Help Matthew & Ruby Nichols

$16,255 of $11k goal

Raised by 381 people in 38 months
Stephen Parkhurst  Astoria, New York
Recently, the Nichols family suffered a terrible tragedy on what was supposed to be a beautiful occasion. After giving birth to baby Ruby, Heather Nichols contracted a rare and fast-moving bacterial infection called necrotizing fasciitis. It is an incredibly vicious and virulant disease, and despite the best efforts of the hospital staff, Heather succumbed to the infection on August 8th.

Heather was a wonderful, beautiful person who leaves behind a huge group of friends and loved ones. All of us who loved her and Matt are still in shock that something so terrible could happen to such warm, kind-hearted people.


Matt and baby Ruby are facing a long road ahead, one that is unimaginable for most of us. Though they are surrounded by a loving and giving group of family and friends, there are still huge obstacles to overcome. Matt now faces the prospect of caring for little Ruby and working as a single father, while also incurring the costs of the medical and funeral bills.


As a close friend of Matt and Heather, I know neither of them would've ever asked for charity or a handout. But those of us who are close to them also know that they would've gladly given all they could to any of us in a similar situation. That such a tragic event could happen to this family seems almost impossibly cruel. I lived with Matt and Heather, I love them both, and my heart is broken. I know many of you feel the same devastation.


The entirety of the money raised here will go to support Matthew and Ruby as they begin the slow and difficult process of rebuilding and starting their lives. Any amount you are able to give, even just a dollar, will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Update 7
37 months ago

Hello everyone. I wanted to thank you all again for your donations and your love and support. This fundraiser has gone so, so far beyond the original goal of 2,000 dollars and it's been one little bright spot in an otherwise very dark situation. Baby Ruby is doing well, Matthew is back at work, and their lives as loving father and daughter have begun. Heather is deeply missed, the tragedy is still raw and cruel, but she and Matt were surrounded by a huge group of family and friends who loved and supported them, and who now are loving and supporting baby Ruby. I know I personally have every intention of being Ruby's crazy Uncle Steve who shows up every few months to take her out for ice cream and spoil her with all the stupid toys and junk that her father specifically said she couldn't have. I'd love to be able to thank every one of you in person, but in lieu of that, understand that your donation has made a huge difference, and will continue to make a difference for Ruby as she grows up and becomes the wonderful person we all know Matt will raise. For logistical reasons, I'm going to close down the donation site in a couple of days. Since GoFundMe takes a small portion every time I withdraw the money to my account, it makes less sense to keep it open now that the donations have slowed. Matt has already received 10,000 dollars from the initial donation pool, and once the final donations have come in on Tue, Sept 3rd, I'll write the second check for the remainder. We're also currently pursuing a donation through the Liz Logelin foundation for widows and widowers. Thank you again for making a such a profound difference for two very special people.
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Update 6
37 months ago

Thank you to all the new supporters! I know a lot of you have found your way over here from the news stories over the past couple of days. Your support has been fantastic and it's wonderful to see a community rally around someone in need. Matt and baby Ruby are doing well, and Matt would love to be able to thank you all individually, however it turns out that's kinda hard to do when there's a newborn to take care of. Who knew? So on behalf of Matt, thank you! Many of you have asked about other items to send, such as diapers and formula. They currently have plenty of diapers for Ruby's age group and her doctor has recently changed her formula plan. So until they've settled on a specific type, it isn't the best item to send. For now, monetary donations are the simplest and most effective thing to give. Thanks again!
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Update 5
38 months ago

Hi everyone! I've withdrawn the first mass sum of donations. Because some donations are still pending, the first amount will be an even 10k, which is amazing! It should take a couple days for the funds to deposit into my account, at which point, I'll write the check for Matt, and of course I'll let you all know when that happens. Once again, thank you all so much for your generosity!
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Update 4
38 months ago

It's really amazing that in one weekend we've been able to raise almost 10,000 dollars! Thank you all so much. I know I keep saying it, but it's still so overwhelming to see. For those wishing to attend, the funeral services for Heather will be held this Tuesday, the 13th at Brookings Smith Parlor, 133 Center Street in Bangor, Maine. We're still trying to get the word out on the news and local media to raise awareness about this horrible disease and how to prevent it and look for signs of infection. It would be wonderful to get this fund to 10,000 by the end of the day. Matt and I thank you sincerely, and Ruby would too, but she's too busy sleeping and drooling at the moment.
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Read a Previous Update
Help spread the word!
 2.6K total shares
Rand McAfoose
4 months ago

There is a product on the market for the last 3 years that the public and facilities need to know about.to treat necrotising fasciitis. See the National Necrotising Fasciitis for more informatiion.. Also see the work of Dr. John Crew.

