When someone you love is in trouble or needs urgent medical attention, you hurry as fast as you can to get to them. But what if you’re in another country, like Slovakia, and your sister is in Buffalo, NY?

The panic set in for the family of Monika Simkova, a member of the women’s volleyball team at the University of Buffalo. Simkova has spent the first three months of her senior year in Buffalo General Hospital, fighting a life-threatening infection that has shown up over her body.

Simkova’s sister described the reality as “a nightmare,” especially since she was still in Slovakia when Monika was suddenly rushed to the hospital. 

Monika Simkova is one of the best servers in the Mid-American Conference and is a powerhouse for the UB volleyball team. She transferred from Long Beach State and was the first person recruited to campus by the current head coach, Scott Smith 

When Monika first started to feel unwell, Coach Scott went to check on her, and quickly he realized that this was no normal cold.

Simkova looked pale and her breathing was irregular, so she was rushed to the nearest ICU. Shortly after her arrival, doctors realized an aggressive bacterial infection took over Simkova’s body and it turned her septic (*sepsis often happens when an immune system goes into overdrive in response to an infection, causing low blood pressure, poor circulation, and lack of blood flow to vital tissues and organs.)

Big decisions had to be made quickly in an attempt to save Simkova from this infection, including the amputation of both of her legs above the knee. 

After weeks of being in the hospital and going through with the amputation, Monika Simkova had no memory of what happened, and only recently has she begun to understand how she ended up in the hospital, though her sister thinks it may be years before Monika is able to accept what happened within the last three months. 

To help the Simkova family during this challenging time, the women’s volleyball team at UB started a GoFundMe page that has raised $130,000 (and counting), and the team also modified their team motto. 

‘One4Mon’ was adopted to show that the community is rallied behind Monika as she journeys to recovery. The team even writes ‘#One4Mon’ on their hands during the games, and they have honored her jersey #14.

To donate to Monika Simkova's GoFundMe page, click here.

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