AUSTIN (KXAN) — The GoFundMe goal of $30,000 set by a tornado survivor’s school nurse was surpassed by more than $9,000 on Saturday afternoon.
Riley Leon said he was returning home from a Monday job interview at Whataburger when his red truck was picked up by a tornado, thrown around multiple times and spat upright. In one now viral video of the event, the truck can be seen landing on all four tires before driving away.
“I had missed a few U-turns due to heavy rain and when I took a third U-turn – where I was going to take the turn – that’s when the tornado came to pick up my truck and I went flying “, said Leon. .
A school nurse at IDEA Rundberg, a charter school in Austin that Leon attends, started a GoFundMe on Thursday for the 16-year-old after saying a conversation with family had her worried.
“He said ‘I have a bad back, it started hurting me last night’,” recalls Bianca Jaimes.
It was then that Leon’s mother picked him up from school and took him to the doctor, where it was determined that Leon had a broken bone. The family says they have no health insurance.
In just a few days, the fundraiser exceeded the school nurse’s goal of $30,000. Jaimes says all money donated will go directly to the family.
Those who have donated are also offering their best wishes on GoFundMe.
“You seem like a lovely kid who was just trying to work to make yourself better for you and your family,” one Houston commenter wrote. “You just got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
“This young man needs a break,” wrote another. “He is humble and wants to continue his studies. We wish him and his family the best.
“It means a lot that the school is also trying to help me and everyone is worried about me,” Leon said. “Thank God I’m safe here.”
In addition to the fundraiser, Chevrolet is also donating a new truck to Leon on Saturday.