Army veteran Chris Mintz was shot seven times during the attack that killed 10 people at the rural campus, including the gunman. As the shooter made his way through the school, Mintz blocked the doorway to one classroom and said "you aren't getting by me," Pastor Dennis Kreiss told People.
Mintz was shot in the hands, legs and abdomen, but the attacker reportedly bypassed the classroom Mintz had blocked, sparing the students inside. Mintz's aunt told CNN that after her nephew was shot, he looked up at the gunman and said "It's my son's birthday today," then was shot several more times.
A GoFundMe campaign started by Mintz's cousin took off immediately after it was launched on Oct. 2, raising more than $400,000 in the first day. It has since raised more than $788,000 — more than 78 times its goal of $10,000.
Mintz has been seen smiling in every single picture that has been released from his hospital room (including this one where he's obviously loving some chocolate milk), but he's going to have a long road to recovery, his family said.
"During the shooting both of his legs were broken and he is going to have to go through a ton of physical therapy.
While Chris is not the type of person to ask for it, he is going to need all of the help he can get while he recovers!
Myself and many family members have been swamped with requests for us to setup a gofundme page, so this is us fulfilling that request and we appreciate your concerns and assistance."
The campaign page also included links to a number of campaigns raising money for other victims of the shooting and their families.
An online petition asking the Obama administration to award Mintz the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation's highest civilian honor - has been signed more than 14,000 times.