Life can change in an instant.
It did last February for Charles Stubbs, 25 of Westwood, who was paralyzed from the neck down after being thrown from a vehicle on a dead-end Hillsdale street and left for dead. Since that fateful night, every moment has been a fight for his life.
"A parent's worst nightmare [is] having to identify their son in a coma laying in ICU," his mom Hillaria Stubbs said on a GoFundMe page , where more than $1,000 had been raised as of Thursday afternoon.
"He survived a violent attack that came with in inches of his life. He is lucky to be alive."
Still, Stubbs faces a long road to full recovery.
A fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 362 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood to help offset the costs of rehabilitation for Stubbs. Food, drinks and desserts will be available.
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with Stubbs' assault: Alex Juarez, 29, Bryan Ortigoza, 19, and a 17-year-old girl from Nutley.
Stubbs was found unconscious in a pool of blood by a firefighter, who made the phone call that saved his life, Hillaria Stubbs said. During his six-month "aching" stay in the hospital, Stubbs suffered respiratory failure, collapsed lungs twice, several infections and more.
He has finally started to turn a corner and for that, his family and loved ones are grateful. Especially his mother.
"This journey has been a long one, overwhelming financially and emotionally exhausting," his mother said. "It takes a village to care for Charles. As a single parent with only one child he depends on me. Together we are stronger."
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