This holiday season, Florida Gulf Coast University student Garrett Meriwether is thankful for his health and the support of his friends.
That’s because, after a motorcycle accident that his girlfriend, Amanda Soberg said may have left him unable to walk, Meriwether is now expected to make a full recovery. And within a week of his accident, 94 people have raised $5320 to help Meriwether pay his medical bills.
The fundraising was directed through a Go Fund Me page created by Meriwether’s friend and manager at Famous Dave’s, Jeffrey Richey.
Meriwether, a 24 year-old business management major, is a full-time student who works at Famous Dave’s and Hertz to support his family, which includes his girlfriend and an eight- month-old daughter named Kinley.
According to Soberg, Meriwether was returning a motorcycle to her mother’s house on the morning of Dec. 14 when the accident occurred.
“Garrett was driving south on 41 in Bonita Springs when a SUV driven by a 70 year-old couple ran the stop sign. They were taking a left onto 41 going north bound. Garrett t-boned them, he was not speeding,” Soberg said.
Soberg said the driver of the SUV was ticketed, but unharmed. Meriwether was taken to the hospital with collapsed lungs, broken ribs and broken vertebrae.
“He had back surgery Monday evening and it was a very, very risky one because the spinal cord was very easily damaged. He was projected not to be able to walk after surgery … But he did! As of today he is pretty much just recovering and in a lot a lot of pain,” Soberg said.
Soberg is unsure how soon it will be before Meriwether will be well enough to go back to work and school. “He should make a full recovery, but it will take many months and a lot of hard work,” she said.
Donors to the Go Fund Me page have wished Meriwether prayers, hugs and a speedy recovery.
“Garrett and I are both blown away by the support we have received, he is a loved man! It also makes you reconsider helping someone else in need,” Soberg said.
Anyone can donate to Meriwether’s Go Fund Me page at: www.gofundme.com/ivofe8.