Ten years ago today Andrew Breitbart died. I just can't stop thinking about what might have been....
Mandy Nagy Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 9:30am The morning of September 11th, 2001, I was sitting in my office at a prior job, admiring the beautiful blue sky outside my window, when my phone rang. “I can’t reach your brother anymore. His phone cut off. He was running and his phone just died,” my mother cried on the other end. For a moment, I had no idea why she was upset or what she was talking about. But then another line rang and a friend’s voice, equally upset, screamed to me, “They’re flying planes into buildings where your brother is.” I sat stunned for a minute, paralyzed with fear and dread. I opened my office door and there was an eerie feeling in the air. It was noisy, yet quiet and somber at the same time....
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 NagyUpdate 11:20 a.m. 7-20-2015 -- Mandy's Mom writes
She is making some improvement, but slowly. She has had to learn how to do everything from which utensil to use at a meal to how to blow her nose. She goes to outpatient rehab 2-3 times a week for physical and speech therapy. She can walk on her own using a 4-prong cane (as opposed to the larger walker she was using) but still needs the wheelchair. She has learned how to put her socks, brace and shoes on. That is a big deal since she doesn’t need to rely on me now to get up and do this every time she has to get out of bed. I still have to bath and dress her, prepare her meals and help her at the table. She understands most of what we are saying to her but it sometimes takes a while before she processes what we said. She cannot talk yet except for a few words. I continue to try to encourage her to go on the internet, twitter, facebook, etc. but she shows no interest. She can only read a little. She seems stronger and is up all day now. She used to go to her bed by noon. I will be looking for a caregiver for her soon. I am not young anymore. This job has been hard. And, I will someday be gone, so I need to set her up on her own with a live-in caregiver who will be content doing this kind of work.You can Donate at the Fundraising Page. Update 2:45 p.m. 5-5-2015 -- Mandy's Mom writes at the Fundraising Page:
Mandy is slowly walking on her own with a walker and becoming more independent as she learns again how to do everyday tasks. And, once she learns it, she remembers. She still cannot speak except for a few words and phrases, although she knows what she wants to say – she just can’t say it. I am working with her to get her to stop pointing and drawing pictures in the air and speak the words she’s trying to say. She goes to physical, speech and occupational therapy about 2-3 days a week. But I also work with her. I can see from her eyes and the level of her alertness that she is improving. A month ago she was exhausted by noon and went to her room to nap. Now she usually stays awake all day. She has gained enough strength to go places. Her sister has taken her to the park, food shopping, etc. She uses a wheel chair but most of the time I ask her to walk instead of using the chair. I’ve gotten her to walk up and down two steps (while holding on to me) off the back patio so she can walk outside when it is nice. Mandy and her family are so very grateful for your donations, prayers and touching posts.Update 2:35 p.m. 4-4-2015 Mandy's Mom writes at the Fundraising Page:
Thank you to everyone for all of your kind notes, prayers and donations. I apologize for not posting updates more often. Mandy sees each post and is very touched that there are so many people who care about her. I know she misses the way it used to be. Mandy has gotten to the point where she can walk short distances around the house and outside with a walker or pronged cane without my holding on to her. She wears a brace on her right leg. She is very slowly doing more things on her own. She does not have use of her right arm. Speaking is still very difficult for her because she knows what she wants to say but doesn't know how to yet. She has a speech generating device that helps her to form words and learn language starting with the alphabet. Her neurologist has said that almost all of the cells on the left side of the brain have been destroyed. Those cells cannot come back, but the right side can compensate and learn to do some of the things the left side used to do. I see improvement but it can take months/years to come about. She goes to outpatient rehab almost every day for PT, OT and Speech Therapy. She is beginning to look like herself again since her hair is now growing back and she has started wearing her glasses. She can read a little but cannot write since she doesn't know language yet. At this point she still needs around the clock care. But slowly she will learn to do some of those things on her own. Our long term goal is to eventually get her in her own apartment with a live-in caregiver. I won't always be here for her and I am not getting any younger. I will need to find someone kind, capable and willing to replace me. She remains positive and in good spirits. Ginny NagyUpdate 9:25 a.m. 2-13-2015 Mandy's Mom writes at the Fundraising Page:
