The kindness of complete strangers on social media recently helped a woman get some much-needed help – and in a hurry!
How One Plea Brought Strangers Around the World Together
In 2018, Danika Whitsett was attending college when she got into a devastating car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down.
She was asleep in the SUV she was riding in when the driver lost control and the car rolled just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. At the time, Whitsett said she felt lucky to be alive after being told that only 20% of people survive after getting ejected from a car.
She went through intensive rehabilitation therapy and learned to use a wheelchair, which she is expected to be in for the rest of her life. Whitsett has been using the same wheelchair since 2018, and sadly, it has fallen into disrepair. The wheels have curved inwards toward her body, rubbing through her pants and leaving open wounds on both of her thighs.
“It could snap at any moment,” said Whitsett of her wheelchair. She has replaced numerous parts with stopgap measures while holding the broken backrest as she moves and holding tight due to a lack of side guards that were lost by an airline.
Whitsett is in the process of getting a new wheelchair but found out that even with her insurance, the cost would be $5,200, which is after an 80% payment by insurance, which is a cost she cannot afford.
“Sometimes you can’t do it alone,” Danika Whitsett told ABC10 News after giving in to friends and family who encouraged her to organize a GoFundMe campaign.
So Whitsett reluctantly posted a video on the social media platform TikTok, tearfully sharing her plight with the world and kept her fingers crossed.
“I desperately need this new chair and I hate ever asking for help or for money but I know sometimes it’s our only option. The last couple weeks our car has gotten run into and thrown in the shop, our TV started on fire, and some other financial stressors have been happening.” wept Whitsett.
“All the while trying to save money for my new chair so that I can actually be as independent as possible and it is much needed. Anything helps – literally $1 would mean the world to me. Thank you guys for your continuous support. I’m so appreciative of y’all and I love you guys, thank you.”
Her story quickly spread and even got the attention of influencer Mommacusses, who posted about Danika on her TikTok page. TikTokers quickly began donating to the GoFundMe account and raised the entire $5,000 in just a day! But thanks to the kindness of strangers, the donations have continued rolling in, and have now climbed to almost $22,000.
Whitsett is overwhelmed by the generosity. “I started actually crying happy tears and I was like, I don’t understand,” she said. “I just remember feeling so thankful.”
She hopes that sharing her story will help to effect change and make critical medical necessities, like wheelchairs, more affordable and accessible to others in similar situations.