Darryn August’s tragic encounter with armed rubbers on a train has turned out to be a stepping stone to his fame as he receives international recognition from people as far as the US donating money for his treatment.
The 27 years old Athlone man was attacked when he stepped in to prevent train commuters from being robbed by a group of nine men. He got himself severely beaten and thrown off a moving train
Individuals from all works of life have hailed him a hero with many of them donating money for his treatment through a fund called “Everest for August” which was set up to raise funds for him. By yesterday it had raised nearly R160,000. It wasn’t clear whether August would accept the donation.
August fractured his spine when he was flung from a train and hit a tree while trying to protect female passengers from being robbed on the Metrorail.
On Thursday August underwent spinal fusion surgery to re-link parts of his spinal cord that were broken and recent report from the hospital where he is being taken care of says, he had undergone an operation and it was a success as his broken spine has been repaired
Against reports from the media that he used himself as a decoy when a group of men came on the train and started robbing people, August said he was only attacked because he was closer to them than the rest.
“There were three other passengers and one was a pregnant woman, but they were on the other side of the carriage. I was nearest to the robbers and that’s why they came for me. I wasn’t trying to intervene,”
Recounting what happened in the process, he said he was hit on the head with a heavy metal object and stabbed multiple times before being tossed out from the carriage, resulting in his striking a tree and breaking his spine.
Darryn August who said he is no longer angry with his attackers says he is overwhelmed by the support and funds that have come in since his cousin, Edwin Brooks and a friend, Graeme Kuys, started the Everest For August fund and hoped to raise R50 000 by Saturday.
Though doctors think he might not be able to walk again, August is optimistic that he will get well soon as he plans to move on with his normal life when he gets healed from his injuries.
“[The doctors] said I won’t walk again but I feel with time, hard work and determination I will walk,” he said.
Darryn August has been referred to as a quirky but bold leader; “Recently he negotiated with community leaders in Athlone for greater access to resources for youths in that community. He’s not afraid to step into that space.” Ashley Roman of Activate!, a leadership network said.