2012 ‘Pay It Forward’ Recipient Recovers From Brain Aneurysms

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Twice a month, News 8 helps our community "Pay It Forward." Now, one of our recipients from more than a year ago needs your help.

On April 26th, 2012, Lisa Makeever was the recipient of News 8's Pay It Forward. The Lombard Junior High Secretary was nominated by Mary Keith, a teacher at the Galesburg, Illinois School.

"She was the first one that came to my mind," Mary said before the big surprise.

Since that day, a lot has changed. While on a family vacation at the end of June 2013, an aneurysm on Lisa's brain burst. She underwent emergency surgery, where doctors found four more aneurysms.

"In most cases, it’s fatal," says Lisa's daughter, Mindi Ritchie. "Usually when they burst, you either die or you’re permanently disabled."

Mindi and her two sisters - Ashley Spain and Tara Aplin - sat down with News 8's Angie Sharp on Friday, October 25th, 2013.

"To us, she’s just our mom and always has been, but she’s the kind of person that people always mention that she’s touched their lives in many ways," says Mindi.

The sisters are hoping their mother's "Pay It Forward" lifestyle and her story of survival will motivate others to "Pay it Forward" to Lisa on Saturday, November 9th, 2013. Family and friends are holding a benefit at the Knights of Columbus, 1556 E. Fremont Street, Galesburg from 3pm-9pm. The event will include live music, silent auction items, dinner, and more to help with Lisa's medical expenses.

"My mom has touched so many lives of so many people and it would just be great if they could come back and help her," says Tara.

"She's that person that cared about absolutely everyone," says Mary. "She gave everything of herself and then she was gone and now we’re in the position where we need to be everything to her."

Lisa's daughters say her road to recovery will be long, but say Lisa is eager to get back to work and to the students she's used to seeing every day.

"We’re really hopeful and she’s really hopeful that she’ll be able to go back," says her daughter, Ashley Spain. "Numerous times in the hospital she looked at us and said, 'I have more work to do with these kids' and I think that's true."

"Lisa is and always has been the heart and soul of our school and we miss her dearly," says Mary.