Friends and family of Scott Jones are rallying in New Glasgow to support the 27-year-old man, who was left paralyzed from the waist down after being stabbed multiple times on a downtown street over the weekend.
Jones is recovering in a Halifax hospital after he was stabbed in the back twice and his throat was slashed, according to a friend who did not witness the attack but was out with him early Saturday night.
The injury to Jones’ throat was superficial but the stabbing severed his spinal cord, leaving him a paraplegic.
Monica Punke, who has known the musician and choral director since he was a child, is organizing a trust fund to help cover his expenses.
"He's lying on a gurney in the emergency room and he said, I think he said to his mom, 'How am I going to pay my student loans?'" she said Monday.
"That was one of his major concerns because he knew he was seriously injured."
Punke said the online response has been overwhelming so far and she's hoping it will give the family some piece of mind to heal together without financial concerns.
"What we can do as a community and as friends is to support in every way possible without interfering in that process but just walking beside them," she said.
"One of those ways is financial because there are major financial concerns with this type of injury for a young person who wants to make a life for himself and have independence."
Friends and family have said they believe Jones was attacked because he's gay. Police have not commented on allegations the attack was motivated by his sexual orientation.
“We want to be careful not to label this as a hate crime until it is identified as such,” said Halifax Pride community liaison Ramona Westgate.
“We don't know what the motivation was. There were two victims there and we're certainly looking forward to hearing more information.”
19-year-old in court Tuesday
Shane Edward Matheson, 19, of Trenton is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace in the case. He appeared briefly in Pictou provincial court on Tuesday and had a bail hearing set for Oct. 31.
He will remain in custody at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside until then.
Jones was not the only victim Saturday night.
Police allege that before Matheson stabbed Jones, he pulled a knife on 18-year-old Miranda Joudrey.
She told CBC News she is friends with Matheson and was not seriously hurt.
Meanwhile, alumni of the Pictou District Honour Choir gathered on Monday to rehearse a song they hope to sing to Jones, a past director of the choir.
"We're not grieving. We're working together and supporting each other through song to do something good," said Christina Legere.
Legere said the choir has chosen to sing a song Jones taught them — one that was difficult to learn but brought them together.
"There was one night when we were singing it at choir and everyone stopped for a minute and was like, 'Wow, we just sang that.' It was beautiful and it's been my favourite song that we've sung in choir for nine years," she said.
"He's the most genuine person I know. I love him to death."