlton family became stuck in Jakarta after their one-year-old son was put in the hospital.
The department's campaign was a success as Captain Charlton is back home and baby Arthur feeling a lot better.
“It's good to be back to my normal, small world,” said Charlton. “I just didn't know how it was going to turn out.”
Earlier this year, John’s wife, Endah, and their son Arthur traveled to Indonesia after his mother-in-law passed away. While there Arthur ended up in the hospital with some sort of respiratory infection.
“I can't describe how stressful it was as a paramedic to see somebody his age in extreme respiratory distress is scary enough, but when it's your own son and you're 25 hours away. I can't describe it,” said Charlton.
Charlton eventually traveled to be with his son in Indonesia, where Arthur spent more than a week in the hospital. Bills and time started to add up.
“They charge your account for every treatment that they do. So as long as there is still money in your account they'll still treat; that's kinda how it works over there,” said Charlton.
Against his wishes, the Kuna Fire District started a fundraising campaign to help their fellow brother.
“I was pretty blown away. We set it for $5,000 just to hope to pay for some plane costs and stuff for him,” said Kuna firefighter Eric Klymer.
The GoFundMe raised a little over $8,000; organizations, businesses, and community members raised nearly another $4,000. An amount that will help cover most of Arthur’s medical costs.
“Every time I asked him to please at least reduce the goal. He said, 'no if you don't relax, I'm going to increase the goal,” said Charlton. “It was really appreciative. I really appreciate all the help. It was such a warm, touching, feeling. I didn't expect such a reaction.”
Doctors in Indonesia diagnosed Arthur with pneumonia. However, Charlton says his doctors here don’t agree.
“His doctor here has his doubts as to whether it was pneumonia. He thinks it was definitely a viral infection. He thinks it was definitely a respiratory infection that triggered it,” said Charlton. “His long-term care is going to include investigating.”
Although some questions remain, Charlton is thankful to be back home.
“It really is a privilege and an honor to be a part of the community,” he said.