A now single father continues to grapple with the death of his late wife while also supporting his 4-year-old daughter after a tragic sledding accident that happened earlier this year.
Lisa Mao and her husband, Dahveed Kolodny-Nagy, took their daughter, Nova, to Mount Baldy in February to celebrate her fourth birthday in the snow of the San Gabriel Mountains, according to a GoFundMe set up for the family begins.
But towards the end of the day, the group accidentally sledded “head first” into a boulder, killing Lisa and seriously injuring Nova.
“Lisa took the brunt of the impact while trying her best to shield her husband and daughter; tragically, she lost her life shortly after the impact,” a description on the donation page reads. “Nova was knocked unconscious with severe damage to her skull, brain, eyes, collar, liver, and a broken arm.”
“Dahveed did everything humanly possible to both resuscitate his beloved wife and care for his wounded daughter,” the page continues. “Rescuers heard his calls and airlifted the two loves of his life to the hospital.”
Lisa did not have life insurance and the GoFund Me campaign hopes to raise enough money to cover her funeral as well as any medical costs for Nova.
Since the tragic accident on Feb. 4, Nova has been in treatment for a broken arm and head, and internal injuries and was placed in a medically induced coma at a local ICU.
“Pretty much right away, I was told that my wife was dead,” Kolodny-Nagy revealed.
“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.”
“There was bruises all over [Nova], and there was no way I could call it quits,” he added of Nova, who has since undergone multiple surgeries.
Today, Nova is in stable condition as she continues to heal from the accident.
“I had to be strong, and I had to fight,” Kolodny-Nagy admitted. “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.”
Following their first Mother’s Day, Kolodny-Nagy wants to remind others to hold close their loved ones.
“My message to you guys… be grateful for the blessings in your life,” he continued. “None of us know how long we have each other, so take advantage of that time.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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