'Dynamic' Mother of 2 Determined to Walk Again After Injuries from Falling Down Stairs
An Ohio mother of two is vowing to walk again after her family says she was involved in a "critical accident" that nearly paralyzed her.
Lauren Shmalo Berg's life was unexpectedly changed on Oct. 4 when she fell down a flight of stairs and sustained "severe trauma to her neck and spine," according to a GoFundMe page set up by her best friends, Erica Cohen-Biscotti and Cyvia Star.
After the fall, Lauren was administered CPR before getting airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, where she underwent an eight-hour surgery and was required to stay in the intensive care unit, the fundraiser states.
Her brother, Rob Shmalo, later confirmed in a Facebook post that the accident left his sister with two broken vertebrae in her neck, which caused partial paralysis in her arms and legs.
"She has been unable so far to feel her arms or legs," Rob wrote in the post on Oct. 10. "But we remain hopeful that if anyone can beat this, she can. My sister is as fierce as she is kind. In her darkest moment, Lauren told us 'I WILL walk again.'"
So far, Lauren hasn't been far off with her intentions. The mother of two has continued to make steady progress with her recovery, with Rob announcing on Oct. 12 that his sister was "starting to feel sensations" and getting "stronger day by day."
Three days later, he revealed that Lauren had officially been transferred from the hospital to Daniel Drake Rehabilitation Center in Cincinnati, where she was preparing to begin her rehab "in earnest."
"While the past days have been the most difficult my family has experienced, your collective love, generosity, light and prayers have been extraordinary," he wrote. "If anyone can do this, [Lauren] can. She will."
Cohen-Biscotti and Star added on the GoFundMe that the rehab process will help Lauren with "regaining feeling and functionality in her arms and legs."
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As she continues to fight, Lauren's loved ones are rallying around her and spreading the word about her GoFundMe.
Cohen-Biscotti and Star said they hope the fundraiser — which was launched on Oct. 10 and has raised over $164,000 so far — will help support Lauren, as well as her husband Justin and their two kids: daughter Lia, 2, and son Isaac, 3 months.
"As we all know, Lauren is as much a force as she is a guiding light for so many of us," the page reads. "Lauren is dynamic, she is empathetic and she is, without a doubt, a survivor."
"Lauren has always prided herself on others in need and now can use your help. The health care, child care and other living costs will be extensive," her friends continued. "While Lauren has always been a dazzling cheerleader for so many, it is now our opportunity to be hers."
Those interested in helping Lauren with her recovery journey can so do here.