ArtPrize entry shines a light on the state of no-fault car crash survivors

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Not all ArtPrize entries are aesthetic exercises; in fact, many of them contain a multitude of meanings.

An entry this year addresses a particularly serious problemthe negative implications of Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance reform bill that passed in 2019.

‘We Can’t Wait’ by Artist Christina Corvette Wright Shines a Light on People Injured in Catastrophic Car Crashes Who Now Have Difficulty Accessing Quality Medical Care Following Latest Round of Changes of the No-fault Automobile Act which came into effect in early July.

“I feel really honored that all of these people trusted me with their stories, to tell them,” Wright told FOX 17 Monday afternoon.

The facility consists of 11 wheelchairs, distributed near trees and benches along the eastern banks of the Grand River.

Each chair represents a different person — each of them is a survivor of a catastrophic car crash, each of whom is now struggling to get the medical care they need to survive and thrive.

“My intention was to present them first as people, then the chair … The chair is only their mode of transport. “

Under the new law, any medical service not already covered by our federal health insurance law, which includes home caregivers and transportation to medical services, will now only be reimbursed by insurance companies. at 55% of what they were. in 2019. The law also limits the number of hours that family members can provide care to just 56 hours per week.

David St. Amant served as the model for one of the 11 chairs in the installation. St Amant was injured at the age of 16 when his car was boned by another vehicle. He is now 33 years old and works with the Lansing Lugnuts and regularly plays guitar.

“People need to realize, people need to get angry with what happened to our survivors, that those who were promised lifelong benefits lost a lot and lost their care,” her mother, Linda, told FOX 17.

Artist Christina Wright’s now adult son, Mark, was injured in a crash himself at the age of 2. Their family is also struggling to maintain medical care.

“We had an agency that we had been using for about 20 years in December, they pulled out noting the changes, and ‘no fault’ made their pursuit profitable, and they referred us to another location, and they or they hoped that someone (lawmakers) would respond, ”she explained.

“But, when they didn’t, they dropped it on June 30.”

Wright got the name of his piece ArtPrize from a Facebook group that was established as a gathering place for survivors and their loved ones. Also called “We Can’t Wait”, it was started by Peggy Campbell, her sister Barbara Schoen and several others deeply involved in this type of advocacy work.

“It’s been very helpful for people to network with others, exchange information and really understand what’s going on and what the best course of action would be,” Campbell told FOX 17 Monday.

“But you know what, it’s also devastating when you go there and read all the problems that people are having.”

The group worked for months to educate people through the state of their lives, with the goal of convincing lawmakers to address the changes and find a narrow solution that would keep their access to medical care intact.

“What we have lost is becoming so evident every day, and we must try to raise awareness,” said Linda St. Amant.

Maureen Howell, who has been a strong advocate for survivors like her son Sam, adding: “So, this (ArtPrize entry) is a small representation of the band We Can’t Wait, of the determination, commitment and beauty that it can become if things go the way they are meant to be.

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