Sarah Burke Dies
January 23, 2012 by staff
Sarah Burke Dies, While donations have been pouring in today to a fund set up to assist the family of freestyle skier Sarah Burke with her U.S. medical expenses, it now appears that those expenses are nowhere near what was first reported.
In statement released by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Federation on behalf of Burke’s family and agent, the family says it has not yet received a hospital bill from the University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City and that based on early estimates, Sarah’s care for nine days are “expected to be approximately $200,000.”
Burke, a 29-year-old four-time X Games champion in ski halfpipe, passed away Thursday, nine days after she fell in training at a pipe in Park City, Utah. A major artery carrying blood to her brain was severed. It was surgically repaired a day later, but brain damage as a result of a lack of oxygen and blood was irreversible.
Her agent announced Thursday that a fund was being set up to help the Burke family with expenses and stated a goal of raising $550,00. By midday today, donations had already exceeded $100,000. The latest estimate is that figure has reached $185,000.
Today’s statement that seeks to “clarify inaccurate information reported in the press,” follows a Twitter outcry over who should be responsible for the costs and just what kind of insurance coverage Sarah carried.
“Once charges are finalized, the University will work with Health Canada to determine what kind of coverage may be available and what their contribution will be, as Sarah is a Canadian citizen,” said the statement.
“The family continues to be extremely grateful for the outpouring of support and messages honoring Sarah and the generous contributions that have been made to www.giveforward.com/sarahburke.
“Because of the donations in the last day, it is now clear that Sarah’s family will not have any financial burden related to her care. Further contributions will be used to establish a foundation to honour Sarah’s legacy and promote the ideals she valued and embodied.”
The Canadian Freestyle Ski Associaton has a comprehensive insurance policy for all its athletes, but only covers them for training and competitions sanctioned by their program. In this case, Burke was at an event organized by one of her sponsors, Monster Energy Drink.
Peter Judge, the CFSA’s CEO, said he would be surprised if Monster, which conducts hundreds of action sports events across the U.S., did not have its own insurance policies.
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