Two fundraisers have raised over $125,000 for a TCU student left paralyzed from the waist down after the pickup truck he was riding in flipped earlier this month.
Joe Radanovich was airlifted to the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, on Nov. 5 after the Chevrolet Silverado car he was a passenger in flipped four to six times, according to the Texas Department of Transportation crash report for the accident.
The driver of the vehicle, a TCU student, fell asleep while going eastbound on U.S. Route 84, according to the investigating officer. The truck merged into the left lane and eventually into the left shoulder, before going into a skid. From there, the driver tried to correct back right, according to the crash report.
The driver then began to skid back across into the right lane and ended up on the opposite shoulder, where the vehicle began to flip.
Radanovich, who is still hospitalized, suffered punctured lungs and two fractured vertebrae, which left him paralyzed.
One passenger had to receive pelvic surgery. The driver and one other passenger in the truck were not seriously injured.
Two GoFundMe fundraisers were created and a t-shirt fundraiser has since been started to raise money for Radanovich’s care.
“The main outcome I wanted from setting up the GoFundMe was to, obviously, raise money for Joe and his family, whether that’s $1,000 or $20,000,” said Cole Beyer, a first-year pre-business major, who raised $20,290.
Beyer said he does not know Radanovich, but one of the other people involved was Beyer’s roommate.
Beyer’s effort inspired junior business information systems major Garrett Robinson and Max Muskat, a sophomore pre-business major, to start a fundraiser. They set their goal at $100,000 and have since raised it to $150,000.
“Max and I were sitting down one day and just started to get the GoFundMe going and we were trying to think of a reasonable goal. No more than four days later we hit our $100,000 mark,” Robinson said.
In six days, they raised $105,632 to help with hospital bills and therapy costs.
Robinson said Radanovich’s condition is doing better. He underwent surgery for his back two vertebrae on Nov. 8 and is in a wheelchair working to get his strength back.
“His spirits are super high, he’s still joking around, he’s still the same old Joe, he’s still keeping his head high,” Robinson said. “He is just really staying positive which is huge.”
Radanovich’s doctors and surgeon have said he is in the 5% that is able to recover after an injury of this magnitude, Muskat said.