Although AJ Styles plays a villainous character on WWE television, his “phenomenal” talent has earned him tons of fans, including lots of younger ones. One of those young fans was a boy from New York named Nick Bongiovanni, who died on Monday from injuries suffered in a freak accident, one day before Styles shared a letter from the boy’s family, thanking him for a kindhearted gesture he showed to Nick about one month before his fatal accident. This act helped Nick’s family exceed their GoFundMe funding goal for the boy’s hospital and funeral expenses, all within a day after Styles shared the letter on Twitter.
Reports from Uproxx and FanSided quoted the key parts of the letter Michael Bongiovanni was going to send to AJ Styles as his son lay in the hospital, having been declared brain-dead after a “freak accident” that took place on January 26. Nick Bongiovanni had been diagnosed with ADHD, which caused him to focus intensely on things he enjoys, pro wrestling included. So focused was Nick on WWE in particular that the company and its wrestlers became “like family to him.”
As a Christmas present, Nick received tickets to a WWE show, but he chose to give away those tickets to a friend after his grandmother passed away. With the Bongiovanni family going to Florida instead to attend the funeral of Nick’s beloved “Nana,” his father, Michael, reminded Styles about that one thing he did on December 26, at a chance meeting at the Newark airport.
“We’re walking through the Terminal and I hear Nicky say ‘Mom there goes Dolphin Ziggler.’ But Ziggler had earbuds in and didn’t hear him. Then I hear him say very excited ‘that’s AJ Styles’ your response was ‘what’s up Bud, I have to catch a flight for a show in Chicago,’ my wife told (you) we were on our way to his Nana’s funeral. At that point you stopped dead in your tracks and said ‘Come here bud, who has a camera.’
“Now I know this must happen to you all the time but it was so very special to him. It was all he could talk about and we said we were going to write to let you know how special it was.”
Sadly, it was just one month later when tragedy struck the Bongiovanni family once again. FanSided wrote that Michael and Nick Bongiovanni never got to send the letter they originally planned to send to AJ Styles, as Nick got into a freak accident on January 26. The boy clung to life support in the days that follows, and Michael amended the original letter, detailing what had happened to his son, and how in the month in between the airport meeting and the accident, Nick would walk around the house chanting Styles’ name.
“I don’t know if will ever reach you but I promised my boy I would try. Thank you again!”
On Monday, Nick’s cousin and Michael’s niece Fallon Prinzivalli had tweeted a copy of the edited letter, which had reached Styles as he retweeted it together with a touching message, and also shared a link to the GoFundMe page created to help shoulder the child’s medical bills.
“It’s not what you do inside the ring, it’s what u do outside of it. I am thankful for this moment with Nicky.”
Sadly, Prinzivalli announced just nine hours later on Monday evening that Nick had died that afternoon, shortly after AJ Styles and Michael Bongiovanni had spoken on the phone.
Nick Bongiovanni is no longer with us, but AJ Styles’ support for one of his youngest, yet biggest fans had helped Nick’s family raise $31,757 as of this writing and beat their goal of $25,000 in less than 12 hours. And while the boy’s fate is undoubtedly heartbreaking, Styles definitely deserves recognition for making an effort to recognize a true fan who loved WWE so much he considered everything about it as “family.”
[Featured Image by WWE]