gmhtoday February March 2018 18 gmhToday Feb March 2018 - Page 60

assi Lieberman, owner of CrossFit Gilroy, and her mom, Konni Thomas, the former owner of First Street Coffee, have the kind of mother-daughter relationship found in Hollywood movies. Their close- ness allowed them to have a harmonious working relationship working together at the coffee shop during the nine years that Kassi managed it. Working together, they turned the café into a thriving scene and “a fun place” for Konni to spend her days. However, after Kassi left to start her CrossFit business three years ago, Konni said, “I was happy for her, but instead of going to work and having fun with my daughter, it became a really hard job and the business kept getting busier.” In March, 2017, Konni sold First Street Coffee, ready to begin a long, luxurious retirement full of travels in her RV. Instead, what happened next took mother and daughter by surprise. Konni, just 53 at the time, suffered a left- hemisphere stroke with a brain bleed, leaving the left side of her body partially paralyzed and putting her retirement dreams on hold. “She didn’t have the typical symptoms, nothing that showed us she would have a stroke. No bad diet. She was super healthy and fit,” Kassi explained. It was Kassi who first noticed that something was off while training her mom at the CrossFit gym. Konni was holding onto an exercise bar when she told her daughter, “This bar feels wonky.” Kassi took a look at her mom and knew something was wrong: the right side of her face had begun to droop. “One of my trainers is an ER nurse, and she was here. We grabbed Kassi Lieberman & Konni Thomas A Daughter’s Love Helps Her Mother Recover Written By Jordan Rosenfeld 60 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 PAGES K