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Update – Mandy Nagy 9 Years Later

Update – Mandy Nagy 9 Years Later

Her mom writes: “It’s been nine years since her stroke. She is showing more interest in the internet and, of course, her music. She is capable of learning new words by copying them, not sentences, but usually nouns or verbs.”

Every year since Labor Day 2014, we have remembered and honored our first and former Editor, Mandy Nagy, severely injured by a massive stroke at the age of 45. So much has changed at Legal Insurrection, I think she would be proud.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 9 years. It seems like just yesterday I was standing in the back of my driveway in Ithaca when at 9:42 a.m. on Sunday, September 7, 2014, I received an email at our “contact” email address from an email account I did not recognize with the subject line “Mandy Nagy”:

Prof. Jacobson,

I hope this email is directed to you and not Mandy. I am Mandy’s mother. Mandy is in the hospital. She had a stroke early Saturday morning. She is unable to speak and cannot move the right side of her body. If you would like to contact me, I can be reached at: xxx-xxx-xxxx

I am also going to go to her home and look on her computer to see if I can find your contact information.

Ginny Nagy Ashrafi

For those of you new to this story, Mandy was a writer at Legal Insurrection starting in June 2013, joining us after a storied time as Andrew Breitbart’s key researcher. On Labor Day 2014, Mandy was to become our first full time employee to manage the website. But it was not to be, fate intervened.

Later that day, I alerted the readership and provided frequent updates that day, Pray for Mandy Nagy:

Our beloved Mandy Nagy, also known as Liberty Chick, had a stroke yesterday and brain surgery to relieve the pressure today.

I am in touch with Mandy’s mom, who approved me letting people know via Legal Insurrection. Before surgery, Mandy also was able to nod approval with a small smile, her mom tells me….

We’re praying for Mandy, and keeping her seat at Legal Insurrection warm awaiting her return, however long it takes.

There was an outpouring of support for Mandy, including among the Legal Insurrection readership.

My wife and I visited Mandy in the hospital soon after her surgery. We got to meet Mandy’s mother and stepfather as well. I read Mandy comments by Legal Insurrection readers wishing her well and sharing their love for her.

Update 5:15 p.m. 9-16-2014 — My visit with Mandy.

My wife and I visited Mandy today in the hospital. She clearly knew who I was, and reacted positively to me reading to her reader comments. She often laughed, and clearly was moved, nodding her head when I asked her if she recognized some of the names I thought she would know (both real names, and some of our regular commenters who use pseudonyms). She listened carefully as I read the comments and tweets. I asked her if she knew what a Thunderclap was, and she nodded yes, and I told her about our Thunderclap for her, and the statistics on it. It was hard for me to hold it together as I read to her the reaction and outpouring of love from so many people. I know she heard you.

I told her that there always will be a place for her at Legal Insurrection, no matter in what capacity, but that she needed to focus now on getting better. As to getting better, the prognosis is hopeful according to the doctors, but I don’t want to kid you, she has a long road ahead of her.

We are organizing, with the family, a fundraiser for Mandy, but it’s complicated given her situation. Ours will be the only “official” fundraiser, so don’t believe it if someone else tells you they are raising funds for her. I hope to have more information next week.

I’m heartbroken that Mandy has to go through this, but I’m hopeful that with good medical care and support from family, friends and the blogosphere, she’ll make it through and come back to us.

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.

Each year we have updated Mandy’s condition as reported to us by her mom. You can read all the updates here (and at the bottom of this post). As I do each year, I reached out to Mandy’s Mom. I received the following update


I hope you and your family are well.

Thank you again for remembering Mandy. It’s been nine years since her stroke.

Mandy’s condition is, for the most part, the same. She is showing more interest in the internet and, of course, her music. She is capable of learning new words by copying them, not sentences, but usually nouns or verbs. When I go to visit her, she sometimes hands me a list of needed items that she wrote herself. She writes them by copying their names from a label or advertisement.

Because she has started to write, she has an email address for family to send photos and short messages that she might understand or have the caregiver read to her. To my surprise, she responded with a word or two. So, I will give you her email address for anyone who might want to contact her. I can’t guarantee she will respond. The best way for her to understand who is emailing her is to include a photo of themselves. She will not be able to read and understand the written name. I’m hoping this is one way she can learn to read again. Her email address is: [email Legal Insurrection and we will forward it to Mandy].

