Cape Town - About R250 000 has been raised for Darryn August, a 27-year-old man who was stabbed and thrown from a train by robbers after coming to the defence of a pregnant woman on his carriage.
Darryn's friend Graeme Dale Kuys has pledged to do an “Everest Ride” to raise funds for Darryn’s rehabilitation, and initially hoped to raise R50 000 via Everest For August.
“We want to raise funds to assist him in his recovery and to show support for his bravery. What better way than to spend 15 hours riding a bicycle up and down a mountain. All are welcome to join in for a picnic or even to do some cycling,” Kuys said on Everest for August.
The fund has since gone international since Darryn's act of bravery was first published, with many from around the world pledging in US dollars.
Donations have poured in, the Cape Argus reported.
On Tuesday morning, the fund had received R249 685.34, with the target scaled up to R350 000.
“It is so humbling to see the support for Darryn pouring in. People from all over the world praying for him, but more than actually putting it into action!” said a message on Facebook page Praying For Darryn.
“Thank you to one and all for your love and support to this amazing young man!”
Here is the link if you want to help raise funds for Darryn: Everest For August.
Attacked by nine robbers
August, from Athlone, was on his way to Somerset West last Monday where he works as a facilitator and teaches homeless children, News24 reported on Saturday.
He and four other commuters were in a carriage when nine men boarded and robbed the passengers near Firgrove station. Darryn told a cousin that a heavily pregnant woman was among those being terrorised.
His brother Bernard told News24 that Darryn tried to talk the robbers out of it.
“It’s not in his nature to stand back and do nothing. If he sees something bad going down, he would always step in,” he said.
“But when he tried to intervene, one of the guys hit him with a crowbar. He tried to get up but he was stabbed in the head with a knife,” he said.
“Darryn lost consciousness for a few minutes and when he came to, he was being tossed out of the train.”
The 27-year-old hit a tree before he landed, breaking his spine.
May not walk again
Darryn’s prognosis remains bleak, according to Bernard.
“We were told he has a zero chance of using his legs again. He is currently still drowsy because of the morphine, but we are here for him. Recovery is possible. God will make the final decision.”
Bernard said his brother also suffered two collapsed lungs, and underwent spinal surgery on Thursday.
“He is in a lot of pain but is recovering well. He is still a very bubbly person and even having both lungs collapsed doesn't keep him from talking,” Bernard said.
“All we want as his family is for him to be transferred to a hospital closer to home, as we have to spend a lot of money on petrol driving to Tygerberg Hospital twice a day.
“Darryn would give anything to feel the sun and a breeze again. He was very active in the community as well as a junior soccer coach, so he misses that most.”
But the August family are determined to see the robbers caught.
“I am hoping to find the passengers who were on the carriage that day so that the suspects can be identified in some way.
“That’s all we want – justice for Darryn."
Here is the link again if you want to help raise funds for Darryn: Everest For August.