Think, for a moment, about how insanely fucked up the American healthcare system has to be in order for a victim of the Las Vegas massacre to utter this sentence while still recovering in his hospital bed: “Medical bills are astronomical these days...It’s a mountain that just doesn’t seem like it’s gonna be climbable, but we are gonna do our best.”
That’s what Kurt Fowler, who has insurance with a $5,000 deductible and 20% coinsurance through his employer, told CNN on Thursday. Fowler was in Las Vegas celebrating his 18th wedding anniversary with his wife when Stephen Paddock opened fire. Fowler, a firefighter from Arizona, said his foot “was completely useless” after he was wounded in the ankle. He’s undergone one of what could be multiple surgeries, spent two weeks in the hospital, and will have to pay for rehabilitation and follow-up appointments with a specialist.
Now Fowler, like so many others who survived the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, is faced with the next battle: how to pay for medical bills that are piling up as they continue fighting for their lives.
As we detailed in the shooting’s immediate aftermath, there are numerous GoFundMe campaigns meant specifically to cover survivors’ medical bills. Some of the campaigns we highlighted have accomplished their goals, but others are still unmet.
The fundraising campaign started by Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak has raised more than $11 million. Mary Moreland, whose daughter, Tina Frost, who was wounded in the shooting, told CNN that at first, she didn’t understand why so many families were launching fundraising campaigns. Then the financial strain set in. Today, her GoFundMe has raised $582,202 of its original $50,000 goal.
An update posted yesterday on a page benefitting Zack Mesker, another victim of the shooting, shared the good news that he’s been transferred to a local hospital in San Diego, where he’s doing four hours of physical rehab and occupational therapy a day. The campaign has raised $33,320 of its $50,000 goal.
You can view and donate to all verified campaigns to benefit the victims of the Las Vegas shooting on this GoFundMe landing page.