She also has a new Lingraphica device which helps her to communicate. She is content and happy.

Again, I thank you for remembering her.

Ginny Ashrafi Nagy

It’s not true that time heals all wounds. We worry about Mandy’s future, who will take care of her, and what will become of her. Fortunately she has a loving and supportive family.

It’s also a reminder of our own vulnerability to misfortune. I think of the Phil Och’s song, There But For Fortune.

And Psalm 23:4:

A song of David. The L‑rd is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He causes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even as I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You set a table before me in the presence of my adversaries; You anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.
May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the L‑rd for length of days

We made a promise in those early days to keep a seat warm for Mandy should she ever be able to return, but it’s not to be. At one level it’s an incredibly painful memory, at another level it’s a story of how Mandy’s loving and heroic family, particularly her mom, has helped her achieve a relatively stable life.

Please continue to pray for Mandy Nagy and her heroic mom, whose devotion has inspired us all.



Mandy Nagy – One year later

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….

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….

Mandy Nagy two years later

Mandy still needs help with everything: bathing, dressing, walking, cooking,  etc. She can only speak and read a few words.  She mainly identifies things by pictures.  She wears a brace on her right leg and needs spotting while walking short distances.  Her right arm is paralyzed and her right leg is partially paralyzed. She is very disabled.  I do my best to take care of her needs.  She seems content and not depressed.

Mandy Nagy 3 years later

It’s been three years and a very challenging time for Mandy, Victor and me. Her situation, for now, is stable.

Her condition has stayed the same for the past year. She can walk very slowly for short distances with a cane. She has no use of her right arm and very little of her right leg. She needs assistance everyday with bathing, dressing, cleaning and meal preparation.

She cannot form words except for no, hi, okay and a few other words. She can’t read and doesn’t understand things she should.

People she should know, she doesn’t unless I show her a picture of them. She doesn’t understand instructions. I gave her a brush to use in the shower and she didn’t know what it was or what to do with it. Even after I showed her how to use it, she just stared at it confused.

So, this is where we are. It is a sad situation but she is comfortable and hopefully content. It’s not a very good life, but it is life.

Mandy Nagy 4 years later

I hope you and your family are well. Thank you again for thinking of Mandy.

Not much has changed. She was hospitalized once a few months ago. We thought she had another stroke but it was a seizure. She still has an aide assisting her each day and I fill in on Sundays, holidays and days when the aide is not available.

Her only improvement occurred about six months ago when she became interested in the music playing on my IPhone. It always puzzled her family that she lost interest in music after the stroke, since music was such an important part of her life. Anyway, I downloaded music she likes on her IPad. She can’t read who the artist is, but she can identify the photo of the artist. So, now she listens to music often. Her doctors had said that music is good for recovery. It took four years, but better late than never.

I’ll let Mandy know you asked about her.

Mandy Nagy 5 years later

Hi Bill,

Thank you for thinking of Mandy each year. Mandy’s condition remains pretty much the same except that her ability to walk is decreasing.

Since her right side is paralyzed, with some feeling in that leg, she needs more support than previously to walk. Despite our efforts to get her up and exercising, she now depends on her wheelchair more often than before. I used to be able to transport her from her place to mine using a cane. But now she needs to use her chair and I need another person to help with getting her up a few steps whereas before I could get her up the steps by myself.

However, she seems to be a bit sharper in her thinking. Although she still cannot talk, except for a few words, she is now remembering some small things that she hadn’t before. For instance, she remembered it is her brother’s birthday. Normally that’s not something she thinks about or would remember. I was surprised. She seems content and not depressed. It’s hard for us to see how that can be, but it is. She listens to music on her IPad and watches HGTV much of the day. A home health aide comes every day to take care of her and I fill in on Sundays and holidays.

Again, it is kind of you to remember her. I hope you and your family are well.



P.S. I saw your interview on FOX a while ago. I think it was with Tucker Carlson.

Mandy Nagy 6 years later


Once again, thank you for thinking of Mandy each year at this time.

Her condition has changed in a few different ways. Physically, she has more trouble walking. Her right side is paralyzed except for enough feeling in her right leg to make it possible to walk. In the past year, that feeling has diminished making walking more unstable. Cognitively, she seems better. She has learned to understand and write a few words on paper. She also has become more interested in the internet. And, when I bring up politics and the sad state the county is in, she seems to understand. She’s aware of how President Trump supporters are attacked while the Democrat media and politicians get away with most anything. I called her one night when you were a guest on Tucker Carlson and told her to watch. She and I also have seen you on other shows, I think Fox and Friends. She remembers you!

