Remembering Lisa Colagrossi

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Lori Stokes reporting

Not a day goes by that we don't think about Lisa Colagrossi.

She spent more than 14 years as a fixture on Eyewitness News. She was a hard-working, dedicated journalist, but more importantly she was a loving mother, wife, sister and daughter.

One year ago, on March 19, 2015, Lisa had just completed covering a story for Eyewitness News This Morning when she was suddenly stricken by a brain aneurysm. She died the next day, at the age of 49.

Eyewitness News morning anchor Lori Stokes recently visited with Lisa's sons and husband, as well as her brother and sister in Cleveland a year after her death, as they remember her life.

"I feel my mom every day. I know she is there watching me," 15-year-old Davis Crawford said.

Davis and his 11-year-old brother Evan are still trying to get used to life without their mom.

"Usually when I feel sad, I can usually sit down somewhere and pray to her and I know that she is always listening to me," Evan said.

Their dad, Todd Crawford, remembers the day he lost his wife.

"So all of a sudden when you get a call one day from one of the top neurosurgeons in the country saying we have your wife, you know your life will be changed forever," he said.

The boys also remember.

"That whole day I thought something was off. When my dad came in I knew. I felt something. I think even before she passed that she was up in heaven, her soul was up in heaven, that she was trying to tell me," Evan said.

"I was texting her and she wasn't responding all that much," Davis said. "But I didn't think anything of it. She's just caught in New York City doing her job because it happened a lot."

Lisa came to Eyewitness News on the Sunday after the World Trade Center attacks, and covered some of the city's biggest stories, including the crash of Flight 587 in Belle Harbor, Queens shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport.

She was a native of Cleveland, where she also spent part of her career. Lisa also reported for a station in Orlando, and that is where she met her future husband.

He shared the story on Facebook last April:

Lisa was a big sports fan too, and she especially loved the Rangers. During one pre-game of the Rangers playoff run, the boys were invited to honor their mom by wearing Rangers jerseys that read "Colagrossi" on the back.

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Lisa Colagrossi's sons, Davis and Evan, and her husband, Todd, recall her love of the Rangers.

Lisa passed away just as last year's NCAA Tournament was beginning, and her bracket still hangs in their kitchen, right where Lisa put it.

"Being a loyal West Virginia Mountaineer, she would pick West Virginia to go to the final four and win it all," Todd said. "Lisa's present and it comforts. We're surrounded by everything here in the house has her finger prints on it and... you know, we constantly feel her around us."

Todd is now a single parent, looking after the boys on his own.

"We didn't have as great appreciation of it as we certainly do now - how amazing she was, and how much she shouldered, and how efficient and how she got so much done. She just took it upon herself and just did it," Todd said.

Lisa chose to work morning TV so she could pick up the boys after school, make dinner, help with homework and take the boys to hockey practice.

WATCH: Lisa's love of cooking

"I always thought that being a parent was easy and you could just do anything you wanted, but now that I see my dad doing it, I realize that it's a lot of work. You have to know how to multi-task, you have to know how to do a lot of stuff," Evan said.

Evan says his dad has done "a really good job."

"He's handled it amazing, stepped right in taking mom's place, and he's pretty much the same - multi-tasking, great attitude, doing so much work. He's so hectic and he's just like her now, doing everything she did," Davis added.

Loreen and Lou Colagrossi are also still coping with the sudden death of their oldest sister.

"I feel she's with me and I speak to her every day," Loreen said. "It's just out of order and unbelievable that, at 49 years old, she had a medical event that would take her life like that."

"We received some wind chimes.... every time the wind blows you hear them and I always say 'Hi Lisa' and it reminds you of her and you know they're beautiful. They make a pretty noise and just remind us that she's here. She's looking out over us and making sure that we get through," Lou said.

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Lisa's brother and sister, Lou and Loreen, recall her love of scarves.

Out of their pain, the Colagrossi and Crawford families have launched a mission to educate others about brain aneurysms - the Lisa Colagrossi Foundation.

"The number one priority is to create awareness for the signs and symptoms that people likely may be experiencing or have experienced so they don't dismiss things like we did and they take it seriously - the blurred vision, the numbness and tingling, sharp very localized pain behind one of your eyes. If you're not predisposed to headaches and all of a sudden you have regular headaches, you cannot dismiss it and you need to go get checked," Todd said.

Todd says the foundation has already been credited to saving the lives of 8 people around the world.

"They are alive today as a result of our efforts to create awareness for the signs and symptoms to talk about them to urge people to get diagnosed," Todd said.

If you would like to learn more about brain aneurysms and the Lisa Colagrossi Foundation, please visit

Lisa's family remembers her and discusses her legacy one year later
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Lori Stokes reporting

Lisa's sons and husband talk about life at home without her
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Lori Stokes reporting

Lisa's family works to educate others about aneurysms
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Lisa Colagrossi reporting live

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Lori Stokes has more details on our beloved friend and colleague.

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