About this fundraiser

                                                                Mara’s Story
      November 28, 2023, Mara’s life was forever changed.   While at her grandparent’s home,       grieving the loss of her beloved Nanny less than 12 hours earlier, Mara experienced a near          fatal medical emergency.  Mara, a healthy, vibrant, energetic 24-year-old, had what her              family later found out was a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on the left parietal        lobe of her brain that caused a hemorrhagic stroke.  
      An AVM is an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins. They are connected to each other, with no capillaries between them. Without the capillaries, the blood flow from the arteries goes directly into the veins at a faster rate than normal. This causes the walls of both the veins and arteries to weaken and rupture.
Mara was rushed to WVUHospital Emergency Room where doctors soon discovered the massive bleed in her brain.  She was taken to Interventional Radiology where the bleeding was stopped and then a craniotomy was performed to remove the AVM and the free-flowing blood in her brain.
       Mara spent over 2 weeks in the Neuro Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at WVUHospital.  She began waking up from a coma and was moved to the Specialty Care Center at Mon General, where she remained until January 22, 2024, when she was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. 
       While at Shepherd, Mara has had surgery on both feet to correct foot drop, a common walking challenge caused by a stroke. She has spent the last 15 weeks with her team of therapists, inpatient and outpatient, working to recover basic skills that we take for granted- walking, communicating, eating, getting dressed.    
       Mara is returning home and will continue outpatient therapy with UPMC Mercy.  She has come a very long way since November 28, but as her family was told numerous times, this is a marathon not a sprint, and she still has a long way to go in her recovery.
       Mara was attending Waynesburg College and would have graduated this year.  She worked for WVUHospitals as a Clinical Associate and was looking forward to her future.  
       Mara’s medical issues have caused a strain on both her and her boyfriend Austin.  He has been by her side since November 28, and has not worked.  While family, friends, and donations from the community have helped cover some of the costs, the financial burden has been and will continue to be great.  
       This fundraiser has been created to help ease the financial burden while Mara recovers.  The goal is to allow Mara to focus 100% of her time and energy on regaining her strength, her ability to walk, and regain her independence.   

Organized by

Jennifer Lemley

Mt Morris, PA, USA

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This fundraiser will directly support

Mara Negley