Student receives support from Cavalier community

By Samantha Spilove
October 14, 2004

Rising sophomore and commuter student, Megan McGirr, was thrown from the back of a golf cart while she and her friends were driving around a closed course at her place of summer employment. Since the accident on Monday, Aug. 16, McGirr is unable to return to Cabrini. She and her family are receiving contact and support from the Cavalier community.

McGirr, who was sitting in the back of the cart where the golf clubs are usually kept, was thrown from the cart when it hit a speed bump. She was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, Pa. where she spent several weeks in critical condition. McGirr, now, spends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bryn Mawr Rehab in Paoli, Pa. where she goes through physical and cognitive therapy.

Father Hallenan, the priest who baptized McGirr, notified Cabrini about the accident. Father Michael Bielecki, resident Chaplain, said, “Because of that contact, we were able to make contact with the family and offer any kind of support we could during this difficult time.” “We’re all very much keeping her and her family in our prayers,” said Dr. Mary Laver, Director of Programs for Applied Catholic Social Teaching.

On Sept. 9, during the Caring Citizens Volunteer Fair, there was a poster signed as a get-well card by more than 100 students. “She loved that. We’ll probably explore other opportunities to do things like that. We want to reach out to some of the students that are her friends. We’re just letting her know we’re here and wait to hear when it will be good for her, for us to take another step,” said Ms. Fox-Tully, Vice President for Mission Integration and Human Resources.

“It’s still too early to tell how long it will take her to recover, or when she will be able to return to class. It may be up to a year,” Laver said. “[Fox-Tully] will be in close touch with the family to see how the Cabrini community can be supportive and we’ll be letting the campus know as we hear about that.”

On Sept. 15, McGirr’s father was on campus with encouraging news. “Megan is progressing more rapidly than they expected. She’s working in her physical and cognitive therapy so the therapist suggested he come and get her books for her courses and see how they can begin to work with her,” said Fox-Tully. Bielecki commented on McGirr’s father’s visit saying, “In fact her father hopes he might be able to bring her to campus, because she was taken back to where the accident occurred and there was some recognition of the people she worked with. I was saying to him that perhaps if he brought her to Cabrini that there may be some recall; a familiar place that will make her start to remember things.” There are not any specific plans of when the McGirr family will be bringing her to the campus.

Even though McGirr has a long way to go in her recovery before she can return to Cabrini as a student, everyone has been saying what an amazing recovery she has made so far. McGirr’s father “attributes it to the fact that we’ve been praying for her and so have lots of other people. He said that it’s really a miracle that she has made the progress that she’s made. The doctors can’t explain the dramatic change in her condition,” said Bielecki.

Bielecki said that the best way for the Cabrini community to make a next step in helping is to “for us on campus is to show our concern is to email her with greetings.” McGirr can be emailed at

Posted to the Web by Lori Iannella

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Samantha Spilove

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