Catastrophe to a Moment of Grace

$50,720 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 222 people in 30 months
Sarah E. Kornfeld
on behalf of Lawrence Kornfeld
 PACIFICA, CA


NOW, in late 2017 we have 
AN ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Friends & Family,

Reluctantly but correctly, we, and the medical staff, have concluded that Margaret’s condition has, at this time, plateaued at a point where she will continue to need twenty-four hour nursing care that cannot, given current Medicare statutes, be available to her at home.

She CAN be given that care in the excellent facility where she now is, Mercy Care Center in Oakland. 
It is there that we hope and believe she will be able to regain strength and more flexibility of her limbs. Her future is hopeful and she will be able to continue her goal of an improved quality of life.

Due to this change of plans Larry has decided to move into the Senior assisted living facility attached to Margaret’s Care Center. He will have a 2 room studio where he can duplicate the appearance and style (somewhat!) of their El Sobrante home.

There, Margaret will be able to spend time everyday with Larry AND CLARA, their dog, and still have the benefit of her nursing care just a wheelchair ride away to her room in the care center. They also have the use of a beautiful large garden with many new friends.

Although the transition is, of course, painful, we both realize it’s for the best and is not just an ending of one lifestyle but the beginning of a new one. To quote Gertrude Stein, “I begin again so often I begin AGAIN.

It’s also a great place for all of our friends to visit both of us in a cheerful homey atmosphere.

We hope to accomplish the move by January 15th.

Love upon love,
Margaret & Larry 
♥️
♥️








----------------------------------------------------------
(A few months ago celebrating their 51st Anniversary)

Catastrophe and Moments of Grace


 On the Road to Healing: I am Sarah Kornfeld, the proud daughter of my mother, The Reverend Dr. Margaret Kornfeld (Maggie to many) and father, Lawrence Kornfeld (Larry to most); both in their eighties.

I am here on their behalf along with their many many friends who have asked how they could help transform the lives of these two beloved people who almost lost their lives last month in a tragic head-on collision through no fault of their own. 

Although they were both brutally injured, it is my mother who remains paralyzed with major spinal cord damage and in need of 24 hour around-the-clock nursing care.

This is their story of survival and why it will take a village to help them recover.

A special thank you to Judson Memorial Church for being a Co-Sponsor of this GoFundMe.

(More below the picture)
(After the Accident)

They were simply driving to church. After 51 years of marriage (a great love story known by many), they knew what to do after a terrifying election: be with people you love. Dad drove safely forward through the green light, my mother calm in the passenger seat; a driver came from the other direction, taking a sharp left and collided head on into their car, nearly killing them.
My father’s army skills kicked in. He pulled himself out of the car, staggered, at 86 years old, around the car and saw my mother, unconscious, and knew NOT to touch her (probably saving her life). He gave my number to the police and went into shock. He did not know:

Her neck was broken in two places (C4 and C5), which also injured her spine and her spinal cord; and that she would be operated on immediately (fusing her neck, removing a bone in her spine to make space for her injured spinal cord, all aimed to help her move her again.)

His clavicle and sternum were broken; he had blood seeping toward his heart and would soon be in surgery.

He had no idea that both would awaken in a hospital, and over some weeks would work to put their physical and emotional selves and their lives back together.

In that instant their lives were changed forever. But, true to who my parents are, they have turned this tragedy into an opportunity for growth and gratitude --grateful for each other, for life itself, and for all those around them who love and support them.

Now many of us want to help them with the unforeseen expenses of care and treatment now required. We want to show our gratitude for them and for all that they’ve given, not only to us, but to a wider world as well.

Mercy Care Center, in Oakland, CA, a non-profit nursing care center and retirement facility, has turned out to be the best place for Margaret and Larry to be. It was our good fortune that they had a bed available for Margaret, so she was moved from the hospital to Mercy on Saturday, December 10th. Larry will move into an apartment there when one is available, so he’ll be close to his love, and the apartment will accommodate both when Margaret no longer needs round-the-clock nursing care.

