EAST LANSING — One of the five injured students from Monday’s mass shooting is an international student from China who suffered a severed spinal cord in the incident, according to his roommate.
An online fundraising account for John Hao, organized by roommate, Argent Qian, on Sunday had raised more than $196,000 of a $200,000 goal in a matter of hours.
Hao, 20, also has injuries to his lungs, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, Qian wrote. He’s in the hospital’s intensive care unit and is under a breathing tube.
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Lansing public relations professional Andrea Bitely is representing the family to assist with communication with the public and confirmed the accuracy of the comments in the online fundraising appeal.
“I come to you with a heavy heart to share a story about a beloved Global Spartan, my roommate John Hao. John, a twenty-year-old international student from China, was shot in the back and critically injured during the mass shooting on the Michigan State University campus on February 13,” Qian wrote. “As his close friend and roommate for the past three years, I have seen firsthand the impact of this tragedy on his life and that of his family. His parents from China are mentally crushed and traveled to Michigan to see him without being able to speak English.
“The bullet severed John’s spinal cord (t7-t8) and critically injured his lungs, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. As he remains stabilized in the ICU with a breathing tube inserted in his lung, his family is facing significant financial burdens. Due to Covid, they are already in a large amount of debt, and John’s critical injuries are adding to the pressure on the family, leaving their parents not only to pay the debt in the future but also need to take care of John without having any income, since they are in the US without speaking any English.
“John is a beloved member of our Spartan community, a leader in a student organization, and a passionate sports enthusiast.
“To help John and his family, we have set up a GoFundMe page to seek kindness and support from the world. As his close friend, I am reaching out to you to help him achieve the life he deserves. All the funds will go directly to pay for his medical bills and support his family during these trying times and find any existing treatment that might fix his injuries.”
Qian said Hao is a leader in MSU’s Chinese student community and has sought to complete his degree in sports management. The two met in 2020 and became best friends, and navigated East Lansing together as international students and “discovered what it means to be a Spartan.”
“He always go to home games of Detroit Pistons, and his favorite player is James Harden,” Qian wrote in the appeal. “He is never able to drive to state parks to look at the stars anymore like he used to, He dreams of traveling the globe and having a career in sports management. However, his ongoing medical and physical needs, will also create a significant financial burden for his family and make it almost impossible to achieve his dreams.”
MSU students Brian Fraser, 20, of Grosse Pointe, Alexandria Verner, 20, of Clawson and Arielle Anderson, 19, of Harper Woods, were killed during the shooting.
One of the five injured students was upgraded Thursday from critical to stable condition.
MSU said Friday it would initially use community donations to the “Spartan Strong” fund to pay the medical bills for the five students who survived Monday’s mass shooting but committed to make up any shortfall with university funds.