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CaringBridge Provides Mom a Lifeline of Support

Maggie Worthen had just finished her last paper of her college career and was getting ready to graduate from Smith College in Massachusetts when she suffered a severe brain stem stroke that left her in a coma.

Within a day of her stroke, a family friend set up a CaringBridge Web site for Maggie. Since her stroke, the site has kept a network of hundreds of family and friends informed and involved in Maggie's ongoing treatment and recovery process.

Nancy Worthen, Maggie's mother, estimated that when the Web site was first set up, 100 people were visiting Maggie's CaringBridge site each day. “You just have so many people who want information and are trying to reach you. We wanted to make it simple for people to find out what was happening," she said.

Encouragement from Around the World

Having studied abroad in Spain during college, Maggie had concerned friends from across the globe who remain updated on her treatment and recovery process through her CaringBridge site. People from as far away as Africa, England and Spain have posted prayers in Maggie's guestbook and these messages have helped Nancy stay strong throughout the difficult process.

Nancy continues to update Maggie's CaringBridge site to connect with a vast support network. “I try to give people a window into her life," she says. “Because people can't visit her since they're too far away, it's like they are visiting her when they look at her Web site."

Navigating the Difficult Journey

Maggie was in a coma for 18 months before she regained consciousness. During that time, Nancy helped cope with the challenging situation by writing on Maggie's CaringBridge site and reading guestbook messages from family and friends.

“My favorite part about CaringBridge was that I got feedback from people," she said. “Sometimes it's really lonely when you're traveling in a journey that is so difficult."

Nancy is extremely grateful to have been able to communicate with her support network through CaringBridge. “CaringBridge has been the only thing that has created a community for Margaret and me to survive this extremely difficult journey," she said. “Without CaringBridge, it wouldn't have been this easy to get support."

Currently, Maggie is communicating by moving her left eye up and down and is working with a speech therapist to communicate with the help of a computer.

By: Sona Mehring, Founder and executive director of CaringBridge

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"CaringBridge has created a community for Margaret and me to survive this extremely difficult journey."
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