Community raised thousands to bring this man home

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Donations from two local businesses, along with community donations, are helping to bring a Sioux Falls man home after a brain injury.

Simplified: Matthew Pangilinan was on vacation in Las Vegas when he went into anaphylactic shock and, later, cardiac arrest. The road to recovery will be a long one, but – thanks to a fundraiser supported by Silverstar Car Wash, Krav’n and the broader community – he’ll be able to safely return home.

Why it matters

  • The cost to get Matthew home safely after suffering a brain injury was initially estimated at $30,000 due to insurance issues, according to his mother, Diana Pangilinan, who has worked at Silverstar for the past two years.
  • Silverstar encouraged it’s more than 20,000 Facebook followers to support a fundraiser held Sept. 20 at Krav’n – Matthew’s employer – and the car wash company offered to match all proceeds raised at the event.
  • That resulted in Silverstar writing a $4,800 check towards the effort, with a total raise from the event of more than $11,200, Silverstar Regional Manager Will Bell said.
  • A GoFundMe page has raised another nearly $13,000.
  • That’s enough to get Matthew home, his mother said.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I work for a great company. The fact that they were willing to do that just showed the love and care that they have for me and for my son.”

What happened?

The incident happened on Aug. 19. Matthew had been out with friends and was back at the hotel when he went into an anaphylactic asthma attack.

  • Diana said upon arrival to the emergency room, it took paramedics 15 minutes to bring Matthew back after flatlining.
  • He spent two weeks in intensive care, but is now breathing and eating on his own.
  • He’s also been able to raise his arms, open and close his fingers, talk and laugh, his mother said.

Tell me more about the fundraiser.

Krav’n donated 50 percent of its proceeds from Monday, Sept. 20, and Silverstar did the same, donating an additional $4,800.

“Diana’s been part of our company for more than two years,” Bell said. “When something like this happens, we like to take care of our own as much as possible.”

Funds were also raised from the silent auction and the GoFundMe page.

What happens next?

It’s a long road to recovery.

It’s unclear if Matthew will be able to walk again, and with the brain damage he suffered, his mother said he won’t ever be the same.

  • But, he’s come a long way in the last month, and Diana has been by his side helping him through speech and occupational therapy.
  • It’s been a tough road for Diana, too, but she’s grateful for all of the support she’s seen from her employer, friends and community at large.

“He’ll never be the same Matthew, but I believe he’ll be a better version of himself,” she said.