Sutherland’s family started a GoFundMe to cover medical costs for the Twin Cities chef, who lacks health insurance
Over the Fourth of July weekend, chef Justin Sutherland was injured in a boating accident that left him with a broken arm, broken jaw, and lacerations. According to an account of the accident on a GoFundMe page, Sutherland was driving the boat when his hat blew off his head. When he reached to grab it, the boat hit a wave and he was thrown into the water, where he collided with the propeller.
Though Sutherland’s injuries are serious, his outlook for recovery is good: His broken arm retains a strong grip and seems to have no nerve damage, and doctors are optimistic that a series of surgeries will mend his jaw. Plastic surgery, meanwhile, will help heal the lacerations, according to the post on the GoFundMe Page.
“The great news is, he is going to be fine,” wrote organizers of the GoFundMe. “With some time, he will possibly be better than fine. He is adding more character to the face we know and love, and the most important news, his beard is intact.”
Sutherland, a celebrity chef and Iron Chef America winner, is known locally for his elegant, Southern-style restaurant Handsome Hog. (This summer was set to be a big one, with Sutherland’s new steakhouse Noyes and Cutler opening in late June and, as the Star Tribune reports, both an egg sandwich shop and rooftop restaurant soon to follow.) But like so many in the restaurant industry, he had no health insurance at the time of the accident. Sutherland’s family set up the GoFundMe page to help cover his medical costs and expenses during the time that he’s unable to work: As of noon on Wednesday, July 6, more than $77,000 of the $500,000 goal had been met. The family has also pledged that any excess funds will be donated to charity.
Keep an eye on Sutherland’s Instagram page for updates on his progress: As of Tuesday, July 5, he was “recovering and in good spirits.” Chef Brian Ingram of Hope Breakfast Bar has announced that tomorrow, July 7, all of Hope’s daily sales will be donated to the medical fund, and a gathering of local chefs hoping to support Sutherland in his recovery will be held at the restaurant at 10 a.m.