After the death of freestyle skier Sarah Burke, medical bills stemming from her hospital stay is the last thing her family should have to think about after the sudden loss of their daughter, sister and wife. A website (http://www2.giveforward.com/sarahburke.html) was set up in order to help cover the costs during her Salt Lake City hospital stay. Burke died on January 19th, nine days after she had crashed in Park City, Utah during a training run.
Burke was on the Eagle superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort on January 10th when she crashed. She was airlifted to Salt Lake City University Hospital, and was in a medically induced coma in critical condition. She would have surgery to fix a tear in an artery which caused bleeding in her brain. She remained in an induced coma and had to rely on a breathing tube. She died last Thursday.
Burke’s agent, Michael Spencer, organized the fundraising effort last Thursday, with a goal to raise $550,000. While the hospital has not given a bill to the family as of yet, the actual charges are estimated at around $200,000. As of today, $281,681 has been raised. A message on the site reads:
“Due to the outpouring of love and support, enough funds have been raised to cover the anticipated costs related to Sarah’s medical care based on numbers received from the hospital this morning, Jan 20th. Future donations will go towards post-hospital arrangements such as services and memorial costs and to establish a foundation to honor Sarah’s legacy and promote the ideals she valued and embodied. Thank you from the bottom of our heart.”
Burke was a member of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, which does offer insurance for their athletes, but only if it’s at an event authorized within the program. At the time of the accident, Burke was training for an event put on by Monster Energy Drink. It is still unknown at this time if Monster was going to help pay for medical expenses incurred or if they had insurance to cover the bill.
Photos: www.wenn.com/Ivan Nikolov/Apega/Adriana M. Barraza/FayesVision