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Santa Barbarans Pull Together To Help Injured Exchange Student

Weeklong fundraising drive assists victim with medical bills.

Friends of Henry T., center, at Aikido of Santa Barbara have raised nearly $1,500 to help with his medical bills in the wake of a brutal attack.
Friends of Henry T., center, at Aikido of Santa Barbara have raised nearly $1,500 to help with his medical bills in the wake of a brutal attack. (Aikido of Santa Barbara photo)

A 21-year-old Hong Kong exchange student has found out who is friends are in the aftermath of a brutal assault during a robbery on Santa Barbara’s Westside last month. After reading Noozhawk’s report of the attack, members of Aikido of Santa Barbara got together and have raised $1,460 to help pay for the victim’s medical bills.

Henry T., a student at ELS Language Center, 104 W. Anapamu St., was walking home alone from a night downtown Nov. 25 when he was attacked near Bath and Valerio streets. After punching and kicking him in the head, the assailant stole his wallet and camera. Henry was left in the street with bruises, a lost tooth and a broken nose.

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital treated Henry’s injuries and billed him about $1,000 for an initial exam and a temporary tooth replacement. After speaking with hospital staff, it is expected that his total bills will be around $6,000.

Peter Matthies, founder of the Conscious Business Institute, initiated a week-long fundraising drive through Aikido of Santa Barbara, which Henry had joined just a few months ago. On Monday, Aikido of Santa Barbara presented Henry with the financial support for his medical bills on behalf of Santa Barbara — one day before he returned to Hong Kong.

“I want to thank everybody who stepped up on such short notice and made a contribution,” Matthies said. “We received incredibly kind letters that show how much Santa Barbara citizens care about these tragic events.

“To me, this fundraising drive was not so much about helping with an isolated incident of violence. Much more, it is about the ability of a community to pull together in times of need — to pause for a moment and remember what life is really about.”

For more information, contact Matthies at 805.962.4143 or e-mail [email protected]

Santa Barbara police have no suspects in the attack. Anyone with information is asked to call the department’s toll-free anonymous tip line at 877.800.9100.

Write to [email protected]

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