Organizations rally behind student in hospital after accident

Alpha Phi Omega and the Student Government Association worked together to hold a blood drive on Jan. 31, 2013, in honor of a hospitalized student.

Graham McMillian, vice president of external affairs, said SGA was contacted by the administration about Matthew Smith, who is still in the hospital after a motorcycle accident.

Jane Smith, Matthew's mom, said the accident happened on Jan. 11 at 8:45 p.m. She said Matthew Smith was struck by an 18-wheeler when he rode into an intersection after the light turned green.

She said doctors were worried that Matthew Smith would bleed out from internal injuries. Due to his injuries, he received thirty units of blood in his first twenty-four hours at the hospital. That amount of blood is close to three times more than the average human capacity.

He has received eight surgeries so far and is stable now. However, due to a broken pelvis, he will be unable to stand for three months and will have to go to physical therapy, his mother said.

Jane Smith visited the blood drive and said she was blown away by the amount of people who came. She said there was a three-hour wait whenever she stopped by.

APO holds a blood drive every semester, according to their president Judge Howell, and they decided to partner with SGA and hold the blood drive in Smith’s honor.

Howell said that 60 units of blood were given and people had to be turned away because the Red Cross did not have any additional bags.

“Obviously not all of the blood is not going to him, but it’s that kind of thought process of ‘Oh, this person is closely related to TCU, he’s a student, if he needs it then we should stand up for that,’” Howell said.

McMillan said when students come together to help a student in need, there is a boost in the feeling of community on campus.

“He’s one of our own, you know? And he’s also served for us in the military and it’s extremely important that we honor both those things and be there for him if we need,” McMillian said.

McMillian said that donating blood is one way to serve the community and is one way that the campus can help out.

Matthew Smith is not only a student at the university but is also an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, April Brown, chair of Veteran Services Task Force, wrote in an email.

Brown said that the veterans' community at the university are close-knit, and when they heard about Smith’s accident, they wanted to do something to help out. Some members of the Women’s Veterans Society were talking and one made the suggestion of making a quilt.

A Marine Corps veteran and senior sociology major Stesha Colby said she does not know Matthew personally but wanted to get involved after she heard about his accident.

“Hospitals can get kind of impersonal and we wanted him to be reminded that TCU was still behind him for as long as it takes,” Colby said.