0532-Fund raising


OUR SON MATTIJN (right on picture above) had an accident while kayaking in the jungle in Laos and has not been seen since. The rescue mission with a helicopter costs €70.000. Each moment counts and we are terrified that he is alone in the jungle. Please help him come back home. Even a small donation helps to bring him back! Bank account number: NL46RABO0331667835 on name of J. Lahuis BIC/SWIFT code: RABONL2U. If you can’t donate through gofundme, please transfer the money yourself to above bank account! We will make sure it get’s added to gofundme, although it might take us a while.

Please help us save Mattijn Lahuis, our beloved son, brother and boyfriend. His kayak capsized in the Lao jungle after a strong current made him crash into a tree in the water. The kayak got stuck underwater. Three other people who crashed managed to crawl to the shore. Mattijn has not been seen since. Since the accident, 30 July, local police officers and volunteers have been searching for Mattijn in the river and its surroundings, remote jungle villages. A rescue operation with a helicopter is his chance of survival. Without this we are fearing the worst. But we cannot pay for the entire operation ourselves. We need your help.

Mattijn went to Laos first in February and came back with two friends to share with them the beauty of the jungle. He believes choosing a professional guide and acting responsibly will let them stay safe. They go through the rainforest and bamboo fields, sleep in a wooden house in the jungle, have the time of their lives… Until the last day, when the dream turns into a nightmare. They paddle on the river, with the professional guide at the front. They turn a corner in the river, the current suddenly becomes much faster and they see a fallen tree in front of them. Two of four kayaks crash into the tree and capsize. Two friends of Mattijn and the guide manage to get on shore or hold on to the tree, but Mattijn is nowhere to be seen. They immediately look for him, and continue to do so in the next days, but to no avail. He might still be out there in the jungle, alone and probably injured, perhaps unable to call for help.

Local volunteers have been walking through the jungle, looking for any trace of Mattijn. Over ten kayaks have scoured the river up and down, looking for Mattijn. So far he has not been found. The jungle is very dense and the current was too rapid for divers. We can’t and we won’t put other people into danger while searching for Mattijn.

The Vientiane Rescue 1623 team of Laos are amazing people, doing everything in their power to help in emergency situations. Recently they helped Thai boys stuck in a cave and many many hundreds of people before that. They don’t charge anything for their help, however, we have to cover the costs of helicopter rental, including a pilot, which gets to €70.000 euros for three days of search. A helicopter is now Mattijn’s best chance to survive. It’s more efficient to search from above ground with equipment able to detect human body heat and objects under water, which are not supposed to be there. The current, local volunteers just do not have these same resources.

As it turns out, these costs can not be covered by Mattijn’s insurance policy. Now we are alone in coming up with the necessary funds. However, we are determined to put everything into place to find Mattijn.

If you want to verify this story, the Dutch embassy in Thailand and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken) can confirm the search. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have, we’re happy to reply and increase Mattijn’s chances in any possible way: Olga Niziolek (Mattijn’s girlfriend): o.niziolek@gmail.com, Monique Hoogeveen (Mattijn’s mother): monique@artduo.nl, Jan Lahuis (Mattijn’s father): lahuis.jan@gmail.com. Please help us save Mattijn and bring this nightmare to an end!

With your help we can do it!

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