Mother of woman hurt in Charlottesville attack speaks at news conference

Natalie Romero's mother, Ericka Chaves, still cries every time she talks about her daughter.

"It's been hard," she said, wiping away tears. Chaves wants her daughter to return to Houston to heal but is uncertain how to make that happen. On Monday morning, she spoke out again, this time at the offices of FIEL Houston, a local organization that helps immigrants with a variety of issues.

"The family is very low income. We're not sure if Natalie had insurance through the university, so we are in the process of figuring it out," said Cesar Espinoza, executive director of FIEL Houston.

Romero graduated from Bellaire High School and is about to start her sophomore year at UVA, where she has a full scholarship.

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Mother of woman injured at Virginia rally, speaks to media

She's currently in a Virginia hospital after having her skull fractured when a car plowed through protesters, killing one person and hurting 18 others.

Romero, though, has never been one to shy away from a challenge. Even during high school, she worked to help support her family, including a younger brother.

"She has seen our struggles, she wants the best for us. This is her man," Chaves said, pointing to Romero's 14-year-old brother. "She wants everything for him, does it for him."

RELATED: Bellaire HS grad injured in crash at violent Virginia rally

Those who knew Romero were not surprised she decided to join the counter protestors. She was part of Junior ROTC during high school and was involved in the EMERGE program, where HISD identifies stellar students with economic challenges and helps them get into college.

"She's just someone who shows up for people, and cares deeply for her community, cares deeply about her family and our country," said Naureen Ali, a project manager at EMERGE who counseled Romero through her senior year and helped her earn a variety of academic scholarships.

"She's my hero," said Chaves, who hopes to bring Romero hope soon. She knows her daughter will want to return to UVA, but first, she wants her to heal.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page and is coordinating with local supporters who have volunteered to help.

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