Oceanside CA— On New Years Eve, 2014 Mark Buczek and his 18 month old Chocolate Lab, Bailey were on their daily morning walk near their Oceanside home. At 8:30 that Wednesday morning, while walking, against traffic in the 2200 block of Fire Mountain Drive, a white, older model van struck the two and sent them flying through the air into the bushes. The driver of the van drove off leaving the two for dead.
“If it wasn’t for a whole string of events, the two wouldn’t have made it.” said Marks wife, Megan. “A neighbors cat reacted to Bailey’s cries alerting the cats owner who found the two.” continued Megan “Then a trauma doctor on his way home from work stopped at the scene and helped stabilize Mark until the Oceanside Fire Department arrived.”
Mark was transported by air ambulance to Scripps Hospital, La Jolla with multiple traumatic injuries. “Mark didn’t wake up until the 1st of the New Year 2015, in the hospital.” said Megan.
Although Mark suffers from multiple painful injuries, his left knee cap, lower femur and upper tibia were broken in several places requiring multiple surgeries, screws, pins, plates along with a broken right knee cap that required surgery, “The most painful thing for Mark is the fact that someone did this to them and just left them there to die” related Megan.
Marks best friend and loyal companion, Bailey, ended up in a drainage culvert soaking wet and yelping in pain. “Our beloved dog fared just as bad” said Megan. Bailey is still in the animal hospital and required a 5 hour surgery. “She reacts to sensation in her hind legs but she doesn’t have motor function, yet.” explained Megan. Bailey will have weeks of rehab for a broken back and injured pelvis. “We are just glad she is alive and we are hopeful she will be able to walk again. So far the prognosis is good.”
Megan has been spending 12 hours a day at the hospital with her husband. “It looks like Mark may be able to go home soon but the physical therapy is just beginning.” Megan says it may be a year before Mark can walk again.
The family is also facing a financial nightmare. “We switched health insurance and with the accident happening on New Years Eve, the billing mess is just starting.” said Megan
Mark, a self-employed mechanical engineer will be out of work for at least a year as he goes through physical therapy and although they have health insurance for Mark, Bailey’s veterinary bills are not covered by insurance. “Bailey saved Marks life and she is family” said Megan.”We have to do everything we can to pull her through.”
The family has turned to GoFundMe.com to help them get through this event thrust upon them by a hit and run driver. You can help the Buczek’s by going to the GoFundMe site [Link] and hitting the “Donate Now” button
“Both Mark and Bailey suffered traumatic injuries that will require many weeks of hospitalization and extensive rehabilitation but truthfully we are just happy and thank God they are alive.” said Megan. As Mark states “it really is a Happy New Year because I am here to see it.”
Oceanside Police are looking for an older model white van with front-end damage and are investigating vehicle parts found at the scene incident. Anyone with information about the hit and run is asked to call the Oceanside Police Department at (760)435-4911.