StoriesA few times in your life you meet a person and you instantly know that they are special. This person is not rich or famous, just a person like you. An average person that struggles with day to day living just to make ends meet.
When you first meet Charla you can sense that there is something different and profoundly special about her. You go live your life every day passing your neighbors, giving a waitress your order, or getting mail from the postman; you never take the time to talk or even get their name. The exception is Charla. You know Charla as a friendly person, someone who will take a moment to talk to you. Your day picks up the moment you see her.
Charla would get to know you quickly. She could pickup on the smallest detail of something that you could use. If she came across this item, she would get it for you. She would find a tool that you could use, or a simple item like a key chain that was unusual. In the apartment building where she lived she gave a man a bag of mulch for a flower bed that he attended to. Charla is this way with friends, relatives, and people she met. This is what makes Charla so special. She always remembers you. In our everyday lives there is one person you will always remember, that girl Charla. A kind person, who will befriend anyone.
In a Matter of Minutes...In a matter of minutes, the lives of Charla Nash, and her family were shattered by a horrific tragedy. On Monday, February 16 2009, Charla responded to her friend and employer’s request for help in capturing her escaped 200 pound chimpanzee. The unquestioning decision to help was to be expected of Charla, but on this occasion, her good deed turned almost deadly. When she arrived at the house, the chimpanzee attacked as soon as she got out of her car Stamford’s EMS, Firefighters and Police Officers raced to the scene and brought Charla to Stamford Hospital where four incredible medical teams worked frantically to save her life. Charla was in surgery for seven hours, and miraculously made it to a point of stability. With the dedication and skill of the staff at Stamford Hospital and Stamford’s EMS, Charla survived and was able to be transferred to the Cleveland Clinic where she will spend the next several months with the country’s best medical experts. Although the doctors report Charla is in stable condition, she is far from out of the woods. She has suffered life-altering injuries to her face and hands.
Charla is now facing the biggest challenge of her life. She is faced with a life of uncertainty, a life dependant on others. This is foreign to Charla as she is not used to leaning on anyone else. Her life will be restricted due to her injuries, and she will have to deal with the haunting of this traumatic experience. She currently faces months, if not longer, in a hospital and years of rehabilitation. The road to restored functionality and independence will be long and it is our goal to walk with her down this road offering whatever assistance we can along the way. She worked hard to provide for her family but what little she had did not stretch to health insurance for herself or savings that could help offset the mounting medical costs
Charla Nash is a strong, selfless and independent woman. Everything she’s ever done was to benefit the people in her life; in return she’s asked nothing for herself except the joy in making others happy. She’s brought happiness and love to everyone around her. She was always smiling and laughing and willing to tackle life’s challenges with a positive attitude. This tragedy will change her face and life but will never change her zest for life, her love for others nor who she truly is. She is forever our Charlie.
Please keep praying for Charla and keep her in your thoughts. We thank you for your kindness and generosity,
Charla’s family and friends
Cowgirl CharlaCharla is and will always be a cowgirl. When we were growing up she would ask me to keep watch at a nearby horse farm for the owner’s return. She would take one of the horses out of the barn to ride. I raised the warning flag when I saw them return. The long driveway gave Charla enough time to return the horse back to its stall. Later in life she participated in the rodeo circuit. One year she won all around cowgirl for the east coast. Charla is tough and strong. All the cowboys called her Charlie. She earned and gained respect from the toughest of cowboys.
Dedicated CharlaCharla is a dedicated and loving mother. She will do everything for Briana. Charla is closely involved with Briana’s school and personal growth as a person. Education is Charla’s number 1 priority for Briana. Briana is an honor student! Briana’s personal growth has her involved in the school’s tech club which supplies technical support for the High School plays and forums. She has participated in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) as a FIRST Lego League team member, mentor for the Jr. FIRST Lego League teams and was a reviewer at Stamford’s 2009 Junior FIRST Lego League EXPO. Briana is also part of The Student Ambassador Program which promotes student trips to foreign countries. Charla worked extra hard and has made it possible for Briana to go on a trips to Japan, New Zealand and Australia. This summer Briana was scheduled to go to China but has cancelled to stay connected to her mother.
Political CharlaCharla is also politically active. She has written to congressmen and senators on issues she had strong views on. Charla believed and practiced good old American values. You need to have courage and work hard to have a better life. Not self pity and an open hand.
Charla receives a lot of mail from political parties, commentators, and government agencies. I do not know how she finds the time to do all that she has done. She is like the energizer bunny.
Resourceful CharlaCharla is an independent, resourceful, and self reliant woman. She earns everything she has and pays all her debts. Charla is a person with the values of an older America. Charla does not accept assistance from the government or anyone else. Two years ago Charla broke her wrist and is still making small payments to the doctor. When I called the office to have them send the bill to me they stated that they told Charla they would not pursue this. I told them that Charla pays her bills. A lot of money was needed to pay for the Ambassador’s program trips to foreign countries. Charla would collect soda bottles for extra money. As usual, people got to know Charla and would save their bottle for her. In return Charla would do small tasks like taking their garbage to the collection bin and running errands for those who could not do for themselves. Charla’s resourcefulness did not stop there. Charla would enter the cap code for merchandise and give them out as Christmas presents or back to school gifts for Briana’s friends. This is typical Charla, always thinking of others.
Charla is truly an amazing person. A single mother providing for her daughter and teaching her by example, good all American values.
Charla's LandlordSeveral years ago, Charla was living in New Jersey. Her landlord sent me a card to express her love and support for Charla and Briana. She asked if I would keep her updated on Charla’s condition. I called her up and let her know that I would be pleased to let keep her informed about Charla’ s condition. I was on the phone for the next half hour hearing how wonderful Charla and Briana were when they rented there. Charla would always be helpful. Charla would even walk her dog. Not a quick walk but all over the neighborhood and even visited other homes.
This is the typical Charla, friendly and always helpful to everyone.