Mandy’s surgery on Jan. 8, 2015 was good with no complications. Her skull is back and now she can grow her hair back. She was slower and weaker than usual after it, but now she is back on track. For weeks, several different therapists came to our home for rehab. But now that has ended and she begins outpatient rehab next week. She still cannot speak except for a few words, i.e., Yes, no, and Oh my God. She understands most of what is said to her, however, she cannot respond verbally. She has a speech generating device that helps somewhat with some of her needs. But back and forth conversation is frustrating for her. She is in good spirits and still has her sense of humor. Our three King Charles Cavalier Spaniels are constant companions for her and she enjoys them very much. Good thing she likes animals. Her walking has gotten better to the point I can let her walk on her own with a walker on her left side and without me holding on to her. She has lost some of her memory. Hopefully someday she will get it back. I show her the donations and good wishes everyone posts and sends. She is very grateful and touched by it. Again, thank you everyone. Ginny NagyMandy's Mom further wrote to me: "Although I try often to get her interested in the internet, she still shows no interest." At least she has her priorities straight! Update 8:30 a.m. 12-30-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys that Mandy can walk very short distances with help, a left walker and a leg brace. She needs help with everything else. Improvement in her speech has been slow. She understands much of what is said to her but not everything. She has lost some of her memory and she does not recognize some simple tasks, words, objects and people she once knew. She is starting to get interested in current events and watches the news. (added) Mandy's mother has posted an update tonight at the fundraising page:
This New Year’s Eve Mandy is home. Different therapists come to the home to provide rehab. She can walk short distances with my help and a left handed walker. She still has no use of her right arm but can feel some sensation. In addition to her IPad that has Apps on it, she is now using a speech recognition device which will help her to communicate. She understands most of what is said to her but cannot respond verbally. Surgery to re-attach her skull is scheduled for Jan. 8th. She is deeply touched and so very grateful to everyone who has donated, sent notes and gifts, prayers and good wishes. I believe 2015 is going to be a good year. Happy and healthy New Year to everyone.Folks, this will be a long road for Mandy. Please consider donating to her fundraiser if you have not already, or a second donation if you have already donated. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE. You can pay by credit card at the GoFundMe page: You also can pay by check, payable to the "Mandy Nagy Supplemental Needs Trust" at the following address: Mandy Nagy Supplemental Needs Trust P.O. Box 33 Liberty Corner, NJ 07938 Update 2:00 p.m. 11-26-2014 -- Mandy's mom writes on the Fundraising Page:
Mandy continues with her rehab. She can walk with the help of one person and a cane/walker. She has some movement in her right leg but very little in her right arm. She understands most of what is being said to her but has trouble communicating back. She can read some. With her IPad she is working with several apps to teach her the English language again and to make it easier to communicate. Thank you all for your generosity. It is with these funds she is purchasing the equipment she needs to get better and make life easier. I have shown her the website and she can read the comments herself. Her response is “oh” “oh”. I can see how grateful she is.She also followed up with me: Mandy will be home for Thanksgiving. She will then have in home care and rehab. After that she will go to outpatient rehab. Her spirits are high and she has a good attitude. Update 8:00 p.m. 11-2-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She continues to make remarkable improvement, and can move around in the wheelchair. She is still weeks away from coming home. And when she comes home after that she will continue with outpatient therapy. Update 6:00 p.m. 10-21-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She is making remarkable progress in the short amount of time since she became ill. She is in a wheelchair most of the day and in therapy. She still cannot talk in whole sentences, but can say a few words. She can walk with help. She is in very good spirits and is laughing. From what I can see and the progress she’s made in just over a month, I believe she will be talking and walking (some) in 6-9 months just as the neurologist said. Update 8:00 p.m. 10-12-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She's doing well. Very alert and can move her right side a little bit. Doctor said she was walking a little bit with help. Update 12:30 p.m. 10-5-2014 My wife and I saw Mandy at the rehab facility