The family of freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who tragically died on Thursday (January 19, 2012) during a training session, were initially faced with paying her $200,000 medical bill. A fundraising website was subsequently set up to help collect money to cover the huge costs, reports the UK's Daily Mail.
Burke, 29, was considered one of the world's greatest half pipe athletes but died at the Salt Lake City hospital where she was taken following the accident in Park City, Utah. She had reportedly sustained "irreversible damage" to her brain due to lack of oxygen after her cardiac arrest. Faced with massive debt due to his wife's medical bills, donations have already been flooding into her husband Rory Bushfield's website. The costs were originally estimated to be around $500,000, but updated estimates put it at around $200,000. By Saturday morning (21 January 2012), the site had already raised $246,701 which essentially clears Burke's entire medical costs. A message on the site read, "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 the numbers received from the hospital".
Burke died after an accident during a training run sponsored by the Monster energy drink. She fell on the 'Eagle Superpipe' in Salt Lake City while attempting to perform the complex trick known as the Flat Spin 540.