Vanderbilt Student Collects $46,000 From Hundreds Of People After Tragedy

07/14/2014 12:01 pm ET | Updated Jul 14, 2014

Looks like miracles really do happen. As of Monday morning, Vanderbilt University student Cassie Wessely has accumulated $46,623 in donations to help fund her sophomore year tuition after a family tragedy.

When Wessely, 19, was accepted to Vanderbilt, she received a need-based financial aid grant because her mother was unemployed, according to InsideVandy. But Wessely's mother committed suicide just three weeks before the start of her freshman year, which placed her under custody of her father, and, in turn, severely decreased her financial aid grant. To make matters worse, Wessely's father has been unemployed for several months and is therefore unable to pay her full tuition.

So Wessely took matters into her own hands.

Wessely set up a GoFundMe page up on July 5, hoping to raise $25,000 to go toward her Vanderbilt education. By July 10, she had raised $38,935, and the number continued to grow.

Writing on her GoFundMe page, she said, "I'm praying daily for a miracle." Having raised nearly double her original goal, Wessely's prayers seem to have been answered.

"I sat in front of the computer for the rest of night in shock," Wessely told WLS, an ABC affiliate in Illinois. "There just are no words to convey how grateful I am to everyone, and just how blessed I'm feeling. ... And I just could not be more grateful and it's just really made me proud to be part of the Vanderbilt community."

CONVERSATIONS