Chivers, the story of Farrah, an Aurora survivor (10 Photos)

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Last Friday in the Daily Afternoon Randomness I asked the Chivers for a favor. I believed that, in the wake of the tragic shooting in Aurora, CO there must be something theCHIVE community can do to help an innocent victim who needs our help the most. Valuable info began pouring in from our Colorado Chivers and one victim's name began to stand out in the email subject lines: Farrah.

Thanks again to our vigilant CO Chivers (you know who you are). Without you, none of what's about to happen would be possible.

None of what I'm about to say, however, will be easy to read. This is the story of a survivor:

Farrah Soudani, her boyfriend Mike White, and Mike's father Mike Sr. have a tradition; they go to the 'late nights' when big movies open. On Thursday July 19th, the happy trio and some family friends walked into theatre 9 in Aurora, CO to watch the late showing of Batman: The Dark Knight.

15 minutes into the film, something that resembled a balloon was hurled down the right hand side of the theater, where Farrah was seated two seats from the isle. Suddenly, popping sounds echoed through the theater. Many assumed a prankster had set off fireworks in the theater, but Mike Sr., an Air Force Veteran, knew better. The theater was under attack.

Mike Sr. grabbed Mike and Farrah by their heads and yelled "Get Down! Get Down!" just as the 'balloon' exploded.

I spoke to Victoria Albright, a close family friend and author of Farrah's donation page. Victoria told me how Farrah described the first, frantic moments:

"I remember seeing a bright flash, and a bang bang bang."

The explosive ripped a 5" hole through Farrah's abdomen and demolished her left leg. Initial reports would say Farrah was shot, but the wounds indicate a shrapnel penetration. Farrah fell to the ground.

A hail of gunfire rained on the trio as the gunman moved closer. Mike was shot shielding Farrah. The bullet ripped through his right shoulder, piercing his lung and finally exiting his back. Mike continued to lay beside Farrah, holding her intestines inside her body.

Mike Sr. saw the gunman making his way from the 8th row down the isle, closing in on the injured couple. In a moment of astonishing heroism, Mike Sr. draped himself across Farrah to protect her. Michael Sr. said:

"This gunman's going to get me, I know I'm going to get shot. I give up my body to save her. He's going to shoot me, he's not going to shoot the girl."

Suddenly, the gunman stopped and changed his course enabling Michael Sr. precious moments to crawl out of the theater to get help. Farrah was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The officer who transported Farrah to the hospital, holding her side the entire time, described Farrah as "one tough cookie."

The surgeries begin:

Farrah's wounds are extensive. Yesterday she had surgery to repair her left calf and exploritory surgeries on her midsection to determine the next course of action. Both surgeries went well but there will be many more. Farrah suffered significant damage to her left calf and her left abdomen is 'permanently affected.' Farrah's amazing mother, Heidi, rarely leaves her side. Plastic surgeries will be needed for years to come. Farrah has no insurance.

The healing begins:

When the first images from the Aurora massacre hit the news, I stared blankly at my TV. A voice in the back of my head told me the Chivers would be called upon to help. I was uncertain of what capacity we'd be needed, but I was certain the Chivers would rise to meet the gravity of the occasion.

Things are clear now, a family and their their fragile daughter needs our help. And while our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of this senseless violence, today is for Farrah.

The global media attention and Presidential visit has made Farrah famous and Mike Sr. a national hero, but it hasn't translated into the one thing this family needs the most: financial help. Only $37,000 of their $100,000 goal has been raised. theCHIVERS are about to adjust the sails on that one.

The goal is $100,000. I'm told Ferrah's medical bills will easily exceed the target amount which is fine, we all know the Chivers see financial goals much like a lonely stop sign on an empty country road - something briefly regarded before hitting the accelerator.

We're not only going to help a survivor recover, but in so doing we will play a small part in the overall healing process in Aurora; helping usher out evil and enabling a community to rebuild physically and emotionally. Our Colorado Chivers have provided the compass to find Farrah. Now it's time to follow their lead.

