Eric Ramos is like a father figure to his friend Brianna Lett.
“My mom is a single mom, and if I need something I automatically think of Ramos,” Lett said. “I’ve never had a male figure to look up to like that.”
When Lett, a UF applied physiology and kinesiology sophomore, saw Ramos in a coma in UF Health Shands Hospital on Saturday night, the 20-year-old said she broke down crying.
As of press time, Ramos, the former UF chapter president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., is in critical condition after a motorcycle accident that happened near 100 SW 62nd Blvd. at about 2 a.m. on Friday, according to the Gainesville Sun. Lett said he suffered a broken femur and pelvis.
Ramos, 30, graduated from UF in Fall of 2016 as a family, youth and community sciences student, Lett said.
“When I walked in, I just felt like a wave of pain and sadness,” she said. “My heart was, like, shattered because it’s so sad to see someone like happy about life and cheerful (lying) in a bed like that all banged up and everything.”
Lett said she started a GoFundMe page on Saturday to raise $5,000 to go toward Ramos’ medical expenses, and she expects to reach the goal within the next few weeks. The page has $1,363 raised, as of press time. Lett said she will continue to raise money past the goal.
“I know that him being in Shands and still in that critical condition he still has a really long way to recover, and that’s a lot of medical expenses,” she said. “He’s touched so many people and mentored so many people, and I knew that if I started this, a lot of people would support him.”
Chris Haugabook, a friend of Ramos and his fraternity brother, said when he and 20 to 30 other friends and family members visited the hospital, they said a prayer to support Ramos.
“He really touched so many lives in just the short time he’s been here in Gainesville,” the 2014 UF family, youth and community sciences alumnus said. “He’s the type of person that he’ll literally give you the shirt off his back if he had to.”