© 2023
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Charlottesville Victims Still Struggling with Medical Bills


After a car attack sent dozens of counter-protesters to the hospital, two funds were established to help with the victims’ medical bills and living expenses.  Now, however, one of those is out of money and the second may be shutting down at the end of this year.   

Star Peterson had good health insurance when she was hit by a car that fractured her spine in two places, broke a rib and both of her legs.  She needed five surgeries and still requires physical therapy.  Others, she says, were not so lucky.

“One of our survivors, Tay Washington, cannot afford spinal surgery, and it’s tens of thousands of dollars,” she says. “Washington is a single parent who hasn’t been able to work since the attack.”

The University of Virginia’s medical center paid many of the victims’ bills, but Peterson says that fund is out of money, and a second one – established to pay living expenses for those who couldn’t work – will soon be gone.

“They’re still supporting four of us, myself included, who can’t return to work yet because of our physical injuries,” she explains. “They pay our rent, utility bills.  They pay our phone bills.  They give us gift cards for groceries.  Last I was told they can only keep helping us through the end of the year, because they don’t have enough money.”

She hopes the public will pitch-in again, and former Governor Terry McAuliffe, who has written a book about the attack, says he'll give a  third of the proceeds  to the Heal Charlottesville Fund with the rest going to the State Police and Heather Heyer Foundations.  

For more information on the Heal Charlottesville Fund go to: https://www.cacfonline.org/heal_charlottesville

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief