TEMPLE (KXAN) — While many UT students are in Dallas this weekend for the Texas-OU game, some are going back and forth between Austin and Temple to be by their friend’s side.
Nicky Cumberland has been in the ICU at a hospital in Temple since last Sunday.
His friends told us Cumberland was coming back from the Texas Cowboys retreat. The Cowboys is a men’s service organization at UT.
“I’ve been up there every day,” said junior Bryan Read. “We slept there as a group the first two nights, and we’ve been commuting back and forth.”
Read said Cumberland isn’t awake yet. He’s on life support, fighting every day to survive.
Read has been friends with Cumberland since they were 6-years-old. “We spent so much time together. His family has been my second family pretty much,” he said. “He’s the nicest, kindest, most loving person I’ve ever met in my entire life. It’s just been easy because you always want to be with him no matter what.”
Jake Reistroffer, who’s also a junior at UT Austin, said he’s known Cumberland since 6th grade. “The first few days at the hospital, I would say over 100 people came,” he said.
Reistroffer said he got the news when he was driving. “It definitely shocks you,” he said. This weekend, thousands of UT students are on the road for the Red River Showdown in Dallas.
Cumberland’s friends said his condition right now is a “day-by-day thing.” “They have expectations set for every day,” said Reistroffer. “Honestly, every day he’s exceeded those expectations, so it’s great.”
Read and Reistroffer said they’re staying optimistic.
“I’m telling him to keep fighting. God’s watching over him,” Read said.
The friends also created a Go Fund Me page to help Cumberland’s family with medical expenses.