20-year-old Natalie Romero told her mother she would be counter-protesting the white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday as a way to represent immigrants in the U.S. Her mother, Ericka Chaves told her daughter, who is currently enrolled at the University of Virginia to be safe. The chaotic protests in Charlottesville led to the death of Heather Heyer, 32, and caused the injuries in many others when I man drove his car into counter-protesters. The Colombian-American student was one of them.
Despite sustaining several injuries, Romero has been able to communicate with her mother and is expected to make a full recovery. Her mother says she needs help with the medical bills and wants to bring her daughter back home to Houston, Texas.
“We need her here,” Chaves said in a press conference yesterday, according to The Houston Chronicle, “and she needs her family.”
Chaves also called her daughter “my hero.”
— Mom'sDaughter (@TraceyNew) August 14, 2017
“She’s very tough,” Chaves said, according to The Houston Chronicle. “She’s a tiny person, but she’s very tough.” Chaves also said that she while she wants her daughter close to her, she knows she will ultimately return to her university.
“As a mother, I don’t,” she said. “But I know her, and she will go back.”
Reporters at the press conference also asked Chaves what she thought of President Trump’s response to the attack in Charlottesville. She responded by saying: “I don’t want words, I want actions,” Chaves said. “Do something about what’s happening.”
A friend of Romero who also attends the University of Virginia, Yaselly Sanchez, said these powerful words about this survivor.
“She’s so strong, bold, and fierce,” Sanchez said, according to The Houston Chronicle, who also served as Romero’s mentor through a UVA program for Hispanic students. “She’s been very active and is grounded in her beliefs. She becomes iconic to everyone she touches, and she’s a true gem who’s only just beginning to shine.”
Click here to help support Romero and her family during this difficult time.