In the past three weeks, the UNC Charlotte community has come together to raise money for 22 year old Nick Newberry. Newberry is a student at UNC Charlotte as well as a member of the university’s SAE chapter fraternity.
On the evening of March 20, around 12:15 a.m., Newberry fell down a flight of stairs as he was making his way to go to bed. After tumbling backwards down the stairs, it was reported by roommates that he hit his head on the floor when he reached the bottom.
“He tumbled backwards all the way down our flight of steps and drilled the back of his head on the hardwood floor,” said Parker Cowan, fellow SAE brother at UNC Charlotte’s chapter.
After his fall, friends rushed to Newberry’s aid, requesting medical attention immediately after realizing he was in a critical state.
“We rushed over to see if he was okay and realized he was unresponsive and immediately called the paramedics,” said Cowan.
Soon after, medics arrived, placing Newberry on a stretcher and transporting him to Carolinas Medical Center’s Main Campus, where he remains today in a coma.
There is currently no set amount of time doctors have given for Newberry’s recovery.
“The doctor has told his family that he is listed as ‘day to day’,” said Cowan. “Nick has severe traumatic brain damage and is fighting every day to stay alive. The doctor has told his family that there will be multiple surgeries as well as a very long process of rehab.”
After hearing of the long road to recovery including brain surgery and rehab, the brothers of SAE realized to help Newberry with his injury, they needed to support him not only emotionally, but also monetarily.
The fraternity then thought to create a fundraiser in which people throughout the UNC Charlotte community could contribute money to help facilitate the costs of Newberry’s medical expenses.
Cowan, being one of Newberry’s closest friends, created a GoFundMe account for Newberry, with a target goal amount of $10,000.
“Nick is one of my best friends, my roommate, and also my little brother within the fraternity,” said Cowan.
The community surpassed Cowan and SAE’s goals by meeting the target goal within the first eight hours the page was created.
Within 24 hours of the page being created, theGoFundMe account had raised a total of $17,000 for Newberry.
“This just shows you the type of kid Nick is,” said Cowan. “He is loved by so many people.”
“I’ve personally never seen so much genuine support than I have with this situation. It speaks volumes about the kind of guy Nick is,” said fellow SAE brother Conner Traywick.
Newbery’s GoFundMe account has currently raised $22,561 but will be accepting donations for the foreseeable future.
All money raised will go directly to Newberry’s father and sister who will be primarily responsible for paying his medical bills.
Donors on the page have not only ranged from Newberry’s family members, fraternity brothers, fellow students and people in the Charlotte community, but also scope to individuals from different states throughout the country who are members of the SAE fraternity.
“We have had donations from all over the country,” said Cowan. “Members of SAE from all across the nation have made donations up to $500 which is truly amazing.”
In regards to the new goal now that the initial $10,000 has been surpassed, Cowan noted that no new goal has been set due to the uncertainty of exactly how many surgeries will be needed, or how long Newberry will have to be in rehab, nobody is sure how high expenses will be.
In addition to creating the GoFundMe account, SAE brothers at UNC Charlotte are selling bands for $3 on campus that read #NickStrong. in the first three days of sales, the brothers raised a total of roughly $900, which will directly benefit Newberry’s family.
The brothers will also host a #NickStrong soccer tournament with the UNC Charlottte Women’s Soccer Team on April 21 at 7 p.m.
Teams of seven can enter to play by paying a $5, and individuals can attend after paying a $3 fee. All funds raised at the tournament will also go towards Newberry’s recovery.
“Everybody loves him, and most are thinking about him nonstop,” said Traywick. “I don’t go five minutes through my day without thinking about how he’s doing. He’s proving to be one hell of a fighter though. He ain’t goin’.”
To donate through Newberry’s GoFundMe account, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/pn2f4g%20