Getting Started

July 6, 2008

To Mariah’s huge extended family,

I’m Mariah’s dad, Mark Steinwinter. This weblog will allow you to watch in wonder along with me as Mariah reemerges as her next new self.

First, to everyone who has expressed sympathy and support, my heartfelt thanks.

Captain Mariah Kochavi, 28, a veterinarian in the Army, is at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, recovering from a serious brainstem stroke she suffered while hiking in Peru on Father’s Day. She has retained her cognitive skills and memory, but has lost some motor skills, including swallowing, speaking, and standing. Fortunately, in true Mariah fashion, she’s already making great progress. A few days ago, she tapped a computer touch screen with her left index finger, and this morning while I was talking to her on the phone, she was able to vocalize for the first time since we left Peru.

Her mother and I expect her to be transferred to a rehab facility in the fairly near future where her journey to her new self will be her focus. We’re optimistic about the likelihood for considerable recovery (I prefer “reemergence”) in the coming months.

In order to be closer to Mariah and able to visit her daily, I’ll be moving my office from Boston (thank you SO MUCH, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations) to a family member’s home near DC on Tuesday. My plan is to visit with Mariah in the morning, and to work from the home office in the afternoon and early evening. I’ll return to Boston as needed, but the Information Technology team is more than able to keep things running smoothly with minimum interference from me. 🙂

Mariah and Chai Last May

Mariah and her dog Chai last May

Please hold Mariah and her family in your hearts and prayers.

– Mark


5 Responses to “Getting Started”

  1. Grandma said

    Sounds ‘gooder” all the time.
    I’ll bite — what or who is a physiatrist?

  2. Georgia Sorenson said


    I was so heartened to see your steadfast commitment and positive energy. Its wonderful you will be accompanying Mariah to Richmond.
    Suzanna and I will plan to visit and so will others, I’m certain. I spent the day with Chai today and she is happy and well taken care of, so not to worry about that.

    Please call on me for anything.

    We’ll all get there together, I know we will.


    240 291-3619.

  3. msteinwinter said

    “Physiatrist”, according to the wikipedia:

    Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), or physiatry, is a branch of medicine dealing with functional restoration of a person affected by physical disability. A physician who has completed training in this field is referred to as a physiatrist [fɪz’aiətrɪst]. In order to be a physiatrist in the United States, one must complete four years of medical school, one year of internship and three years of residency. Physiatrists specialize in restoring optimal function to people with injuries to the muscles, bones, tissues, and nervous system (such as stroke patients).

  4. Charlie Daw said

    Thanks for setting up this blog. Please continue to post updates frequently. We may not post a lot of comments, but we will be checking the website often.
    Charlie Daw

  5. Jenee Odani said

    Hi there,
    I stumbled on this page while searching for old colleagues. Mariah spent part of a summer some years ago with me at the Vet Lab in San Bernardino, and I was wondering how she was doing. Reading this blog, I can see that she is in fine hands, and feel confident that her beautiful spirit will see her through this. She may not remember me (testicular tumors in pigs!), but please send her all my best.

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