Sledding Accident Kills Mom, Leaves Daughter, 4, in Coma: 'Beside Myself with Grief,' Dad Says

·2 min read

GoFundMe

A California father is coping with the death of his wife as he continues to support his injured 4-year-old daughter following a tragic accident earlier this year.

In February, Lisa Mao and her husband, Dahveed Kolodny-Nagy, took their daughter, Nova, to Mount Baldy to celebrate her fourth birthday in the snow of the San Gabriel Mountains, a GoFundMe set up for the family states. But as their day was ending, the group accidentally sledded "head first" into a boulder, killing Lisa and seriously injuring Nova, according to the page.

"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."

According to GoFundMe, Lisa did not have life insurance, and the campaign hopes to raise enough money to cover her funeral and medical costs for Nova. It has raised nearly $75,000 as of Monday afternoon.

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Since the accident on Feb. 4, Nova has been in treatment for a broken arm and head and internal injuries, according to KTLA. She 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 told the news station of the day. "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."

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"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, KTLA reported.

Today, the young girl is in stable condition as she continues to heal from the accident.

"I had to be strong, and I had to fight," Kolodny-Nagy told the news station of the heartbreaking ordeal. "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."

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With the family marking their first Mother's Day since the accident, Kolodny-Nagy wants to remind people to cherish the moments they spend with 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."