Community Steps Up In Support of Conforti. By Rich Elliott.
POSTED March 03, 2016
By Rich Elliott
Amanda Conforti had provided support to a number of people in the past. She was a cheerleading captain at Torrington High School. She was a cheerleader at Sacred Heart University, too.
Now, slightly more than seven months after suffering a hemorrhagic bleed and a stroke, Conforti is discovering just how much support she has from her community. More than $11,000 was raised last Saturday night as 600-700 people attended a pasta dinner in her honor at the First Congregational Church in Torrington.
``It went great,’’ said Molly Spino, a long-time friend of Conforti. ``People were so happy with how the flow went and with the raffle prizes. I was told that we had the best raffle prizes of any event that anyone’s ever been at before because people just stepped up. Everybody knows her so they were willing to do all these raffle prizes and gift certificates for her knowing that all the money was going directly to Amanda.’’
Spino and Chelsea Maloney, event coordinators, had anticipated between 300 and 500 people attending. It was not long into the three-hour time span for that number to be surpassed.
The event was sponsored by The Drakeville Volunteer Fire Department. The crowd was so large that firefighters twice had to purchase more pasta and meatballs from a local grocery store to feed those in attendance.
Approximately $6,500 was generated in ticket sales at the door. Local businesses, friends and family members combined to donate 51 raffle prizes, which raised $2,700 in raffle ticket sales. There have also been monetary donations made on behalf of Conforti.
``I can’t begin to thank the Drakeville Fire Department enough for the wonderful job they did with this dinner,’’ Amanda’s mother Cheryl (Te) Conforti said in a statement. ``It was amazing how the community came together to support my daughter. There was so much love felt in the room that night. To my family and dear friends, thank you for being there from Day One of this nightmare. I couldn’t do it without you. A huge thank you to Chelsea and Molly for all your help with this event. You helped make it the huge success that it was. And thank you for the continued love and support you show Mandy every day by being there for her.’’
Conforti, 27, was in attendance for the duration of the event, which will help offset her medical expenses that Spino said stand at approximately $500,000.
Donations are still being accepted at The Torrington Municipal Teachers and Federal Credit Union where The Recovery Fund of Amanda Conforti has been established.
``It was very emotional for her,’’ Spino said. ``I think the hardest thing for her was seeing her kids from KinderCare that she hadn’t seen in so long. Also, seeing all of her family and friends together in one place because she doesn’t get to go out and do things with us anymore. But to have all of us together it was really good for her.’’
Conforti spent more than a month in the Critical Care Unit at Hartford Hospital after the incident occurred Aug. 20. She suffered a heart attack and numerous blood clots during her stay and was later forced to spend two months at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford attempting to regain use of her left arm, left leg, her voice and partial vision loss.
Recently, the cause of repeated blood clots was determined to be Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). This is a disorder that results in excessive bleeding due to a dramatically low level of platelets, which helps one’s blood clot.
``Right now she has to have blood infusions,’’ Spino said. ``If those are successful that will work as her treatment. If not then she has to have her spleen removed.’’
All in all, though, Spino said that Conforti is ``doing very well’’ and making progress.
``Every day is a better day for her,’’ Spino said. ``She’s definitely moving forward.’’