BOONVILLE - With neck surgery less than two months away, Christian Hurt and his family are still fighting.
Christian and his mother, Melody, are not only fighting through the daily struggles of the life-altering injury, but fighting to raise the necessary money for his expensive surgery in Germany set for November.
“We understand that not everyone has the money to just hand out as a donation. But they can help me by sharing my story with as many people as possible and telling those people to share it,” Christian explained. “Tell people about my video, tell people about my websites - the more people that know the better.
“Even if you can’t donate, pray for my family and spread my story,” he added.
As of publication, the Hurts have raised nearly $32,000 towards the surgery, but still well off the $100,000 needed to make the trip overseas.
No More Halo
In the beginning of August, after being confined in the bulky neck halo for nine months, Christian was freed. Doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital removed the halo nine months to the day it was first screwed on in favor for a smaller neck brace.
“Over time, the halo had gotten looser and looser, and it just got to the point where it got too lose for me to wear it any longer,” Christian explained. “I like this brace a lot better – I don’t have any screws in my head.
“When I first transitioned into this brace, it took a while for me to adjust to it because my neck wasn’t used to holding the weight of my head. That first week was hectic and I was actually kind of missing the halo,” he continued. “But after that first week, my muscles have been building back up and I’ve been getting more used to it.”
Christian says the new brace is cooler and makes sleeping easier. But what he loves most is that he is finally able to give his mom a real hug.
“I’m so happy I can give my mom a full real hug!” he wrote on his Facebook page after getting home from the hosptial. “We take things like that for granted, but I promise, I have had no happier moment than last night when I hugged my mom tight and out hearts beat against each other! The Lord knew we both needed that!”
While the new brace looks more pleasing to the eye, Melody warns the new brace is more dangerous because of the lack of support.
New Websites and Video
Two new websites have been set up to ease the donation process and spread the word about Christian’s story.
A donation website - giveforward.com/healthehurt - makes giving money a simple process. Organized by Alisha Guilford, the webpage allows donors to simply click the ‘donate now’ button and select the amount they wish to send. A message can accompany the donation.
A personal website - christianhurt.com - shares Christian’s story with photos, information on how to donate and a new video directed by Brooke and Joey Cutts and Scott Smith.
“I met them at a church out in Hamptonville when I went out there and spoke a couple weeks ago,” Christian said. “They put the video together for me; it turned out really well.”
In the video, Christian describes the night of the accident and the months following in an exclusive interview.
East Lincoln Benefits
East Lincoln High School in Denver has extended a helping hand.
Led Tammy Byus, the wife of Mustang head football coach, Mike, the East Lincoln football team and community have been taking up donations at home games and selling t-shirts and wristbands to benefit Christian.
“They understand what it’s about – helping someone,” Christian said. “I don’t think it even has to do with them being the team I got hurt against, they just want to help. They’re just good people.”
“We want to put a big shout-out to East Lincoln - it really shows how much character they have,” Melody said. “Being that they are the team we played against and we beat them. They don’t have to think about him, he knocked them out of the playoffs last year. It just shows that they’re awesome people.”
Christian and the Rams knocked the Mustangs out of the last season’s 2A state playoffs, with a 21-13 first-round win. The victory was also Christian’s final game when he went down late in the fourth quarter.
Several fundraising events to benefit the Christian Hurt Medical Needs Fund have been set up around the area in the upcoming weeks.
The First “Heal The Hurt” Benefit Golf Tournament will be held at the Winston Lake Golf Course on September 28. Registration is set to begin at 9 a.m. with a 10 a.m. shotgun start.
A new Chevrolet will be given out for a hole-in-one at the event. The price for an individual player is set $60 and a team of four is set at $240.
A second event will benefit Christian and injured East Wilkes football player Landon Walker on September 29.
“Riding for a Cause” Benefit Ride for Christian and Walker is set for September 29 at Grace Full Gospel Church in Jonesville. The event is set for 9 a.m. and will benefit both former area football players.
The cost is $20 per horse or wagon and will start at 3719 Messick Rd., and will last four hours.
The Jonesville Bojangles will be holding another benefit on September 19 from 4 p.m. to closing. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the medical needs fund.
“We would really appreciate as many people to come out and support these fundraisers as possible because time is winding down and we still have a long way to go,” Melody said. “If you know anybody who knows anybody who knows anybody, let them know too.”
Donation jars have also been set up at football games across the Mountain Valley Conference.
The Yadkin Valley Bank (110 W. Market St., PO Box 888, Elkin, NC 28621) in Elkin is still accepting donations.
Running Out of Time
With November right around the corner, time is running out to raise the necessary $100,000.
Melody says not having the money worries her more than the actual surgery.
“I’m more nervous about being able to raise all the money for the surgery than I am about the actual surgery,” she explained. “What some people don’t understand is that there is a risk if we have surgery here in the United States – it’s going to be the same risk if we have it here. What worries me most is if we have the money to get him over there and get it done.
“I feel that God brought him this far, his life was compromised the night he got hit,” Melody added. “If God didn’t allow something bad to happen then, God is not going to allow it now.
The Hurts emphasized that sharing Christian’s story is as beneficial as a monetary donation.
“We’d really like for people who look at his video to share it,” Melody said. “I have my son here that we’re trying to get him fixed from a broken neck, but is November is going to be here soon. We’ve been doing this for six months now and we haven’t hit $40,000 yet.
“Maybe for us it would take that one person to help us, but time is ticking, faster now than it was before,” she added.
“We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us - Philippians 4:13.”
To donate or for more information, please visit christianhurt.com or giveforward.com/healthehurt.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.