Nicholas Hudson ’20, a Cornell student who was stabbed at Agava’s Salsa Night on Feb. 26 while attempting to break up an altercation, is “close to a full recovery,” Hudson said.
Hudson was immediately rushed to a Syracuse hospital and underwent successful emergency surgery. He was operated on a second time the following day, and spent 11 days in the hospital. Members of Hudson’s family posted updates to an online journal as he recovered.
Daquan Graves, 26, was also stabbed in the incident and entered the hospital in critical but stable condition. He has since recovered.
The perpetrator has not yet been identified. The Tompkins County Sheriff’s office, which responded to the incident, did not respond to a request for comment.
Hudson said that it was the response of his friends, who were quick to lay him flat on his back and apply pressure to the wound to slow the bleeding, that saved his life.
“It would be great if people could use my story to become more educated on how to react in an emergency situation like that,” Hudson said. “People should know how to react, because if you don’t, you could lose somebody.”
One of Hudson’s friends at Agava on the night of the stabbing was trained as a Wilderness First Responder, but for the others, their reactions were “pure instinct,” Hudson said.
David Maniloff, one of Hudson’s friends from their ultimate frisbee team, met with other team members the night after the incident to figure out how they could help. The meeting generated a Gofundme campaign to alleviate the medical costs that Hudson’s family incurred.
“We wanted to find a way to help out as much as possible, given how much Nick meant to us as a friend and a teammate,” Maniloff said. “We were really proud of his efforts and wanted to do everything we could. If there was anyone on our team to do this kind of thing we all would’ve said he’d be the one to step up and do what’s right.”
The fundraiser raised $5,000 of their $9,900 goal in the first 24 hours, according to Maniloff. “It was more than anyone expected,” Maniloff said. “It really showed how awesome of a person he is and how heroic he acted in a moment of stress and intensity.”
He added that the hospital limited visitors to Hudson’s hospital room because the perpetrator had not been taken into custody. Since Cornell suspended classes shortly after Hudson was released from the hospital, Maniloff has not been able to see him since the incident.
According to Hudson, everyone from friends to parents of friends and even strangers have donated to the fundraiser.
Hudson says he still feels “a bit weak” but can move around comfortably. Each week, he meets over Zoom with a physical therapist, who coaches him through strength workouts, such as planks and push ups. Hudson was only able to meet with his physical therapist in person three times before COVID-19 ended in-person services.
“It’s kind of weird to do it through a screen, but it works,” Hudson said, adding that he anticipates regular physical therapy sessions for at least two more months.
“I’m trying to make it through this weird time kind of like everyone else,” Hudson said. “Everyone’s been struggling with COVID and for me I’ve been struggling with it as well but luckily I’ve had friends and family to support me throughout.”
Hudson, a senior studying environmental science, said that professors have been accommodating with work and are committed to making sure he graduates on time. Getting back into academic work, however, has been a challenge for Hudson after so many weeks in recovery.
Since leaving the hospital, in addition to catching up on academic work, Hudson has been hiking, watching TV, playing video games and fishing.