… Mandy’s sister and I now realize how Mandy knew about the groups financed by people like George Soros. We didn’t understand back then, but we are amazed how much she knew before the rest of us. I am sorry you have to go through what you are experiencing. It shouldn’t be this way. I hope this country sees what many of us see and stop the madness. Anyway, I am encouraging her to get involved again and look at the news on the internet and TV because for years she had no interest.

She still needs someone to care for her every day. Her spirits are up and she seems content.

I see her on Sundays and this past Sunday, when I walked in, she was watching the video below on her IPAD. I was surprised because she doesn’t know how to spell but apparently she is slowly learning. I asked her if her roommate pulled that up for her and she said no, she did. I suppose she knows how to spell her name and that’s how she was able to find this. It is also an indication that she is interested once again in politics and wants to learn what was, and presently happening.



Mandy Nagy 7 Years Later

I’m sorry I haven’t responded sooner to your email. I just realized today is the date of her stroke seven years ago. She continues to live in an apartment, with an aide daily and me on Sundays and holidays, taking care of her needs.

Her physical condition has unfortunately deteriorated somewhat, so that she has more trouble walking. But her cognitive abilities seem to have improved. Although she can’t read or write, and has very little speech, she likes to look at the internet and manages to find things of interest there. She has also regained some of her interest in music, and can find songs by photos.

Occasionally, her memory has surprised us, for example, pointing at the calendar and calling out a family member’s name on that person’s birthday. I am looking into getting her a motorized wheelchair because I feel she is ready to operate it, although still confined within her apartment or our home.

Thank you so much for remembering her.

Mandy Nagy 8 Years Later

Hi Bill,

Thank you for remembering Mandy.  We are okay.  I hope your family is doing well also.

Mandy’s condition has remained the same physically.  Cognitively she has improved somewhat.  She is on her iPad much of the day instead of watching tv.  She listens to classical music and looks at the news.  She can’t read, but she figures out from the pictures and a few words she has learned, what is going on politically.  The internet now interests her.  Her understanding of all that is happening around her is much better than it was in previous years.  There are times she sees someone on FOX News and points, saying “I know her/him”.  When I look back many years ago, I remember her explaining to me and my family the danger that was coming to our country.  She named people none of us had ever heard of until the last few years, i.e. George Soros.  All the things she was saying are now happening.  We never thought what she was talking about could ever happen in this country, but it is.

We purchased an electric wheelchair for her since she cannot operate a manual one with her hands because she only has one hand that’s functioning.  She still uses a manual chair but moves it with her feet, and she walks short distances using a cane.  She uses the electric chair outside at my home where she has room to roam.  At present she is staying with me because her roommate is in the hospital, and she cannot be left on her own.  She is not depressed.  She is content.  She says hello to you.  Thank you again for thinking of her.


Ginny Ashrafi Nagy


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



Wow, it seems like just yesterday. We love you, Mandy!!

    JohnSmith100 in reply to WestRock. | September 3, 2023 at 7:53 pm

    Such a sad situation, I have an adult disabled child and appreciate the anguish. What happens when a parent is no longer there for them?

      I worry about this, too, with Mandy. I’m not sure if she has siblings or anyone close who can step in should the need arise. We won’t let her fall through the cracks, though, you can be sure of that!

        Michael Johnson in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | September 3, 2023 at 9:45 pm

        Legal Insurrection and particularly Bill are outstanding people in your commitment to Mandy and helping her find support if and when her family may not be there. We have an adult daughter who is somewhat incapacitated, so I understand the concerns about continued help and assistance.

        God bless you and your efforts to help.

      Worst case scenario, she’ll wind up in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid. Medicaid kicks in after the 100 days of Medicare rehab facility benefits are exhausted and her assets have been spent down. Often a nursing home patient doesn’t get the full 100 days of Medicare coverage as nursing homes do a progress assessment. If not making progress, patients are typically booted from Medicare for Medicaid. Nursing homes can be real shady in their dealings with impaired patients. For example, my father was pressured to sign away his Medicare benefit to “facilitate” his transfer to Medicaid.