+ Read More
Dawn Richardson
37 months ago

I am so very Sorry for your Loss! As a English retired Nurse I have seen this vicious bacteria in times rarely in my career.. It is sad that life can be so cruel as to snatch a Mother from your little one..God Bless you Matt and little Ruby xx I hope you find peace in your heart at this difficult time.

+ Read More
Susan Henson
37 months ago

Your story was sent to be by a friend. She knew I could relate because just 2 months ago I lost my exhusband to this disease, leaving behind my two daughters. He was traveling to Chicago IL to move his belongings back to Indianapolis to be closer to his daughters. Before even making it to his apartment to pack, he went to the ER in Chicago and never left. 3 days prior he had gone to an ER in Indianapolis where he was fitted for an aircast for a sprained ankle. As you can imagine, the aircast was the absolute worse thing that could have been done. His daughters and I spent 5 grueling days and nights in ICU by his side through a surgery and then an amputation -- only to have to take him off life support because there was nothing left. Breaks my heart -- 1st case seen in Chicago ER -- no signs of trauma or cut -- only answered question -- where did this disease come from and how can it be better diagnoised and healed!

+ Read More
Kenny Tripp
37 months ago

So sorry for your loss Matt,even though I don't know you or your wife personally.Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss as it touches my heart deeply.Know that you are never alone,God is always by your side and will help you through this if you let him.Little Ruby is so precious,"What a gift she is". Thank you for sharing. matt and ruby you both will be in my heart

+ Read More
Tamara Tuthill
38 months ago

So sorry for your loss Matt,even though I don't know you or your wife personally.Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss as it touches my heart deeply.Know that you are never alone,God is always by your side and will help you through this if you let him.Little Ruby is so precious,"What a gift she is". Thank you for sharing.Please feel free to friend me on facebook and if ever need any help feel free to ask.I'm the mother of 5,all grown now,but still mommies babies.

+ Read More
Kerri Hanscom
38 months ago

My deepest sympathy on your loss. My daughter went through this in May/ June this year, and is now recovering. I too am concerned about what little information is available, and also concerned that my daughters case appears to not have been reported to the state. Would love to converse more when you are ready.... please friend me on facebook, thanks, and hang in there.

+ Read More
Mollie Dalphonse
38 months ago

I love you Matty! I love you little Ruby! My thoughts are filled with the both of you and the love I have for Heather. Nothing will ease the pain of your loss, but hopefully all of this will ease a small burden on your shoulders. Forever in my heart

+ Read More
Shelley Bussey
38 months ago

Matt I just wanted to give you our condolences,I never had the pleasure of meeting your wife but we are sorry for your loss................The Bussey Family

+ Read More
Kelly Hersey
38 months ago

I do not know you Matt but you know my daughter Rebecca and her fiance Booker and I am so sorry for your loss. All my prayers, love, strength is with you during this difficult time for you. Losing your spouse is such a difficult thing to go through(this has happened to me) but KNOW she is always with you and watching out for you and your beautiful angel Ruby.

+ Read More
Nicole Scott
38 months ago

Matt I'm so sorry for your loss I'm praying for you and ruby hope you have all the strength you need in this tragic time.

+ Read More
Casey Nash
38 months ago

Thank you Stephen for taking the iniative to set this up. The amazing generosity from family, friends, and strangers to Matt and Heather is a true testament to the women she was and the support for Matt and Ruby. We are all here for you Matt.

+ Read More
Tammy Nichols
38 months ago

Love you matt

+ Read More
Jennifer Weymouth
38 months ago

I love you Matt please don't hesitate to call if you need anything at all!

