On Saturday, September 6, 2014, I emailed Mandy Nagy, who had been our part-time Author and Editor for almost 18 months, during which time she wrote over 500 posts.
In that time period, I had come to trust Mandy completely, even though we never met. We thought alike, and had the same sense of “maybe we shouldn’t actually do that.” I was ready to hand the day-to-day operations over to her, so I could focus more on research and investigative posts, speeches, and media appearances. She was to take over the place on Monday, September 8, 2014.
It was a Plan.
My September 6 email was to set up a time to talk on Sunday about her full-time start on Monday, and what the week looked like. I didn’t hear back from her, which was unusual.
On Sunday morning I received an email from Mandy’s mom, who said she didn’t know if the blog “contact” email address went to me or to Mandy, but she hoped I received the email. She told me that Mandy had suffered a massive stroke the day before, and was in the hospital.
We spoke immediately, and she gave me permission to alert people in a post that has served since then to provide updates on Mandy’s condition, Pray for Mandy Nagy. That post also has extensive background on Mandy.
It’s funny how things work. Although I spoke to Mandy almost every day for 18 months, I knew little about her family or personal life. My wife was astounded I knew so little. I never asked. I’m told it’s a “guy thing.” I operated on a need to know basis and I didn’t need to know.
What I learned because of the stroke was that Mandy has a loving family, and an extremely devoted and amazing mother. Mandy’s struggle has been so hard on Mandy. And it also has been so hard on Mandy’s mother and step-father, who my wife and I met in the hospital.
I also got to meet some of Mandy’s friends. Great people.
On September 30, 2014, we launched the first fundraiser, with all funds going to a Supplemental Needs Trust for which Mandy’s mother is the trustee. The fundraising page is still open if you want to donate.
I wish I could tell you that Mandy is returning to Legal Insurrection. In that first post, I wrote:
We’re praying for Mandy, and keeping her seat at Legal Insurrection warm awaiting her return, however long it takes.
But that seems not to be possible, even after this year. And probably never will be.
Mandy’s mom just posted another update, which may be her last:
It’s been just over one year (9/6/14) since Mandy had her stroke.
In the first few months she went from being unconscious to opening her eyes every now and then. She was missing the left side of her skull for four months, was deaf and blind on her right side and had a feeding tube for several months. She was bedridden for two months.
After about six months of rehab she has recovered enough to walk small distances by herself with a cane but no other assistance. She is still paralyzed partially on her right side. She has no use of her right arm, but her right leg is functioning enough to walk a little. She spends much of the day in a wheelchair. She seems to be able to hear and see again on her right side. Her speech has improved slightly. She can say a few words and I am teaching her to speak in sentences.
I have tried to get her interested in using the internet and email again, but have been unsuccessful.
She is very slowly learning to do simple everyday tasks on her own. Over the year she has had to learn how to do things we learn as children such as using utensils to eat or brush teeth.
I have to read print to her since she says she only recognizes and knows the meaning of some words. However, she understands most of what I am saying to her. She has started to do things without my telling her to do them such as letting the dogs out the door. Months ago she wouldn’t have thought about taking the initiative to do that.
Her recovery continues to be a long, slow difficult process. Her life has changed and she seems to have accepted that. I believe it would be safe enough and she is now ready to live more independently in her own home. I am working on finding her a place to live and making arrangements for someone to take over my duties. I knew when she came here to live with me that it was going to be life changing for her, my husband and me.
Mandy, Victor and I are very grateful to all of the people who have donated and sent good wishes over the past year. It’s incredible to me that she knows so many people that care.
I will be taking this site down in a few months but I wanted to give you this last update before I do.
Thank you all very much,
Ginny Ashrafi Nagy
If you read no other post of Mandy’s, please read Mandy’s 2013 post, Remembering September 11th and the importance of loved ones and endurance:
September 11th taught me the importance of family and loved ones in our lives, as well as the compassion of those we may not know, and that we can never, ever take life for granted.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.