You know what to do, don't stop giving until the machine breaks.

Farrah's donation page RIGHT HERE.

UPDATE: Due the the volume of donations, the donation page is refreshing slowly so the finantial totals don't yet reflect the amount raised, which is amazing. Be patient! More updates to come.

UPDATE #2: We just spoke to the founder and CEO of Go Fund Me, he's been very helpful by allocating server strength to Farrah's page to handle the donation load. We asked him if there was a record donation amount in a single hour. He responded, "There was, but theCHIVE shattered that record just now." We have surpassed the $60,000 amount in less than an hour.

Update #3: At the one hour mark, donations total $74,000. Unreal. Keep going!

Update #4: $85,000

Update #5: $95,000. The final push!

UPDATE #6: $100,000 in an hour and a half. This is unfreakingbelievable.

Update #7: $120,000. And the Chivers have hit the accelerator.

Update #8: $135,000. Also, we linked to hero Michael White's donation page and theCHIVER's have almost raised $10,000 for him!

Update #9: $140,000

For updates on Farrah’s condition and to make a donation, CLICK HERE.

An email has been set up, messagetofarrah [at] comcast [dot] com, if you want to contact Farrah to offer any kind words.

Watch the Dateline video of Farrah’s story below

UPDATE: Due the the volume of donations, the donation page is refreshing slowly so the financial totals don’t yet reflect the amount raised, which is amazing. Be patient! More updates to come.

UPDATE #2: We just spoke to the founder and CEO of Go Fund Me, he’s been very helpful by allocating server strength to Farrah’s page to handle the donation load. We asked him if there was a record donation amount in a single hour. He responded, “There was, but theCHIVE shattered that record just now.” We have surpassed the $60,000 amount in less than an hour.

Update #3: At the one hour mark, donations total $74,000. Unreal. Keep going!

Update #4: $85,000

Update #5: $95,000. The final push!

UPDATE #6: $100,000 in an hour and a half. This is unfreakingbelievable.

Update #7: $120,000. And the Chivers have hit the accelerator.

Update #8: $135,000. Also, we linked to hero Michael White’s donation page and theCHIVER’s have almost raised $10,000 for him!

Update #9: $140,000

  • https://www.facebook.com/bob.gusky Bob Gusky

    Has anyone read the comments on the donation page…there is a polite but definite split between the folks supporting her through the donation page and a "family donation page" anyone know if there is any kind of actual scam on either or am I reading too much into it?

  • Sean

    http://www.gofundme.com/how-to-fundraise/
    This "GoFundMe" website is going to be taking a 5% cut out of each donation. Look at number 6 on the link I posted.

  • M Gunn

    Ok, I am a little late, the interwebs have been slow, but I figure something late is better than nothing at all.

    PS – Chive On !

    pps – moar girls in the middle of no where /just sayin'

  • Eric

    It's stories like this that make me incredibly proud to be a Chiver…

  • http://dirkpittfan.tumblr.com/ thatwasfun

    not trying to be a downer as i feel this is a great idea, but according to the website , they take 5% deduction of all transactions. money that should be going to the family. Please correct me if i am wrong about this.

    • h20work

      Sucks, but it's true. To be fair, they do have to pay credit card processing fees that can run up to 4% for amex. Hate that credit card companies and others profit from acts of kindness.

    • Andy in Alberta

      Plus they likely have admin cost. Im sure the site is more than just some guy on his lap top in moms bassement

  • MICHAEL MORRIS

    We all want to help Farrah, but all these people need help. Why not let these funds go toward a general fund to help everyone involved?

    • myself

      Read John's words. Link to the general fund is there. She is severely wounded andvin all likelihood has years of surgeries and physical therapy infront of her. It's more than possible that the general fund will go dry with alk the folks needs and the costs to oversee it.

      She needs extra help and like previously stated today is for Farrah.

  • Jay

    Donated early! Just wanted to say kcco darlin. Stay strong and you are definatly a trooper. My family is praying for all the victims. God bless.