We've seen the excellence already. Mom is sitting up and working on opening her hands on her own and, hopefully, later to learn to walk againYet the real enemy is infection. Mercy caught one in her body the week of December 12th, and immediately had her readmitted to the hospital. She had treatment and is now back at Mercy. This saved her life, and we will need this level of excellence and attention to get through the next phase to: help her thrive and live, heal her body and learn to walk and eat on her own. She is determined!

The Facts:
1. Larry can just afford to move into Mercy’s assisted living tower this coming year.

2. Medicare will only pay for 100 days in a skilled nursing facility such as Mercy’s Care Center. WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO 100 DAYS BEING HERE. AFTER THAT INSURANCE MIGHT NOT COVER HER CARE.

3.After Medicare benefits are exhausted, the cost for Margaret ALONE will be $10,500/per month.

It is with the ongoing skilled nursing costs – and with hospital expenses, now totaling over $1 million, some of which may not be covered by insurance -- that the community around us can come together to help them survive this catastrophic event and turn it into new life.

Our Goal is to raise $250,000 (the cost of 1-2 years of skilled nursing care for Margaret.)  And we want to raise this (a miracle, we know!) with your gracious help!

Funds will support:
- 24 hour care until she can use her voice, feed herself, move freely, and walk again

- The focused medical care needed to identify and attend to all infections, immediately

- Daily Physical and Occupational Therapy to help with her daily living activities and, eventually, to walk again.

At Mercy, my father, who was also injured, will be able to reside in the assisted living wing and continue with his own healing. Hopefully, one day my mother can join him there. Then they will be back together again.

Changed Lives / Evolving Lives:
“Skilled Nursing” and “Assisted Living” are hard to imagine when thinking about Margaret and Larry. They are two people who have been at the vanguard of civil rights, the arts, AIDS activism, gender equality and women’s rights --progressive activism that has been part of huge cultural changes.

ABOUT MOM AND DAD
Margaret is a quiet love warrior who, after graduating from Union Theological Seminary, began her career on the Lower East Side of New York during the civil rights movement. She was ordained as a minister in the American Baptist Church and served at Judson Church; was a founding member of the AIDS Resource Center; President of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors; worked with the Imams’ Counsel post 9/11; and was a wife and mother while running her own private practice in psychotherapy. Her book, "Cultivating Wholeness: A Guide to Care and Counseling in Faith Communities " is a standard text, and taught in most Theology Schools in the United States and around the world.

Larry, is a vibrant and charismatic person who served his country as an MP in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and suffered hearing loss and PTSD as a result. He came home to New York in the late 1950's and joined the Living  Theater (to become Managing Director) and then Judson Poets Theater (as Artistic Director); co-founded the Theater for the New City; was head of the State Counsel of Arts; won three Obie awards for excellence in Direction; and later became Dean of the Theater Arts and Film Department of SUNY Purchase.

And, yet, they continue. Mom told us yesterday she is writing a book in her mind, “Wisdom Notes” and dad attended the lecture series at the Buddist Center this week. They keep finding meaning, making meaning, and moving forward.

Let us join them in their effort to change the course of this event from a catastrophe into a moment of grace. Thank you for all you can give; and spread the message of the power of our love and care – and request for any help people can offer. 

With love and deep thanks to you all!
Sarah 
 
This GoFundMe is also co-sponsored by Judson Memorial Church  (where mom and dad met, made art, married and I was raised).

