1:11 PM PDT, May 10, 2021
A California family has received an outpouring of support from those near and far after suffering an unimaginable loss in an accident that occurred during what should have been a fun family trip in California’s San Gabriel mountains.
Dahveed Kolodny-Nagy and Lisa Mao brought their 4-year-old daughter sledding near Mount Baldy in celebration of the little girl’s birthday in February, but during one run, their sled crashed into a boulder.
Mao “took the brunt of the impact while trying her best to shield her husband and daughter” the family said on a GoFundMe page. She died shortly after impact. Little Nova was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Kolodny-Nagy spoke to KTLA on Mother’s Day to express the pain and sorrow of his wife not being here and his daughter still in the hospital.
“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. “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.”
His daughter, Nova, is still recovering from the injuries, he said. She suffered head and internal injuries, a broken arm and was in a medically-induced coma for weeks, he said, adding her brain was “damaged in four different places.” The child had her most recent skull surgery last month, according to the family’s GoFundMe page.
The child is now in stable condition. Her father remains hopeful she will make a full recovery.
The family has raised more than $74,000 of their $100,000 goal as of Monday on GoFundMe. The money will aid in Nova’s hospital bills and the funeral costs for Lisa, which will take place next month, the family said.