  • JOE

    Didn't I read that the medical bills are gonna be waived for the shooting victims?

    • Sam

      The area hospitals are not charging for any of the care needed initally. I imagine there will be lots of other doctors and surgeries for farrah after she is discharged from the hospital for years to come. they will need to rebuild her leg and her abdomen. it could take dozens of surgeries.

  • Homer

    Stay strong Farrah!! KCCO you are beautiful and I wish you a speedy recovery. Why is Cinemark, the Parent company of the theater, NOT paying for medical bills? They should be responsible for not providing a safe environment for an event like this.

  • https://www.facebook.com/tenebrarum Charly Duque

    This is why Im proud to be a Chiver! lets go guys!

  • http://thechive.com/ T_Gregg

    I got onto the chive to see funny crap and really hot girls. And today i see a picture of this beautiful blonde.. Naturally I had to investigate. Next thing i know I'm welling up tears as i read this story or tragedy, courage, and survival. All of a sudden i find myself donating my hard earned money for this girl and her family. Never in my life did i think that I'd get on a website to laugh or perv out, only to cry and give away my money. But do you know what the best part is fellow Chivers??

    I don't regret a fucking iota of it.

    Chive on Farrah. I wish you, those two heroes at your side, and all others involved a speedy and full recovery.

  • Pottyplant

    CHIVE nation!!!!! KCCO. Ur in my thoughts and prayers

  • KCCO_CO

    Love outshines all evil

  • http://www.facebook.com/story.david.e David Story

    donated and damn proud of our little community on the internet.

  • Beerman365

    I'm so proud to be a chiver. I love you guys and gals. Chive on family.

  • Homer

    Stay strong Farrah!! KCCO you are beautiful and I wish you a speedy recovery. Why is Cinemark, the Parent company of the theater, NOT paying for medical bills? They should be responsible for not providing a safe environment for an event like this.

  • https://www.facebook.com/mark.husk.3 Mark Husk

    I effing love this group! Let's keep all of the victims in our prayers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.victorine Brian Victorine

    Chive… You amaze me more and more every day!

  • J.D

    Great job everyone! I just got back home from work and will showing some donation love to Michael's page

  • LizR

    Amazing story of strength! Stay strong Farrah! And Mike Sr you are by every definition a true hero. Bless you! KCCO

  • Andres

    Stay strong and you will carry on!

  • http://www.facebook.com/idl3hands Cory Lowry

    Here's a great opportunity for us all to give back!

    KCCO from a Colorado Chiver!

  • Aaron

    $142k+ at 6:30 PST… Fuck Yeah! KCCO, Farrah!

  • Ryan

    Can we get some clarification from the Chive on where the donations should go indefinitely? You have the GoFundMe link up which has resulted in $140 thousand + dollars which is outstanding. But what is going on with the family site and why has that not been posted as well? There seems to be a lot of feuding going on between the people behind the family site. Such as this comment pulled just now :

    Alysan Scott
    I have been watching the progress and processes today on Facebook as well as the http://www.gofundme.com/Help-Farrah and this one as well. And I am shocked at the attacks that have been launched by Jordan Soudani against the people have have been entrusted by Heidi Soudani, the mother of Farrah Soudani to raise funds for her daughter. Shocked and disgusted, It is a sad day when a brothers anger, hatred, greed and apparent need for total control of his family creates such distress with the family and the friends of the family who are trying to help Farrah, out of pure love and compassion. Shame on you Jordan Soudani, and Marty Soudani as well for allowing Jordan's behavior to dampen the efforts of so many generous people who only have Farrah's best interest at heart!

    I am confident that you will keep an eye on this to make sure all the generous donations find the family in full.

  • Aisha

    I just cried a lot more than I thought I would. I cried because of how heartbreaking the story was and then I kept crying because I have never, and I mean NEVER been so proud to be a part of an online community. Each and every day, every single chiver restores my faith in humanity.

    KCCO❤ -From Canada

    Ps. Kick ass Farrah! We are all here for you!

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