With scars on both her face and psyche, a Houston woman injured in the Charlottesville riots in August of this year recently returned home to heal.
Despite her long road to recovery, Natalie Romero, 20, said she won’t back down from fighting for what’s right.
“Everyday I have to look at the scar on my face,” Romero said in an interview with KHOU. “And I have to feel my lips and the stitches in my lip. I am afraid of the revving of a car. The engine. It’s this new normal.”
A Bellaire High School graduate, Romero reportedly received a full scholarship to attend the University of Virginia, where she decided to join counter-protesters to voice her opposition to the white nationalists marching on her campus.
“In real life, I saw Swastikas,” Romero said. “I saw men saluting, like Nazis. I saw men with hammers. I saw all these things that in my life I thought that was over.”
During the protest, Romero and 19 others in the crowd suffered injuries after being struck by a car driven by a white nationalist supporter.
The daughter of Columbian immigrants, Romero said she is a staunch supporter of equality.
While recovering from a skull fracture and other facial injuries, Romero said she received an outpouring of love in the form of care packages, donations, visits and a new therapy dog named Luna.
She is reportedly facing a long road to fully healing, but said being home in Houston helps:
“I definitely needed this. I needed to come home.”