A woman whose husband was stabbed to death at a Massachusetts mall is fighting to keep her home and generous strangers online who have donated to her cause are helping her in that fight.
George Heath was killed in 2016 in the Silver City Galleria in Taunton while trying to protect his wife, Rosemary, and a pregnant waitress.
"It's been hell," Rosemary Heath said Monday. "I've been the fighter."
The attacker, Arthur DaRosa, had previously stabbed two women in a home, killing 80-year-old Patricia Slavin. The Heaths were having dinner at the Bertucci's restaurant at the mall when the attack happened. DaRosa was shot to death by police.
"When George died, I leaned down and kissed his cheek and told him it was OK to go, told him not to worry about me, I'll figure it out. 'You know me, George, I'll figure it out. Go find your mom and dad,'" Heath said. "Well, I feel like I failed. I feel like I lied. Because I'm not figuring it out, and it hurts."
Heath says since her husband's violent death, she lost her job as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder. She's fallen behind on mortgage payments, and now, a foreclosure auction is scheduled is for two days after Christmas.
"I don't want to abandon my dogs," Heath said. "I don't want to leave the home that George and I have together. And I don't think I should have to."
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Her family reached out to the community to help her keep that home and they surely answered.
"That's a really big thing to do is to put yourself out there, saying that you can't afford your mortgage back payment in order to stay in your home where you married your husband," she explained.
The mortgage company told Heath she needed at least $25,000 to stop the foreclosure and reinstate her mortgage. As of Tuesday morning, online donations exceeded $80,000.
Her home is the place where she feels the most safe.
"Our whole life is here," she said. "Every time I walk into a room, he's in it."