PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Christopher Green was among dozens of demonstrators expressing frustration and anger over the Confederate monument in Portsmouth Wednesday night, but he was the only one to leave in an ambulance.
“I feel like I’m in a dream - like, I just need to be pinched like everything will go back to the way it was,” said Green’s wife, Tonieh Brisbane-Green.
A piece of the monument fell on the 45-year-old as protesters chipped away at the Confederate monument with sledgehammers while police were ordered to stand down.
“His back was turned, so he didn’t even know it was coming to try to move out the way,” said Brisbane-Green.
Witnesses tell the family Green was trying to get people out of harm’s way when the statue came down on him.
Days later, he remains sedated in the hospital, unable to speak or open his eyes but still taking small steps towards recovery after a serious head injury.
“This could have been prevented. I think that it had been talked about the statue being removed along time ago; nothing ever happened,” said his sister, Leslie Perkin.
A GoFundMe is set up to help support the family through Green’s recovery.
Thursday, the NAACP chapter president who helped lead the protest before the destruction began had these words to offer to the family.
“We are praying for him. We will continue to pray for him; we will continue to check on him,” said James Boyd.
The day after Green’s accident, Norfolk announced plans to remove its own Confederate monument in the interest of public safety. The removal process began early Friday morning.
“That’s the good that has come out of it— the changes that are happening,” said Perkins.
Instead of placing blame, the family is focusing on the positive while praying for a full recovery.