Costa Rica rafting accident victim with Nacogdoches ties dies

HOUSTON, TX (KTRE) - A man with Nacogdoches ties who suffered a serious head injury in a rafting accident in Costa Rica has died, according to his stepmother.

Chad Swenson, son of Nacogdoches businessman Doug Swenson, and stepson of Community Action Director Karen Swenson, suffered head trauma when a falling tree limb struck him directly above the forehead during a trip in October.

Chad Swenson died in a Houston nursing home on Monday, after never having gained consciousness from the accident.

His family had raised thousands of dollars to bring him back to Houston to receive care in the U.S.

According to the website, Chad's Trust, Chad Swenson had to be carried out of the Costa Rico jungle by hand and duct-taped to an upside-down raft. He did not arrive at a trauma center until 15 hours after the accident.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Karen Swenson expressed gratitude toward supporters.

"Everyone has just been amazing supporting us through all this," she said. "We appreciate all the love and support from East Texas."

Karen Swenson said Chad lived in Nacogdoches through his elementary school years before moving to Houston with his biological mother. He also attended SFA.

Funeral services are pending with Woodlawn Funeral Home in Houston.

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