      I was his health care advocate and POE and they did it after I’d left for the day. When dad remembered to tell me days later, I retained an attorney and we intended to file suit, in particular for not abiding by the landmark case “Jimmo vs. Kathleen Sebelius”. Sadly, my attorney (and friend) perished in a freak boating accident before we brought suit. We found that there was widespread non-compliance by nursing homes here for that decision. He thought a class action suit would have been lucrative. My own leg work suggested patients were typically cut off after using just 40-60 days of their 100 days of Medicare coverage. And once in a nursing home on Medicaid, their medical care seems geared toward keeping their patient alive, regardless of their quality of life. I had a few fights with them over such decisions – Dad’s desire to “go be with mom” and the nursing home’s desire to keep their “cash cow” alive.

      For those reasons, I sincerely hope Mandy’s parents and friends are planning for her care and advocacy. She was dealt a crap hand and deserves compassionate care as long as she needs it – and I mean compassion absent exploitation.

9 years?! Wow. It’s good to hear that Mandy is carrying on. All hopes for continued improvement.

Please keep her off the internet. She doesn’t need the added brain damage.

Thanks for update on a very special family member of ours.


Keep fighting, God bless you and your family

Thank you for keeping her square on the site. She’s a beacon of a different variety.

As a daily reader/commentor I can say that has kept her in thoughts and a humble reminder of blessings and the frailty of the human condition.

The past few years have thrown some hard things at the world. My own world has been turned upside down but I can say it doesn’t compare the least to what Mandy’s family has gone through.

So glad she is doing well and hope for it continue- please remain hopeful.

Thanks for the update; hard to believe it’s been 9 years. Keeping Mandy in my prayers.

Life is precious and fragile.

I leave you with these words, Dr. J and Mrs. Nagy.
Jeremiah 29:11
for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all things, acknowledge Him. He will make clear your paths.
I pray for Mandy, and I appreciate you both take the time to give us the annual updates. May God be with you all.

It seems like she was writing here just a few years ago. I am so happy to hear that she is in good spirits at least.

I do enjoy hearing about her continued well-being over the years.

I appreciate herm2416’s quotations.

To say it another way: it ain’t over til it’s over.

Ms. Nagy has hope, and dreams, and people who love her, and people who are cheering for her. God bless, and may she continue to surprise us.

You’re all such GOOD people at LI. God bless, each and every one. Please let us all know, as soon as possible, how/when we can contribute to Mandy’s cause. I know many, if not all, will be honored to participate.

Having re-read the updates over the years I notice in the ways she spends her time and finds joy- I don’t see an animal companion.

Granted I know life is complicated with her, but if I can pass along a suggestion that if you aren’t doing this already getting a therapy dog in to spend significant time with her. If I have one good idea this year that lifts up a life, let it be this.

I know of no human life that wasn’t made significantly better through time spent with a Labrador.

I think of Mandy and her family. Those who go through traumatic and critical life changing events see the world in a different light. It brings us down to earth and causes us to re-evaluate what truly is important. We pray for Mandy and her family and the family that makes up LI.

Legal Insurrection is such a fabulous organization.
Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for giving Mandy shoutouts.
Hoping all involved with LI have a safe and meaningful Labor Day holiday.
Keep on keepin on.
Some money that God has entrusted me with is forthcoming.

I really appreciate LI commitment to Mandy. I remember when this happened. It is so sad that such a bright woman was laid low by a cruel fate. I am glad that she is so well cared for; but really sad it is needed.
God Bless her, her family and her care givers.

Thank you for remembering her. Liberty Chick is a special person. I have thought of her often over the years. May God grant her and her family peace and comfort.

I had a stroke after my booster shot in 2020. I can tell you that although my stroke was mild and nothing like poor Mandy’s, it is a horrible feeling to see your limbs or other parts of your body not be under your control any longer. I feel so lucky to have gained almost all of my faculties back except for a limp when I walk. I saw people in rehab with me who could only move their eyes! I hope that Mandy finds happiness in any form she finds it. There is nothing funny about a stroke but one of my changes is that I have no restraint when I see something sad. I cry and there is nothing I can do to stop it except tough it out. If any of you need a professional crier I am available!

For nine years I’ve felt a pain in my heart when I read these updates. Mandy was a huge part of LI when I found it and I was so pleased to put a name and face to Liberty Chick. For me, she will always be here.

Thank you, Professor.