Wisdom Notes: #1 From Sarah....
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NOW, in late 2017 we have
AN ANNOUNCEMENT:
Dear Friends & Family,
Reluctantly but correctly, we, and the medical staff, have concluded that Margaret’s condition has, at this time, plateaued at a point where she will continue to need twenty-four hour nursing care that cannot, given current Medicare statutes, be available to her at home.
She CAN be given that care in the excellent facility where she now is, Mercy Care Center in Oakland.
It is there that we hope and believe she will be able to regain strength and more flexibility of her limbs. Her future is hopeful and she will be able to continue her goal of an improved quality of life.
Due to this change of plans Larry has decided to move into the Senior assisted living facility attached to Margaret’s Care Center. He will have a 2 room studio where he can duplicate the appearance and style (somewhat!) of their El Sobrante home.
There, Margaret will be able to spend time everyday with Larry AND CLARA, their dog, and still have the benefit of her nursing care just a wheelchair ride away to her room in the care center. They also have the use of a beautiful large garden with many new friends.
Although the transition is, of course, painful, we both realize it’s for the best and is not just an ending of one lifestyle but the beginning of a new one. To quote Gertrude Stein, “I begin again so often I begin AGAIN.
It’s also a great place for all of our friends to visit both of us in a cheerful homey atmosphere.
We hope to accomplish the move by January 15th.
Love upon love,
Margaret & Larry
♥️
+ Read More
Happy Summer to all!!

Mom wants to send a message of love and thanks to all of you for your love and support.

Over the coming days we will be updating you one the next critical steps in progress for mom.

We are deeply moved and grateful for your continued love, strength and support!

Margaret, Larry and Sarah
+ Read More
Dear friends! We had a period of time where it was hard to write...simply to add to the experience we are having as a family I was diagnosed with breast cancer! I know. So, we rallied, and I had a lumpectomy and currently cancer free. So, THAT HAPPENED.

Dad was / and is a remarkable human. He nursed me for 5 days after the operation. AND, we went to see mom who is doing so very very very well considering this extra strain.

We plan to give a more thorough update this weekend, yet THANK YOU for all of your love and support.

Sarah
+ Read More
Today, we got lucky. Even though it feels very "unlucky" or ugly these days, when we get a day with mom (and dad, who is sitting in a chair watching us) we are lucky. Though, the best thing is to see my father and mother decide, like a force of resistance unto themselves, to not only continue...but to grow.

My father got word that, yes, his heart is hurt. They tested it and the accident did harm it...but he's thriving through it. My mother is figuring out how to make her hands work for her, and drinks from a cup on her own...she is thriving through it.

Yet, it was Luca who amazed me as well. He has been so very upset about their accident (which he tells me was made worse by the accident of Trump). I have not brought him to see mom too many times - yet today it was good: she was laughing, she was showing him how she could put one ankle over the other, drink on her own (carefully) and talk politics. He laughed and laughed, and saw each small move as a huge victory: which it is.

Today, we were lucky because we were together and we could tell her of the lunacy of the last eight days, and the hero lawyers who helped, and the people still trapped in airports, and our friends who are fighting in Washington, and New York, and San Francisco and on and on and on...and we were together with an ever growing "everyone". This made us happy, resisting being taken down by the sadness of our family event, of what has happened to my parents' bodies...though all the while not turning away from the reality of it -- how hard it is, how we have nightmares, how some days it's not clear how to get through the pain or fear of what the future looks like. Yet, lucky.

Later, we found a new (soon to be favorite) Mexican restaurant with dad. The walls were covered in Frida images, and Tuesday is more than Taco night but a celebration of working artists, with free beer and political songs. So, we ate food that's soon to be banned, or ingredients we might not have for a while if Mexico shuts trade with US. We ate pastries before the meal, and gorged on the elegance of stuffed peppers and beans and rice to cry for: delicious, fleeting.

Today we smiled a lot. And, we shook our heads a lot. And, hurt a lot. Yet, when I turned to say goodbye to mom, she smiled at me and raised her right arm, high high up -- her hand now in a perpetual fist.
Love upon love,
Sarah
We Three
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Read a Previous Update
Joanzia Shapiro
29 months ago
1
1

Thank you for the beautiful pictures. Sending all my love to you Margaret, Sarah, Larry and the whole community of support. Joan

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Joanzia Shapiro
29 months ago
1
1

Dear Sarah, I share your grief and your hope. What can I say? Love to you and yours; your son, Margaret and Larry.

