Simona Miu is the kind of person used to giving to her community.
As a founder of Bushwick safe space Sucia Brooklyn, when Miu wasn’t working, she was helping someone, and if she wasn’t helping someone, she was organizing a community event, her fiancé Luis Cortes says.
But when a horrific car accident earlier this month left her unable to move with a number of broken bones, she was suddenly unable to do the physical work to support her community that she’s so used to doing.
Miu was run over by a moving van and dragged 40 feet across the street, holding onto the bumper until she couldn’t any longer.
Luckily, the van was stopped by scaffolding and a stop sign it hit, and firefighters were able to lift the van so the paramedics could safely pull her out.
“I was lucky enough to get knocked away from the van as it wildly careened, in reverse, across the street,” Cortes wrote about the experience.
“As I dragged myself across the street, trying to reach my baby, I thought my Queen had been paralyzed, at best, or at worst…killed. When I finally reached Simona, through all the pain, her first words were ‘Are you OK?’”
Miu ended up breaking her right lower leg in two places, her left shoulder blade, her left clavicle, she fractured some lower vertebrae, broke 6 ribs, and has road burns on her face and all over her back.
Currently, she’s at a nursing home undergoing rehabilitation after her surgery. Cortes says, despite the long road ahead and immense pain, Miu has — in her typical fashion — kept a strong mind about her situation.
And the support she has long given to her community is being turned onto her.
“The community is coming together for her and showing a lot of love, which is the beautiful thing to come out of this,” Cortes says.
“It’s interesting because you know someone is really special and respected, but you don’t see the scope of it until something really happens.”
Uninsured and with mounting medical bills, a friend set up a Go Fund Me page for Miu, which has so far raised more than $21,000; friends are doing reiki healings and acupuncture, and, this Tuesday, an event is being held to celebrate Miu and raise funds for her recovery.
Cortes says the event is a chance for Miu to say thank you and to let “people know, ‘Hey, we’re still around, just give her a chance to recuperate and we’ll be back.’”
And for Miu, it was to show that it was OK to let people help you and support you through the healing, before you jump back into it all.
Cortes says when word got around about the event, all the DJs and local artists the couple had worked with in the past wanted to be involved, and Fulton St. venue Basquiat’s Bottle even offered up its space for the event.
Luis wrote that the support was “what community looks like and I am humbled to my soul the way folx are coming together.”
“We aren’t just asking for money, we want to offer you an amazing time, we want you to rock with us and to commune amongst yourselves. We want you to help us raise therapeutic energies to a level that will assist Simona on her road to recovery.
“Let’s move and tap into the spiritual salve that only the healing energies of our ancestors can provide. Let’s get Simona back on her feet so that she can continue the good work of community building and nurturing our safe space in Bushwick.”
Miu will even be present not just in spirit but hopefully through a live stream into her room at the rehabilitation nursing home — although the home’s internet connection would dictate that, Cortes added. Either way, he said, she would be sending a big thank you to everyone who was rallying around her while she recovered.
“I’m just reaally happy to know that she’s loved,” Cortes says.
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