Barry Saunders

Recovering from shooting, Raleigh native still thinks of others – Saunders

Lins Barwick, a Wake Forest University student from Raleigh, holds Angel Komenda, a young orphan in Ghana, her exact age is unknown, with whom Barwick bonded during a trip to the West African nation and for whom he started a Gofundme page to pay for her care.
Lins Barwick, a Wake Forest University student from Raleigh, holds Angel Komenda, a young orphan in Ghana, her exact age is unknown, with whom Barwick bonded during a trip to the West African nation and for whom he started a Gofundme page to pay for her care. Courtesy of Lins Barwick

Lins Barwick got shot June 11 on a Winston-Salem street after being an honorable, protective chap and walking two female friends home.

For Barwick, a Wake Forest University student and graduate of Broughton High School in Raleigh, lying flat on his back in a hospital bed since then is no reason to stop being honorable, to stop looking out for others, to stop being an angel for Angel.

Angel Komenda is a 3-year-old-or-thereabouts orphan in Ghana – her exact age is unknown, because whoever buried her alive forgot to include her birth certificate. The child was rooted up by some pigs and taken by police to the hospital. Barwick and she bonded during his trip to the West African nation.

Friends and frat brothers of Barwick at Kappa Alpha have raised more than $20,000 to help pay for his care. They designed and began selling “Lins Strong” T-shirts for the cause – but he has requested that part of the money go to the page he set up for Angel.

To you and me, that sounds amazing. To Brandon Sweeney, it sounds like Lins.

He’s everyone’s best friend. He puts everyone else above himself.

Brandon Sweeney, fraternity brother of Lins Barwick

“He’s everyone’s best friend. He puts everyone else above himself. I know people often say that, but he truly does,” said Sweeney, a frat brother from Boston who said he met Barwick when both were freshmen at Wake Forest. “When we told him we were starting this foundation, he immediately – within seconds – thought of Angel. ... Even in the hospital, he was asking about us and how we’re doing.”

Barwick, according to the Winston-Salem police report, was walking back to his apartment when a dark-colored SUV pulled up and its three occupants got out to rob him. He was shot in the torso and was found lying on the sidewalk around 2:30 a.m.

His father, Collins Barwick of Raleigh, said Monday that his son is recovering and is expected to be transported to WakeMed this week.

That’s good.

Lt. Steven Tollie of the Winston-Salem police told me Monday that no arrests have been made.

That stinks. Here are three reasons why we should pray the gunmen are apprehended: so they can face justice, so the streets will be safer with them locked up and so they can be forced to confront just what kind of person they targeted with their apparently random and brutal robbery.

If they can read, they should be forced to check out the beginning of the GoFundMe page Barwick started and realize that this is the person of whose heart and spirit they almost deprived the world.

For what? A freakin’ cellphone and a few bucks? Son of a ...

Dear People of the World,

My name is Lins Barwick, I am a student studying in my second year at Wake Forest University, and I have a very important story to tell each and every one of you. ... Starting on January 15th of 2016 I made my way to Cape Coast, Ghana, to fulfill a premedical internship at Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. I have become particularly fond of a young, orphaned girl that lives in the hospital, in the paediatrics ward, every single minute of her life. Each and every one of you knows that the hospital is not the place for a young child to experience the first years of her life. I know that it is my duty to provide this little girl with exactly what she needs to live a healthy and plentiful life as she grows old.

This little girl’s name is Angel Komenda, and she is believed to be three years old. ... Angel Komenda was discovered on a farm on the outskirts of Cape Coast, Ghana, after being uncovered by a group of pigs that realized she was laying just beneath the surface of the earth. She had been buried alive by her parents.

Angel is afflicted with cerebral palsy, among other physical and neurological ailments.

Oh man, how many 20-year-old dudes exhibit the type of compassion and selflessness shown by Barwick?

How many 60-year-old dudes do?

Too few. To contribute to the fund for Barwick, go to www.booster.com/linsstrong. To contribute to his friend, Angel, go to www.gofundme.com/angelkomenda.

Barwick’s full name is Plato Collins Barwick IV, and his father and both grandfathers are all Wake Forest alumni.

When he gets out of the hospital I have one question for him: With a handle like that, why go by Lins?

How to help

The Lins Barwick fund is at booster.com/linsstrong. The Angel Komenda fund is at gofundme.com/angelkomenda.

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