+ Read More

$16,255 of $11k goal

Raised by 381 people in 38 months
Created August 9, 2013
MC
$10
Marilyn Cummings
34 months ago (Monthly Donation)
MC
$10
Marilyn Cummings
35 months ago (Monthly Donation)
MC
$10
Marilyn Cummings
36 months ago (Monthly Donation)
MC
$10
Marilyn Cummings
37 months ago (Monthly Donation)
TP
$100
Time Pilots
37 months ago
RC
$50
Rae Cerce
37 months ago

I love you both

$100
Anonymous
37 months ago
$100
Anonymous
37 months ago
$30
Anonymous
37 months ago
$100
Anonymous
37 months ago
Rand McAfoose
4 months ago

There is a product on the market for the last 3 years that the public and facilities need to know about.to treat necrotising fasciitis. See the National Necrotising Fasciitis for more informatiion.. Also see the work of Dr. John Crew.

+ Read More
Dawn Richardson
37 months ago

I am so very Sorry for your Loss! As a English retired Nurse I have seen this vicious bacteria in times rarely in my career.. It is sad that life can be so cruel as to snatch a Mother from your little one..God Bless you Matt and little Ruby xx I hope you find peace in your heart at this difficult time.

+ Read More
Susan Henson
37 months ago

Your story was sent to be by a friend. She knew I could relate because just 2 months ago I lost my exhusband to this disease, leaving behind my two daughters. He was traveling to Chicago IL to move his belongings back to Indianapolis to be closer to his daughters. Before even making it to his apartment to pack, he went to the ER in Chicago and never left. 3 days prior he had gone to an ER in Indianapolis where he was fitted for an aircast for a sprained ankle. As you can imagine, the aircast was the absolute worse thing that could have been done. His daughters and I spent 5 grueling days and nights in ICU by his side through a surgery and then an amputation -- only to have to take him off life support because there was nothing left. Breaks my heart -- 1st case seen in Chicago ER -- no signs of trauma or cut -- only answered question -- where did this disease come from and how can it be better diagnoised and healed!

+ Read More
Kenny Tripp
37 months ago

So sorry for your loss Matt,even though I don't know you or your wife personally.Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss as it touches my heart deeply.Know that you are never alone,God is always by your side and will help you through this if you let him.Little Ruby is so precious,"What a gift she is". Thank you for sharing. matt and ruby you both will be in my heart

+ Read More
Tamara Tuthill
38 months ago

So sorry for your loss Matt,even though I don't know you or your wife personally.Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss as it touches my heart deeply.Know that you are never alone,God is always by your side and will help you through this if you let him.Little Ruby is so precious,"What a gift she is". Thank you for sharing.Please feel free to friend me on facebook and if ever need any help feel free to ask.I'm the mother of 5,all grown now,but still mommies babies.

+ Read More
Kerri Hanscom
38 months ago

My deepest sympathy on your loss. My daughter went through this in May/ June this year, and is now recovering. I too am concerned about what little information is available, and also concerned that my daughters case appears to not have been reported to the state. Would love to converse more when you are ready.... please friend me on facebook, thanks, and hang in there.

+ Read More
Mollie Dalphonse
38 months ago

I love you Matty! I love you little Ruby! My thoughts are filled with the both of you and the love I have for Heather. Nothing will ease the pain of your loss, but hopefully all of this will ease a small burden on your shoulders. Forever in my heart

+ Read More
Shelley Bussey
38 months ago

Matt I just wanted to give you our condolences,I never had the pleasure of meeting your wife but we are sorry for your loss................The Bussey Family

+ Read More
Kelly Hersey
38 months ago

I do not know you Matt but you know my daughter Rebecca and her fiance Booker and I am so sorry for your loss. All my prayers, love, strength is with you during this difficult time for you. Losing your spouse is such a difficult thing to go through(this has happened to me) but KNOW she is always with you and watching out for you and your beautiful angel Ruby.

+ Read More
Nicole Scott
38 months ago

Matt I'm so sorry for your loss I'm praying for you and ruby hope you have all the strength you need in this tragic time.

+ Read More
Casey Nash
38 months ago

Thank you Stephen for taking the iniative to set this up. The amazing generosity from family, friends, and strangers to Matt and Heather is a true testament to the women she was and the support for Matt and Ruby. We are all here for you Matt.

+ Read More
Tammy Nichols
38 months ago

Love you matt

+ Read More
Jennifer Weymouth
38 months ago

I love you Matt please don't hesitate to call if you need anything at all!

+ Read More
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