By Jen Kastner
MIDLAND- On Friday, NewsWest 9 learned that Midland Memorial Hospital chose to take on the cost of the parade float victims' medical bills, following the train accident from last November. After discovering the hospital's decision, other community donors also stepped in to help.
Midland Memorial Hospital President and CEO Russell Myers tells NewsWest 9, "We had 17 different people come to the hospital for care [that night]."
Four veterans on that parade float died and several others were injured.
The entire nation was watching, but now, the investigators and camera crews are gone and the healing has begun.
Midland resident, Sierra Ancira, says, "I think at first alot of people were judgmental about it but now that we're just coming together and working together to get over it."
Midland Memorial Hospital told NewsWest 9 they won't be billing anyone for the cost of care after the accident, which totaled at about $400,000. After discovering that, an area donor handed over a substantial gift and challenged the hospital board to match it. Through those efforts, the Permian Basin Area Foundation gathered together a collection $100,000 in donations.
Midland resident, Nick Masten, says, "Midland has always been an incredibly generous community, and having lived here all my life, it just doesn't surprise me at all that people would do this for other people in need."
"Most of the [gifts are from] anonymous donors," Myers said. "It reinforces everything that I've come to know about Midland."
Andrew Latham of Midland says, "It's great the community took action. I think the wounds will always be there but this will actually make them better."
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