Natalie Romero is a Houston native and 2016 HISD graduate attending the University of Virginia in Charlottesville on a full scholarship.
The government studies major went to protest against racism at the white supremacy rally on campus and was injured when a car plowed into the protesters leaving one dead and 35 injured.
Natalie suffered a skull fracture and multiple injuries and bruises to her face.
She had texted her mother she was planning to attend the protest early that morning.
— Melissa Correa (@KHOUmelissa) August 13, 2017
Her mother, Erica Chaves, has started a GoFundMe account to raise money that will be used to cover her daughter’s medical expenses. She set a goal of $120,000 but has raised over $136,000 in four days at the time of writing this article. The description for the GoFundMe reads:
At a counter-protest for the Charlottesville White Supremacy rally, a 20 year old (my daughter, a Houston native) was one of the people who got hit by a car. She’s in the hospital and we really will appriecate any help for the hospitals expences. Natalie does not have health insurance at this time and has sustained skull fractures among other injuries from the attack.
Thank you and God bless you.
Chaves is trying to get a medical transport to a Houston hospital so she can be near her as she recovers.
Chaves is worried about her daughter returning to the campus where the violence occurred but believes her daughter is strong and independent and unlikely to let the fear deter her.
Due to her injuries, Natalie Romero is not certain she will have recovered enough to start classes on time later this month.
The independent student not only earned a full ride to college where she is studying government, but she is also working to support her family.
“I always told her, I know I cannot pay for college, so you need to study hard so you can get good grades and get a scholarship and she’s helping me out. Whenever I need money, she’s the one sending me. She’s not asking me for money” said Chaves.
Many families continue to mourn and recover from the deadly attack in Charlottesville. At a memorial for Heather Heyer, the woman killed in the violence, her mother, Susan Bro said:
““They tried to kill my child to shut her up. But guess what? You just magnified her.”