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Alex Austin needs our help

$29,230 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 509 people in 12 days
Created January 3, 2019
Dillon Nicholson
on behalf of Kristy Miller Oden


I’m writing this from a Guatemalan hospital called Centro Medico. My best friend of 15 years had a horrible accident yesterday while we were swimming in the ocean. This has unfortunately left  him with two broken vertebrae that are pinching his spinal cord.


After we pulled him  out of the water, he slowly began regaining  feeling over our 5 hour journey to the best hospital in Guatemala.

Alex is an amazing friend, high school chemistry teacher, and truly is a class act.  He is now facing a tough reality of being unable to leave the country without an operation to replace the broken vertebrae that are pinching his spinal cord. 

Although he has been making progress over the past 12 hours, we need to act fast to prevent permanent damage. 

The medical bills will continue to rise as the days go on,  but more importantly the delays can create further complications. 

He would never ask for help, but right now is when he needs it the most. 

Please help us get Alex back on his feet by donating to this campaign, sharing it in your communities and by keeping him in your prayers.


VENMO - @alexander-austin-3
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Update 9
Posted by Dillon Nicholson
4 days ago
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UPDATE - DAY 6 & 7 OF RECOVERY

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Yesterday was a long a hard day of battling with the hospital over the rising bills. Thankfully, because of your donations, we were able to get our rockstar out of the hospital!

The bill increased and decreased and increased and decreased from 10 AM to 6 PM when we finally got him out. Alex’s dad and mom were able to come up with remaining amount due, and we walked out of there with a $40k lesson in the importance of travel insurance.

We left the hospital and headed to McDonalds, a place that Alex had been dreaming about for over a week. He had a double cheeseburger with bacon, fries and a oreo McFlurry.

His motor skills are recovering extremely well, and he’s up and walking on his own. He even gave himself a bath last night.

I’m back in Antigua today and Alex is resting. We had planned on doing a overnight hike to a 14k foot volcano while we were here. Tomorrow I’ll embark with 4 friends to conquer the Volcano, and we will be doing with Alex in mind. He wouldn’t have it any other way. This one is for you buddy!

He’s resting up and recovering with his dad today, and will be getting his staples out of neck on Tuesday. He’s looking forward to coming home, which should be sometime next week.

We still have about $15k to raise, so please continue to support this campaign by sharing his story while he’s on his journey home. We can’t thank you enough, this has been an epically difficult week, and your support has lifted an weight that no one should have to bear alone.

All my love,

D
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Update 8
Posted by Dillon Nicholson
6 days ago
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UPDATE - DAY 5 OF RECOVERY

Love ripples, kindness matters, gratitude is everything.

I’m sorry for the late night update, today had been an adventure. We got to Alex this morning at 10:00AM to find a very grumpy dude looking for a cheeseburger. “I’m not even hungry right now, I just want a cheeseburger,” he said. We couldn’t help him there with the burger, but we made a bunch of jokes.

Today was full of wins. Alex balanced well while standing up on his own. He fed himself every meal. He absolutely killed it at both of his physical therapy sessions. He got his catheter out. And most importantly, he got word that he will be leaving the hospital tomorrow.

His dad Brian is riding solo and handling being in a foreign country for the first time extremely well. We had our first street food together, which was pineapple from a cart stopped on a 4 lane road.

To be honest, I’m burnt out, but this flame inside of me won’t stop until Alex is home. He’s such a champ. He’s a warrior. And I’m so stoked to say he will be home soon.

We’re heading back to the hospital with 8 friends in the morning, and we’re going to shower him with love as he exits.

Thanks you, Alex is coming home. We still have about $10k to raise, and I hope you all can continue to help.

From Guatemala with Love,

Dillon
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Update 7
Posted by Dillon Nicholson
7 days ago
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UPDATE - DAY 4 OF RECOVERY

Thank you all so much for your kind words, prayers and generous donations. We arrived at the hospital this morning around 10 AM to find Alex in his new room out of the ICU and in good spirits.

We opted to pay for a nurse in his room 24/7 for his remaining time here. The cost is $80 a day which adds an expense but is more than worth it in my opinion.

He fed himself breakfast this morning. He is completely off of IVs so the doctors and nurses are adamant about him drinking more fluids. He’s leveled up to being able to have lemonade and a less bland diet. One of our daily tasks now is translating the menu to decide what he wants to eat.

We also did some more walking this morning. We helped him get into his own shower, rather than getting his usual bed bath. When he stood up he immediately got nauseous and exhausted from standing up.

Once the shower was done the nausea continued and the doctors gave him some meds for it. The amazing Dr. Vivar, the neurosurgeon who preformed the operation, also joined us this morning. Alex had his dressing on his neck changed and we left the room. The doctor says the wound is looking great and is healing extremely well.

We’ve done two more news interviews since the last update. Thanks to the Modesto Bee and The Daily Mail, we can hopefully continue to share Alex’s story with wider audiences.

His dad arrives around 8pm tonight and we will be staying together a few blocks from the hospital. I’ll meet him at the airport and Karina will hang with the cyborg.

We hopefully have 3 more days in the hospital which means we have 3 days to square up on the bill. Alex’s mom and I have sorted out the gofundme withdrawals, so the account now shows we’re raising money on her behalf as she will be paying the hospital from a new account she’s set up to handle all of your donations.

We’re going to hang out for the rest of day and enjoy the view from our 7th story hideout.

From Guatemala with Love,

Dillon
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Update 6
Posted by Dillon Nicholson
8 days ago
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UPDATE - DAY 3 OF RECOVERY

WE JUST HIT $20k!!!

So many emotions this morning. Yesterday was a rollercoaster that I wanted to stay on for as long as possible. What started out as a rough morning turned into many positive triumphs that were downright unbelievable.

Yesterday, Alex had his drainage tube removed from his throat, which made drinking more water and eating much easier. He ate a whole piece of chicken!

We also got the call when we were out for lunch that the doctor wanted to try and have Alex walk. So we rushed to the mall and got him a sweet pair of nikes, and ran out of there back to the hospital.

He rose from his chair, did two laps around his room, and was exhausted at the end of it. 5 days ago we were lying on a beach and he couldn’t feel anything below his neck. Yesterday he was walking, and I had my first tears of joy.

This morning has started out rough again. Alex is definitely not a morning person. He refused his eggs, even though they came with a side ice cream. He doesn’t want to be bathed. His hair is long and stays wet which makes him cold and uncomfortable. His pain levels are low, but he’s exhausted from our trek yesterday.

We’re hoping he gets out of the ICU today, and that we can take him on some more walks. He’s super excited for this possibility as well.

We also started the payment process to get our boy out of the country. Alex’s mother is handling all the generous donations into a separate account. We received a bill for just over $17k today, but this bill doesn’t have the doctors fees from the surgery. We want to keep the hospital honest and will be asking for bills daily. Between the differences in language and currency, determining what’s what has been hard enough.

I’m super grateful for his family and how they’ve stepped up to handle the donations and payments. All I want to do is go on walks with my boy and sneak him more ice cream. Alex’s dad gets here tomorrow and Karina and I are looking forward to showing him the ropes.

If you’re reading this and you’ve donated, thank you so much! Please continue to follow Alex’s journey home and help support by sharing our posts. We’ve been sharing your comments with him and he’s so excited when y’all have something positive to share.

If you’re reading this and haven’t yet donated, please consider donating what you can to help get my buddy home and back into the classroom. After calling his parents, the first thing he wanted to do was make sure his students would have lesson plans to stay active while he’s gone.

Let’s get our boy home safely!

All my love,

Dillon
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$29,230 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 509 people in 12 days
Created January 3, 2019
Dillon Nicholson
on behalf of Kristy Miller Oden
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