today. She was very alert. She seemed to understand everything we said, nodded, occasionally said "yeah." Shook her head a lot in response to questions. She indicated she was aware of the fundraiser, but didn't remember me visiting her in the hospital or reading her reader comments, so I did that again. I told her that she always had a place at Legal Insurrection, and she smiled, but that if she only could type with her left hand, we'd have to get her a job at Mother Jones -- to which she laughed really hard. It's pretty clear that rehab progress will be measured in weeks, not days like when she was in the hospital after the initial stroke. So we'll probably update this post weekly from now on. When we update, we'll alert people by posting this at the top of the homepage and sending out a tweet. We'll also send it out in the Morning Insurrection newsletter. Update 6:10 p.m. 10-3-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: Mandy has moved from the hospital to a rehab facility. Update 2:45 p.m. 10-2-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She looked good today. She's talking a little bit more. She was in very good spirits smiling. I showed her the fundraiser and I could tell by the look on her face that she's extremely grateful to everyone. Update 8:30 A.m. 9-30-2014 -- The fundraiser has launched: PLEASE CONTRIBUTE. You can pay by credit card at the GoFundMe page: You also can pay by check, payable to the "Mandy Nagy Supplemental Needs Trust" at the following address: Mandy Nagy Supplemental Needs Trust P.O. Box 33 Liberty Corner, NJ 07938 Update 9:00 p.m. 9-28-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: Mandy was doing well this morning. But she wants to come home. I told her that's not possible yet. NOTE: Fundraiser for Mandy starts Tuesday. Details to follow. Update 7:55 p.m. 9-27-2014 -- Mandy's friend Bill tweets: "Mandy was really excited to see me today. She looked at me with those huge blue eyes of hers and smiled [continued] when she looks at me and I know she recognizes me it almost makes me cry." Update 8:15 p.m. 9-26-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: There isn't much new to report for Mandy. She's progressing nicely. She tries to talk often. Still waiting to get her into the rehab center. Mandy friend Bill tweets: "she did her physical therapy in the morning when I got there and she was pooped from that so she fell asleep watching tv." Update 7:15 p.m. 9-25-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She was very alert today. And it seems as though she understands everything we are saying to her and she can also read however she can't identify the letters in what she's reading. It's interesting but I'm not sure how long it will take before she can use an iPad. Update 6:50 p.m. 9-24-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: We saw Mandy briefly early this morning. She was okay. Improving a little bit each day. Her friend Bill tweets: visited Mandy. Happy, llaughing like last time I was there, she did some physical therapy and I left when she fell asleep" And also: "small progress but she looks good. Seems to be in great spirits which is super important and she's aware things go slow." Update 1:40 p.m. 9-23-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She's ready for rehab, but there are delays in getting her placed. During rehab in the hospital today they had her standing up. She understands what people are saying to her and will nod yes or no but she's having trouble with language and output. Update 6:15 p.m. 9-22-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She's making progress. Her friend Bill was there today making her laugh. Still no date for rehab but should be soon. Each day she adds a one word or two. Bill tweets: just saw Mandy. She looks good. Laughing and smiling up a storm pics from Climate Rally. Some limited speech. Update 5:45 p.m. 9-21-2014 -- This is where I say: Stay hopeful but cautious, and not let recent progress create unrealistic short-term expectations. Mandy's mom conveys: She's doing very well. While I was there they put her in a recliner and she did her exercises and watched TV. I got her to laugh a few times. The color in her face has come back. I am very hopeful for significant recovery. While the timing is not definite yet, we are hoping to launch a fundraising campaign for Mandy starting next Monday, September 29. Stay tuned for details. Update 5:15 p.m. 9-20-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She's doing very well today. She's very alert and trying to talk. I played some music for her and she enjoyed that. She's getting stronger every day. Update 4:15 p.m. 9-19-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: Mandy is doing much better today. She even said a few words and was laughing. And she wanted to watch TV so I put FOXNews on for her so she can keep up with the news. Mandy's friend Bill tweets: saw Mandy today and she was able to say "no" and "bye" to me. Very smiley while I was there. Update 7:30 p.m. 9-18-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: Mandy was not as active today. They moved her to another step down room. And someone from the rehab facility was there today to see her. I think it will just be a few more days before she goes to rehab. Update 4:15 p.m. 9-17-2014 -- Mandy's friend Bill visited her today, and tweets: She is really alert today. Was watching music videos on my iPhone and making funny faces at me. He further reports that she has not lost her sense of humor: "I asked @liberty_chick if she was tired of me being there and she nodded. Damn cat lady." 