Your response to what you read here may have life-changing impact on the woman and family about whom I write. Your decision to make that impact may change your life, too.
I write to you about Judy Malinowski, a beautiful, vibrant young woman and mother of two daughters. Judy overcame significant challenges in recent years, including opiate addiction and ovarian cancer, and appeared headed for a life of renewed possibility thru faith and family.
Judy’s path to that new life was destroyed a year ago due to unthinkable horror. A man whom Judy had dated confronted her at a gas station, a struggle ensued, and the man doused Judy with gasoline and set her ablaze at the throat, watching as the flames engulfed her.
Judy sustained 3rd and 4th degree burns over 90% of her body, and remains in the intensive care unit at Ohio State University Hospital, where she was transported after the attack. Judy endures severe pain in a fierce determination to survive, to defy daunting odds so that her daughters (ages 9 and 12) don’t have to grow up without their mom. Judy breathes via ventilator, cannot walk, cannot speak audibly, has no outward ears (they melted in the fire), and has massive raw wounds on her shoulders and back which cannot be skin-grafted because she is unable to lie on her stomach due to breathing difficulty.
Judy has undergone more than 50 surgeries since the attack. Her doctors indicate that Judy’s survival thus far of such serious burns is rare, and express puzzlement over how to care for her in any way that may promote healing.
Beneath Judy’s now-brutal cosmetic exterior is a smart, kind woman with an incredible spirit and soul. Below her charred surface is a fighter beyond belief, a determined mother and daughter, an overcomer of obstacles who hoped to utilize lessons learned from her experiences in an effort to help others.
Bonnie Bowes is Judy’s mother. Bonnie spoke with Judy by phone shortly before the attack. Thirty minutes later, Bonnie received word from police that Judy had been transported to a hospital and was near death.
Bonnie has waged an incredible fight on multiple fronts for her daughter’s life, from rescuing Judy from the clutches of addiction thru Judy's cancer-recovery to her daily hospital visits. No matter how tired she gets or the pressures she faces at work, Bonnie visits Judy each day. Bonnie was vice president of a bank, but has been assigned a lesser role. Her retirement savings have been decimated by the cost of Judy’s medical care.
Bonnie has stepped into a crucial parental role for Judy’s daughters, who live with Bonnie. She provides emotional support for the girls and has attempted to establish for them some sense of ‘normalcy’ as they wonder when, or if, their mom may come home from the hospital.
Judy, Bonnie and the girls believe in the power of God, and their strength of faith and trust in His Will affords them the tenacity they need to endure.
Trial of the case in Franklin County Municipal Court was set to begin on December 12, and Judy planned to testify from her hospital bed, via Skype, able only to nod her head. Judy's attacker entered a no-contest plea prior to trial, and was found guilty on charges of felonious assault, aggravated arson and possession of criminal tools. He received a maximum sentence of eleven years.
Despite the pain and odds and uncertainty, Judy continues to fight, with her daughters and Bonnie at her side.
Please know that your donation toward Judy's medical expenses and care for her daughters is received by Judy and her family with prayers and gratitude!
- Julia Lewandowski
- Logan Cook
Organizer and beneficiary