Son starts charity for mother coping with pain, bills after wreck

It’s getting worse instead of better for Veronica Herrera: the aching in her neck; the misfires to her brain stem that give her chronic pain; the seizures; the memory problems.

None of it has subsided since the day three years ago when she was a passenger in a car that was stopped at a traffic light and hit in the rear by another vehicle.

Her daughter, Deborah Herrera, was in the driver’s seat.

Both women sustained whiplash, but Deborah, now 20, recovered. Her mother, meanwhile, is limited to working two hours a day, three days a week, because of her pain.

Veronica Herrera’s six children, ages 14 to 30, pitched in after the accident to help pay the bills.

“I want to get back to work,” the 45-year-old Grand Junction single mother said. “I don’t want to be seen as a charity case.”

She said she was embarrassed when her eldest son, Tim Herrera of Los Angeles, put together a charity to help her pay for treatment and medication.

Herrera said she had to declare bankruptcy because of her medical bills after the accident. The man who hit her car was under-insured, Tim Herrera said, and his mother received $15,000 after the accident.

“That was used up probably three weeks after the accident. Her bills are easily over $100,000 by now,” Herrera said. “I wish we could get some money to send her to a specialist. That’s why I started the charity.”

The charity is named V Charity, after his mother’s one-letter nickname. Donations can be made to the V Charity account, number 2503157683, at Wells Fargo Bank. For more information, visit

Veronica Herrera said she hopes the treatment she is receiving will help her work more in the recreation therapy field. She earned her degree from Mesa State College in 2005 and said her condition gave her a new empathy for the people she has worked with.

“My goal is to be in a year working in a professional job, even if it’s just 15 hours a week, and for my kids to pursue their own goals, not feel sorry for me,” she said.


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