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. Update 3:40 p.m. 9-15-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She has improved. She seems to focus much better when you're talking to her. She was even trying to laugh. I handed her a card and she held it in her hand and was looking at it. That's the first time she did that. I think maybe in a day or two she might be able to communicate on an iPad. Thanks FTR Radio and all participants in the Thunderclap: Update 5:15 p.m. 9-14-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: They just moved her out of ICU. She was doing much better today. She also seems to understand better when you talk to her. Katie writes: She smiled regularly, nodding and shaking her head to answer questions. Update 3:30 p.m. 9-13-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys that there is no real change from the day before. Two of Mandy's friends who are visiting her today report that she definitely and emphatically acknowledges them, and laughs at Mandy-type jokes. There is a Thunderclap for Mandy being organized, please sign up as soon as possible at the link (it is a pre-programmed way of having people Tweet and post on Facebook at the exact same time). We're trying to organize it so that it takes place when I visit her on Tuesday morning, so I can show/tell her about it as it is happening, but we need at least 100 people signed up by then for it to work. Update 3:45 p.m. 9-12-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She's doing the same. They had her sitting up again for over an hour. She was opening her eyes and trying to communicate. Update 10:40 a.m. 9-12-2014 -- On Tuesday, September 16, I'll be visiting Mandy. If there is a message you want to convey, leave in the comments, which I will be reading to her. Update 2:30 p.m. 9-11-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: Mandy has made some progress today. The physical therapy people put her in a chair today so she was sitting up and was very active and trying to talk. Separately, a friend who visited Mandy today observed that her eyes lit up with recognition when she saw him and "She sneezed on us." Be thankful for small things! I am going to see her Tuesday -- so if there is anything you want to convey to her, post it in the comments here and I will read them to her. Update 2:45 p.m. 9-10-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: She's doing better today. The swelling in both her eyes has gone down. She is much more active today than she was yesterday. She is moving her left side often and she's even trying to talk. It's going to take a long time. But I'm glad she's made some progress. Update 3 p.m. 9-9-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys: The swelling has gone down some which is a good sign. But she will be in ICU for a few more days and then to another room. The doctor was optimistic about her long-term prospects. She is sleeping most of the time. But she does respond when spoken to. Mandy's sister indicated: Our brother just whispered in Mandy's ear that she has a hashtag. :) Update 2 p.m. 9-8-2014 -- Mandy's mom conveys the following: It's a serious situation. The pressure is still somewhat high on her brain. She has been able to squeeze my hand with her left hand to let me know she knows I'm there. There has been no change today from yesterday. ICU does not permit flowers. But tell everyone thank you very much. Update 7:35 p.m. -- Mandy's mom tells me she is out of surgery, and the surgery went well. I can't tell you how much I miss Mandy and can't wait until she gets back. Mandy always was the voice of reason around here in an unreasonable world.
I am thrilled to have Legal Insurrection Editor Mandy Nagy as our Canto Talk guest this Thursday, Nov. 7th (7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST; click HERE for live show or podcast link). The featured topic will be the fallout from the Obamacare implosion, including...
The morning of September 11th, 2001, I was sitting in my office at a prior job, admiring the beautiful blue sky outside my window, when my phone rang. “I can’t reach your brother anymore. His phone cut off. He was running and his phone just died,”...
Mandy Nagy (aka “Liberty Chick”) is a leading investigative writer and researcher, primarily covering the institutional left, protest movements, hacking and cybercrime, and technology. For many years Mandy has been at the forefront of breaking stories about connections between and among left-wing groups, working with Andrew Breitbart and others. In late March, I...
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