COVINGTON, Ky. - Valerie McNamara's three sisters say she probably will never walk again, but they're thanking the community for its support and sharing stories about the special person they love.
"Thank you. Thank you for the prayers. Thank you for the love," said Apryl McCoy.
Ordinarily, her sister would be the one helping others, McCoy said.
"Valerie would be the first one there helping anybody and everybody. She makes me want to be a better person," said McCoy.
McCoy and her other two sisters, Sandy Messerly and Cheryl Warning, came together to speak to WCPO on Thursday about McNamara, a 41-year-old nurse, volunteer CCD teacher and mother of two.
They say she inspires them.
"Valerie gives back. Valerie goes on any field trips. She does CCD. Her kids are at Catholic school and she still teaches," said Messerly.
"She actually stopped by my house and dropped off a prayer book and left it in my back door with a note just to say I love you," Warning said.
But a building collapse in Covington last month sent bricks flying, hitting McNamara, who was chaperoning a class field trip. She had surgery on her ankles, spine and pelvis and didn't regain consciousness until Thursday.
"She doesn't have use of her legs. She's going to be a paraplegic," McCoy said. "She tries to talk but can't. She's eaten more, but she's being fed."
When McNamara goes to therapy in Louisville, many hearts here will go with her. People at her church, Immaculate Heart of Mary, held a 12-hour prayer service for her and are raising money through an online fund, "Valerie's Prayer Angels Fund," for her medical expenses.
Xavier University men's basketball coach Chris Mack is supporting her, too. He's holding a youth basketball camp at St. Henry's athletic complex this Sunday. All the benefits will go to Valerie's fund.
"The long road to recovery is going to be a tough one, but we want it to be a shared one at the same time," Mack said.
The camp is for boys and girls grades 3 through 6.
"We're going to work on the fundamentals of basketball," Mack said. Xavier players will sign autographs and work with the kids.
REGISTER for the camp here.
All the support means the world to McNamara's sisters. Messerly called it "overwhelming."
"The response is something I can imagine because that is who Valerie is. God is working through her to show people to love each other," Messerly said.
And to stay strong together.
"We'll get things done --and we will continue to get things done - for Valerie," said McCoy.