Heidi's Accident Recovery

Hello fellow humans, neighbors, and friends,

On May 10, 2017 around 7:30PM, I was walking to the G train subway station just a couple of blocks from my apartment in Brooklyn when I was struck by a cyclist swiftly riding right through a red light without any intention of slowing down to even check for pedestrians who had the right of way. It's a very busy intersection with several restuarants, bars, and bodegas surrounding it, not to mention the 2 subway entrances... definitely an area where you would expect multiple people to be walking all day/eve long.  

I am so very sorry to report that I suffered multiple severe injuries which have left me pretty devastated at present, both physically and financially, not to mention emotionally.  It appears the cyclist ran over and fractured the metatarsals of my left foot.  I was then knocked into the middle of the intersection where my right shoulder, skull, and face hit the pavement with great force.  My clavicle is fractured (unbelievably painful) and there is a huge hematoma on my right temple (which is now smaller in the above photos taken almost 2 weeks after the accident!).  I was afflicted with a concussion and small skull fracture.  There are multiple contusions and bruises which I hope will heal sooner than later.  I also will not be able to walk utilizing crutches because of the collarbone/foot injuries being on opposite sides of the body.  

I have not been able to afford health insurance for a few years now, so I have zero coverage.  I have no memory of the incident, or the 15 mins before, or the 3-4 hours after.  I started to "come to" at around 10-11PM at Bellevue Hospital where they had already done 2 catscans, multiple sets of xrays, ultrasounds, etc, to find every injury.  After being in Emergency for about 7 hours, I was admitted to a room.  I'm almost glad I cant remember most of it...

I am currently employed as a server/host/expeditor at a popular local Greenpoint restaurant.  Given the physical nature of the job I will be missing a minimum of 8 weeks of wages.  My medical bills/expenses from the accident are already over $10,000 after just my initial treatment at Bellevue. The doctors have informed me there is no guarantee that I won't run into some issues with my foot injury that might require some type of future surgery or therapies.  I contacted the Health Exchange of NY find out what can be done as far as getting covered now.  I was informed that I am still not eligible for medicaid, and that all they could do was to enroll me in a plan that wouldn't start covering me until July 1st.  Retroactive assistance would be impossible, so it doesn't help me much with the accident expenses because I expect about 90-95% of my bills will be tallied by June 30 if all healing goes well.   I am also not eligible to receive compensation from the NYS Victim's Fund because a cyclist running through a red light and injuring a pedestrian is not considered a "crime".  

Given the circumstances, I have very little recourse.  If this had been a car, truck, or someone "on the job" where some type of insurance would cover the situation, I would not be here on GoFundMe asking for help.  I already spoke to 3 personal injury attorneys who told me I have an open and shut case if there was anything to collect.  Sadly, there is no accountability here on the part of the cyclist even though he was running a red traffic signal and committing a vehicular infraction.  He was not even issued a ticket, nor did the police care about talking to witnesses who saw it happen.  They didn't consider my injuries to be serious enough to investigate the situation.  It's a pretty hopeless feeling, especially given the fact that this type of incident has ALMOST happened to me and so many of my peers here in NYC several times already.  

Any donation, no matter how small, would make such a difference. Unfortunately I am not very skilled at making videos/editing photos to bring forth a more "personal" campaign.  My energy and resources are extremely limited right now and I'm just ecstatic when I can slide successfully  on the floor to get to the bathroom! (OK, I'm trying for a little humor here...) I have never asked for any type of assistance like this, and I'm VERY regretful that I have to.  If you can empathize with my situation and feel the urge to help out even just a little, I thank you so so so much.  I can't stress enough how grateful I am to the neighbors in my community that have already reached out to get the word out about what happened.  

Thank you all so much for reading...  I wish you safe travels out there!  I know I will forever be more vigilant than I feel I should have to be.  
Best wishes,


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Heidi Karlsen 
Brooklyn, NY
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