COVINGTON, Ky. -- An early morning mass Friday requested prayers for a woman who may never walk again.
Valerie McNamara was one of the four women injured after they were struck by falling bricks from a building collapse in Covington on Sept. 29 while they were chaperoning a student field trip. She regained consciousness Thursday, according to a news release, after she had been hospitalized for two weeks with brain trauma.
McNamara, a nurse and volunteer religion teacher at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Burlington, underwent multiple surgeries on her ankles and spine before waking Thursday.
She had surgery on her pelvis Friday. The surgery went well, but doctors say she has a long road to recovery.
Nancy Marcos is the principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary where McNamara’s children go to school.
“it’s just unbelievable, and I think that’s where a lot of people still are,” Marcos said. “It’s just still unbelievable.”
Parishioners from Immaculate Heart of Mary participated in a 12-hour prayer service in honor of McNamara on Oct. 2.
Father Nicholas Rottman said his parish continues to pray for her and her family.
“It’s always a tragic thing to see someone from your parish go through something like this,” Rottman said.
Marcos said her family is doing as well as they can be at a time like this.
“They are amazing people,” Marcos said. “They are so faith-filled they make everybody else grow in the faith just being around them. It kind of chokes me up, so it’s just been, you know, a really tough road, but you got to put it in God’s hands."
Those who wish to contribute to McNamara’s medical expenses can do so online.
Xavier men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack will also hold a special basketball camp for elementary school students on Oct. 16 to benefit McNamara, her husband and their two children.