Former UFC fighter John Howard is enduring a nightmare that every parent prays to avoid.
On September 17th, tragedy struck Howard's family when his 15-year-old daughter, Juliana, and 11-year-old son, Johan, were caught in a hail of gunfire at the Franklin Field housing community in Dorchester, a Boston suburb. Johan suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and has since been discharged from Boston Children's Hospital, but Juliana remains in critical condition after enduring four gunshot wounds, including one that tragically "pierced her head," as Howard heartbreakingly shared on Instagram. Juliana Howard is currently reliant on a ventilator to sustain her life.
A GoFundMe campaign, organized on behalf of the family, revealed that the children's mother, Joanna Algarin, was in the process of preparing dinner for the family when she was startled by what initially sounded like fireworks. Tragically, both children were playing nearby and fell victim to the senseless violence, suffering multiple gunshot wounds.
On Monday, John Howard took to his Instagram account to provide an update, sharing a local news report from WCVB in Boston. In his post, he expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from well-wishers and called on the community for assistance during this unimaginably difficult time.
“My daughter is still fighting for her life,” Howard wrote. “Any donations you want to give is greatly appreciated! Even when she makes a full recovery, still have a long road ahead!! Please go to my GoFundMe page if you want to donate, anything you want to donate [is] greatly appreciated.”
The GoFundMe states Juliana is undergoing a series of surgeries and continues to fight for her life.
According to the news report from WCVB, three other adults were also hospitalized from the shooting.
As of now, over $18,000 has been raised for the family with the goal set at $30,000.
“The funds raised will go towards covering medical expenses, rehabilitation, counseling, and the day-to-day expenses incurred as they strive to rebuild their lives,” according to the online fundraiser.
Howards is a veteran of 49 pro MMA bouts, including 14 fights in the UFC over two stints with the promotion, along with two seasons competing for the PFL in 2018 and 2019.