A California family experienced a heart-wrenching Mother’s Day months after a sledding accident killed a mom and landed her 4-year-old daughter in the intensive care unit.
Lisa Mao, 34, of Alhambra, was killed in February while sledding with her husband and daughter, Nova, near Mount Baldy on a weekend trip to the San Gabriel Mountains, news station KTLA reported.
The sled crashed into a boulder and Mao “took the brunt of the impact while trying her best to shield her husband and daughter,” loved ones said on a GoFundMe page.
“This is the first Mother’s Day that I don’t have my wife, and Nova’s mom, on my side,” Kolodny-Nagy told KTLA.
“Pretty much right away, I was told that my wife was dead,” her husband, Dahveed Kolodny-Nagy, said of the crash on Feb. 4.
“I was told my daughter is in critical [condition] and it sounded like she most likely won’t survive. And I was beside myself with grief.”
Kolodny-Nagy said he called for help to get his daughter, Nova, airlifted to a hospital.
“There was bruises all over [Nova], and there was no way I could call it quits,” he told the outlet.
Kolodny-Nagy said the toddler experienced brain damage in “four different places.”
She spent weeks in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit and underwent multiple surgeries, the outlet reported.
“I had to be strong, and I had to fight,” Kolodny-Nagy said. “My daughter, she’s so strong and she’s such a fighter just like her mom, so I had to be there for my daughter.”
Though the toddler is now on the road to recovery, the family struggled with their first Mother’s Day since the fatal accident.
“My message to you guys watching this is, be grateful for the blessings in your life. None of us know how long we have each other, so take advantage of that time.”