GoFundMe: Dillon Nicholson

GoFundMe Started For California Man Who Can't Leave Guatemalan Hospital Until He Pays Massive Bill

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A California native and high school chemistry teacher, Alex Austin, was visiting Guatemala with friends when he got into an accident. He dove into what turned out to be shallow water and broke his neck.

A local hospital was able to treat him; however, his medical bills have been piling up in the meantime. Now he can't leave until they're paid.


When Austin dove in the water, he broke two vertebrae and pinched his neck. The hospital had to give him a five-hour surgery, installing titanium rods and a mesh cylinder, held together by a palladium plate.

It seems to have gone well, and Alex is recovering. However, the bills keep rising. Austin's friend, Dillon Nicholson, set up a GoFundMe to ask for help with the costs. Austin's insurance hasn't been much help with his injuries in another country, so Nicholson has been asking for money and keeping everyone informed of his progress.

What started at a $20,000 donation goal has been rising with the addition of new bills. They've already raised it to $25,000 and are close to reaching that goal. However, recent updates might increase that number.

Admittedly, the bill seems better than some people's experience in the states.

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Nicholson says his friend's biggest worry is the lesson plan for his students.

"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."

In the most recent update as of this writing, Austin is close to going home. Nicholson posted an update filled with positive progress and said Alex would be leaving the hospital tomorrow.

However, he also said:

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

The page shows only about $1,800 needed, so one can imagine a goal increase is coming soon.

You'd think there would be other options.


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What Alex needs to fly home in his condition is unknown at this time, but with his progress and help of his friends, this teacher will hopefully get to see his class again.