NIU sophomore dies Monday night

By Tara Snowden and Sara Adams

In high school, Nick Albers spent a day seeing how many people he could hug. He has been described as a kid others could go to with problems and would listen.

The sophomore psychology major’s life, however, ended Monday night due to unknown causes.

No further information regarding the cause of death has been released.

Nick spent the last few years of his life coping with an injury he sustained in high school due to a trampoline accident. The accident left him with a broken neck, a bruised spinal cord and a brain injury.

Nick had aspirations of becoming a military pilot or doctor. However, his injury prevented him from doing so.

“He had to overcome obstacles to graduate high school and get into Northern,” said Edward Albers, Nick’s father.

Though he recovered from the injuries of the accident, the brain injury Nick sustained made it difficult for him to use his neck.

“He was in pain 24/7,” Edward said. “The part of his brain that was injured was the part that processes pain.”

Though an autopsy report will not be available for another four weeks, Edward said he thinks his son’s body just wore out.

“He was taking some heavy-duty medicines in high doses and I think it just wore him out,” he said.

Nick was an avid video game fan, especially of the popular X-Box game “Halo.”

“He was like the best player at Northern,” Edward said. “He was good with the pistol so he could beat the other players before they got the better guns. Video games were an escape because he didn’t have to move his neck so much.”

A 2003 graduate of St. Charles North High School, Nick was involved in numerous activities at NIU, including working in the catalog department at the NIU library. He was a member of the ROTC, but had to quit after a semester due to pain levels in his neck.

Nick was involved in his church youth group and was a member of the diving and track teams. He was the cheerleading manager at his high school.

He also was interested in aircraft and was a member of the Air Force. He loved to fly radio-controlled helicopters and soloed a Cessna 172.

Nick is survived by his parents, Edward and Carolyn Albers, his two sisters Brittany and Natalie and a brother, Gregory.

The family has requested that instead of flowers, donations be made to Lord of Life Lutheran Church or the volunteer department at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Center. Any donations to the church may be made to the Nick Albers Memorial or to the church itself.

Nick’s wake will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Lord of Life Church, 40W605 Route 38, Elburn. The funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the same church.

Those wishing to leave goodbyes and memories of Nick may visit a blog created by his family at

“Despite the bad deal he got, he never quit, he never gave up, he kept trying and did a lot of things that people didn’t think he’d ever be able to do up until the point where God called him home,” Edward said. “We’re completely satisfied that he’s home with Christ right now and not in pain and is deliriously happy.”