Rachel Noleff, 31, fell down a flight of stairs on the evening of Jan. 19. Unfortunately, medical attention wasn’t sought for her immediately, when it was critically important.
The next morning, Rachel was found unconscious and rushed to the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio hospital, where it was determined that she’d suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and significant brain trauma.
After more than three weeks in the intensive care unit and some signs of improvement as her condition stabilized, Rachel was moved to Advanced Specialty Hospital for continued step-down care. She recently moved to yet another facility to begin initial physical, occupational, speech, and other therapies to help her regain her abilities to move independently, talk, and do all the things the multi-talented, multi-lingual young woman was capable of just a few weeks ago, before her fall.
Needless to say, Rachel’s medical expenses are growing, although fortunately she has health insurance. But no one yet knows how long her rehabilitation might take or what support she might need going forward.
To help the family with expenses, the Bottle Shop at Mancy’s Italian (5453 Monroe St., 419-824-2463) is holding several fund-raisers on her behalf. Rachel’s stepfather, wine expert Joe Mosier, works at the store.
“I’ve known and worked with Joe for more than 15 years,” said wine director Tricia Rasar of her friend and colleague. She and the rest of his co-workers want to help the family and have been tremendously supportive through the ordeal.
From 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, there will be a wine and beer tasting. For $25 per person, paid at the door, guests will get to sample a diverse selection of wines for “every palate and every budget,” Ms. Rasar said. The wines have been donated by a variety of the shop’s distributors. An array of delicious foods from Mancy’s Italian Grill will be served, and there will be live music.
A silent auction will also be held 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday, timed to maximize the number of bidders by starting “as soon as we open,” Ms. Rasar said. And several wines will be chosen for a special promotion that day. Profits from the sale of these bottles will go into the fund for Rachel’s care.
Additionally, the shop hosts tastings 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and will raffle off a beautiful basket filled with assorted wines at this week’s event. The prize is valued at over $75 and could be yours if you buy the winning ticket for a mere $5. You don’t have to be present to win; just stop in at any time beforehand to buy a chance (or two or three).
For those who can’t attend or participate in these events but would still like to help, an account has been established for contributions at gofundme.com/hu3yd-medical-expenses-from-accident.
Rachel is increasingly alert, can give hand squeezes, and even laughs a bit when she finds something amusing. She has a feeding tube to provide nutrition and continues to wear a helmet to protect her skull until a piece that was removed to make room for brain swelling is replaced in a few weeks.
Her mother, Julie Malkin, has taken family leave from her job as the director of communications and government relations for Lucas County Children Services and has received a great deal of support from her own colleagues as well.
Rachel “moves an inch each day,” Ms. Malkin said hopefully. “But, she has miles to go.”