Post 54 aids WES teacher’s family with costs related to daughter’s stroke

Fri, 09/23/2022 - 8:45am

Samantha Crawford said via email Sept. 22, she continues to be “speechless and very blessed” by the support people are showing as daughter Angelina, 12, works to recover from the June stroke that paralyzed her from the neck down. Wiscasset Newspaper contacted the Wiscasset Elementary School pre-K teacher again after American Legion Post 54 of Wiscasset donated $1,000 to help the family with costs related to Angelina’s care.

The post’s adjutant, Cliff Hendricks, said in a phone interview Sept. 22, members read the recent Wiscasset Newspaper article on all the family has been facing. Members wanted to help because that is why the post raises money – “to help people in need where we can in the community.” The post donates to food banks and helps in other ways, like the $1,000 check for Crawford’s family, Hendricks explained.

Sept. 21, Hendricks, Post Cmdr. William Cossette Jr. and fellow members Neil Page, Bob Milligan and John Kennedy presented the check to WES Principal Kathleen Pastore and educational technician Patricia Hanley. Pastore explained Hanley “has stepped up to the role of teacher in Ms. Crawford’s absence.”

Crawford said sharing Angelina’s story has resulted in the additional fundraising that has been “a blessing to our family and all the expenses, but it is also helping to get her story out. Pediatric strokes are very rare. I never heard of them before and her story is helping bring awareness for others. The journey is not always easy, but there is hope and the blessing of the community support is uplifting during this difficult time,” she added.
Her daughter is continuing to work hard and is now weaned off the ventilator, Crawford said. “The process was not easy but she continues to improve and we hope that her body continues to get stronger in breathing independently. She got medically cleared on Monday (Sept. 19) to leave for her first outing from the hospital ... She was able to go to Starbucks with her occupational therapists and a peer. It was a very exciting and positive experience for her. While out, she got a gift for her younger sister's (Rosaria) upcoming (11th) birthday which brought her even more joy. 
“She is missing home, but keeps that motivation to drive her efforts to get stronger,” Crawford shared. “There are many unknowns of how much long term impact the stroke will have for her health and physical abilities, but we know that she won't give up. She is excited to get back to seeing her friends, being with horses and hopefully riding again, and being outside in familiar and favored places, in hopes for accessibility for her to continue to enjoy.”
Hendricks said, like other help Post 54 provides in the community, what the Legion post did was the easy part. The real work is what Angelina and her family are going through, he said.
He added, the post is part of the community, with many ties to it and its schools. He noted Cossette’s son Warren is Wiscasset Middle High School’s assistant principal, and Milligan’s wife Lori Cronk drives a bus for the school department. When Post members were at WES for the presentation, around Wednesday’s early release time, Cronk was there picking up students, Hendricks said. 
Friday night, Sept. 23 at Wiscasset’s “Dancing on the Dock” end of season celebration, more than $1,000 was raised for Angelina’s medical costs, Selectman Terry Heller said Sept. 24.
The GoFundMe campaign benefiting Angelina’s medical costs and any other family costs around her treatment is at