Sunday, March 09, 2008

By Kang Shin-who
Staff Report

William Kapoun, 26, an American teacher who sustained severe burn injuries in a fire at his apartment, passed away Saturday.

He had been in intensive care at Hangang Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul, since Feb. 24.

The young American’s parents asked for repeated cardiopulmonary resuscitation after concurrent cardiac arrests to be stopped.

His father Dan Kapoun, a retired soldier, plans to hold a memorial service at the U.S. Army Base in Yongsan as soon as his son’s body is conveyed to the family from the hospital after the settlement of treatment fees, estimated at 77 million won (about $80,000) in total.

Donators and supporters extended their helping hand to the Kapoun family through the blog site They also made direct donations to a bank account that was opened here under the name of Warren Franklin William Fund. The donations have reached about $60,000 in total, according to his friends.

``Thank you all of you, from our entire family for your support and good wishes. The Korean people have been very kind to us,’’ Judy Kapoun, his mother told The Korea Times. His parents will return to the United States after the memorial service here.

On top of donations from various people around the world, his family found that part of treatment costs would be covered by South Korea’s National Health Insurance Corp. following a retroactive payment. About 30 million won was covered by the insurance.

His death has alerted other foreign teachers here about their working conditions and safety. ``The unfortunate tragedy awoke me to the fact that foreign teachers should make plans for their own safety. They must make sure that they are covered by insurance,’’ said Michale John Bodnar, one of William’s friends.

Meanwhile, police said it appears the fire was ``accidental.’’ But they said they have yet to officially determine the exact cause of the fire that killed Kapoun and his girlfriend.

``We have yet to determine the exact cause of the fire. But it appears the fire broke out accidentally and chances of arson are low,’’ a police official said.

Kapoun, a graduate of Indiana University, had been teaching students English as a part-time teacher at Bulam Elementary School in Northern Seoul. The fire at his apartment left him with third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body.

If you wish to donate visit:

Make checks payable to Help Bill Fund and mail them to:

Help Bill Fund
P.O. Box 283
Bloomington, IN 47402

IF IN KOREA - direct transfer into this account
KB Bank
794002 04 03 1635
Warren Franklin-William Fund.

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