Friends and family of the two victims of a serious collision last week in Winnipeg say the couple is "responding with resilience and hope."

On Friday, July 5, Marcus and Carli Paetzold were in a vehicle stopped at a red light when a semi rear-ended them and forced them into another semi that was stopped in front of them. A fundraiser set up for the two says that Marcus was taken to hospital via ambulance and Carli was taken via STARS air ambulance.

Emily Guenther, Carli's cousin and lifelong friend, set up the GoFundMe for the couple. She writes that "Marcus suffered many bruises and lacerations as well as a serious concussion. He has been discharged as of the evening of July 6 to continue to recover at home."

Carli's injuries are numerous. Guenther writes that "Carli suffered many broken bones, a fractured vertebrae and a crushed vertebrae, as well as other injuries. She underwent surgery to fuse her spine which was successful, with surgeons noting that she was incredibly lucky to avoid paralysis."

The collision shut down the busy stretch for several hours while police investigated the scene on Lagimodiere Boulevard and East Mint Place.

Couple has 'selfless hearts and desire to serve others'

Guenther says that the couple is leaning on their faith in the early days of their road to recovery. "Despite their tragic experience and extensive injuries, Marcus and Carli are both responding with resilience and hope. They know that God is not finished with their story and are trusting in His ability to sustain them in the coming days, weeks, and months."

The couple is described as having "selfless hearts and desire to serve others in their respective careers, Marcus as a paramedic, and Carli as a labour and delivery nurse. They will be missed in their places of work as they will be required [to] take significant time off to physically recover."

The couple's dog had also been in the vehicle and ran off following the collision, but was tracked down by a Good Samaritan. "Oakley was found to be miraculously unharmed," the fundraiser says.

Nearly $18,000 had been donated by Sunday evening, in just 22 hours of being active.

Prayers are 'greatly appreciated and valuable'

Guenther says that the couple is appreciative of how the community has been rallying around them in prayer.

"Your prayers for Marcus and Carli are greatly appreciated and valuable," says Guenther.

She asks that people "Consider praying for successful pain management, recovery progress each day, and peace for them and their families."

Police are continuing to investigate the collision.