+ Read More
Ellen Colangelo
27 months ago

Jim and I have been mindful of Margaret and Larry these past few months. How are they doing. Can we email directly to them. Please please please give them our love.

+ Read More
Joanzia Shapiro
29 months ago

So grateful for the comprehensive report Sarah, Much love, Joam Please kiss Margaret for me, Joan

+ Read More
Sarah E. Kornfeld
30 months ago

You amazing people! Here we are, on we go! We can meet these goals and we deeply hope this is a model that can support our elders: all of them. Yet thank you for all you do! Thank you for all you are!

+ Read More

$50,720 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 222 people in 30 months
Created December 17, 2016
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AK
$100
Abby Kramer
1 month ago

With love and hope for continued healing... your parent's love for each other has always expanded to touch those lucky enough to know them.

NT
$100
Nurit Tilles
6 months ago
1
1
NT
$100
Nurit Tilles
7 months ago
1
1
DE
$10
David Evanier
7 months ago
1
1

Loving thoughts of Larry from days at the Judson Student House.

AM
$2,000
Andrew Maguire
9 months ago
1
1

Dearest Margaret and Larry and Sarah -- I just learned about this. I am devastated, as all who know you and have been hugely helped by you can only be. I was just telling someone last week what our time together over a number of years meant to me, and I looked you up on the web and found this awful news. A note on myself. My beloved wife Adele (Margaret will be pleased to know I finally got it right!) have been together and deeply and mutually in love for 20 years; she a speech-language pathologist I have seen work cognitive and developmental miracles with kids, emotionally damaged teens, and adults alike; an accomplished ballet dancer, collector of art and sculpture; marvelous French Swiss and northern Italian heritage; amazingly patient and generous and wonderful with all four of my kids and two of her own -- is dying of Alzheimer's at the end of her 60's. I have been her principal care-giver through all the stages for the past nearly 5 years, and she is now being given superb 24 hour care in a private caregiver's home while I live in an apt nearby. All of my kids are doing wonderfully -- and 3 grandchildren. If Margaret would like I could send a longer note about what they are up to, if I could have an email address. I am so sorry. With all my love, Andy

AM
$50
Ann Martin
11 months ago
1
1

Happy Birthday Margaret. Have a wonderful day!

JR
$500
John Ross
13 months ago
1
1

Larry and Margaret: I just saw this update, so by now I hope your "next chapter" is well underway. Libby and I are pulling for you, and are grateful for our many memories with you. John and Libby Ross (I forwarded your latest report to Harriet.)

DK
$100
Daniel Kugler
18 months ago
1
1
JW
$50
James Wyrtzen
18 months ago
1
1
JM
$25
Joe Mayer
18 months ago

My supportive thoughts, loving kindneds and tons of compassion are with you! Make this a new and wonderful beginning.

Joanzia Shapiro
29 months ago
1
1

Thank you for the beautiful pictures. Sending all my love to you Margaret, Sarah, Larry and the whole community of support. Joan

+ Read More
Joanzia Shapiro
29 months ago
1
1

Dear Sarah, I share your grief and your hope. What can I say? Love to you and yours; your son, Margaret and Larry.

+ Read More
Ellen Colangelo
27 months ago

Jim and I have been mindful of Margaret and Larry these past few months. How are they doing. Can we email directly to them. Please please please give them our love.

+ Read More
Joanzia Shapiro
29 months ago

So grateful for the comprehensive report Sarah, Much love, Joam Please kiss Margaret for me, Joan

+ Read More
Sarah E. Kornfeld
30 months ago

You amazing people! Here we are, on we go! We can meet these goals and we deeply hope this is a model that can support our elders: all of them. Yet thank you for all you do! Thank you for all you are!

+ Read More
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