Help Gaby Recover After Horrific Accident

On Friday February 25th, 2022, my 24-year-old daughter Gabrielle (Gaby) Assouline suffered a catastrophic, life-altering event. After methodical planning and constant communication with the airline and its vendor to make sure she had a safe experience, I received one of the worst calls in my life.
My daughter was already living with an extremely rare condition called Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) where muscle tissue turns to bone, limiting her mobility with each flare up. I got a call from the officer at the scene that she had suffered a devastating fall in the airport and was being rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. Nothing could prepare me for seeing my daughter in that hospital bed, unconscious, with that many tubes attached to her, helping stabilize her. Throughout that first week, we pieced together parts of what happened. Gaby fell on her head, fractured her C2 vertebrae, resulting in a severe spinal cord injury. She had a cardiac arrest and had to be intubated immediately after being resuscitated.
She’s currently presenting as a quadriplegic who is on a ventilator.
She can’t speak because has a tube down her throat, and she has no movement below her neck. The fear and pain she is showing in her eyes when she wakes up in those brief moments of clarity is too much to bear. She remains in the hospital. Since her injury, she has developed an arrhythmia that has caused her heart to stop half a dozen times in a week. It’s been almost three weeks and there is no timeline for how long she will be here or what her journey looks like after. Every day, a new complication arises.
Nothing stopped her from living her life before. Not even FOP. She created art with her hands, spending hours tending to her growing garden and crocheting well-loved pieces of clothing. Gaby is able to make friends with anyone. She has long-distance friends around the world that she spends hours upon hours talking to each day. Gaby is a fighter. She is smart, passionate, hilarious, creative, and so resilient. She makes everyone around her better, simply by being her witty, brilliant self. She is taking online college classes, and is an advocate for making life more accessible for people with disabilities. She makes everyone laugh a kind of belly laugh that only Gaby can create in each of us. Gaby is a jewel in our family. Gaby gives so much to everyone she knows.
Gaby’s medical bills throughout her recovery from this traumatic spinal cord injury will be substantial, from daily hospital care, to surgery, to medications, to therapies, and to countless other needs. Since her accident, she has had major surgery to fix the broken vertebrae in her spine, a procedure to put a tracheostomy in, and another to place a pacemaker in her heart to make sure it doesn’t stop beating.
After the hospital, she will need to be moved to a live-in inpatient rehab facility where she will learn to live with her new reality. Gaby will need occupational, speech, physical, psychological, and many other therapies in order to regain what she’s lost. When, G-d willing, she comes home, we need to renovate her whole space to make it accessible for her.
An injury of this magnitude requires a life-long healing process.
In this painful and uncertain time, help us alleviate our worry of Gaby’s future by giving generously and with an open hand. This is a call for help, a call for action. We need your support today. If you are unable to give, please consider sharing this page. Thank you for taking the time to read Gaby’s story. Here’s to a lifetime filled with more books, more art, more jokes, and more love. We all want Gaby home, enjoying her life to the fullest.
With gratitude and love,
Sandra Assouline

Her Hebrew name is Chaya Gabrielle Messouda bat Sarah.

Donations (1.6K)

  • Anonymous
    • $18 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $40 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $18 
    • 8 mos
  • Elisheva Vissel
    • $36 
    • 9 mos
  • Maurice Guigui
    • $100 
    • 9 mos

Fundraising team: Team Gaby! (3)

Sandra Assouline
Raised $31,801 from 304 donations
Aventura, FL
Leah Cohen
Team member
Raised $5,123 from 53 donations
Gabriella Potter
Team member
Raised $1,322 from 26 donations
This team raised $100,134 from 1258 other donations.

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