Nick Neynens. Photo: Nick Neynens

Nick Neynens: Q&A with Susy Goldner

Thursday 30 June, 2022

Nick Neynen’s friend Susy Goldner explains where the money raised through GoFundMe will go

New Zealand Red Bull X-Alps pilot Nick Neynens suffered a spinal injury following a paragliding accident in Annecy two weeks ago. While it is too early to confirm how much recovery will take place, Nick has paralysis of his legs and will need rehabilitation and adaptation. His friend Susy Goldner organised a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for his post-hospital aftercare at home in New Zealand. At the time of writing it had raised $55,000AUS of a $100,000AUS target.

Susy, how is Nick doing?
Nick’s head took a big hit even through his helmet so it’s fantastic that he’s recovering from that well and quickly. As to his spinal injury, well Nick’s got more backbone than the rest of us put together (plus a unique attitude) and that’s going to give him a huge advantage

How is he feeling about what happened?
Nick is positive. He’s smiling. I don’t think he’s faking it! He’s focused on what he needs to be focused on.

How is his mum feeling?
I can tell where Nick got his attitude from. His Mum, Karen, is calm and switched on, and knows the sort of stuff Nick is made of.

How did you and Nick become friends?
Myself and a few fans of his camped on an icy cold night on top of a hill. I had 37 layers of fleece and down on, Nick was in shorts and sandals. He showed us how to tell the difference between a hard boiled egg and an uncooked egg. Life lessons…

When did you hear of his accident and decide to set up the GoFundMe?
I happened to be up late at night in Australia, so I knew about it straight away and was able to see what was happening with the rescue as his tracking was still showing up. Like so many who heard about it I was feeling low and wanted to help. The medical side of things was the first priority and Andrew Dobinson and Hammed Malik and I wanted Nick and Karen to be comfortable with us putting out a call for financial help, so it was about a week later that we got to the stage of setting up the GoFundMe

What will the money go towards?
After finally convincing Nick to accept financial support we set up the GoFundMe campaign to raise funds so Nick can get home and live by his ethics of freedom and independence. Contributions will go beyond the cost of emergency care and repatriation flights. We would love to raise enough money to assist him with living expenses while recuperating without an income, any specialised equipment he may require, adaptations required to his home, as well as therapy and care costs not covered by the health system.

Anything you’d like to add?
Thanks to every awesome individual who has made a donation. From the messages, it seems people around the world have been inspired by Nick’s flying style, and pure love of adventure, and even if they haven’t met him personally, they can tell he is “real”.  It’s not only about what Nick does, it’s the way he goes about it, and people who’ve “shared his joys” want to stay on the path with him.

You can read updates and donate at gofundme.com/f/nick-neynens

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