published Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Whatever happened to ... Mary doing well after her rescue from streets

Mary Cody, shows Nancy Rus the necklaces she has been making while talking Friday in the Prolex Medical Services office.
Mary Cody, shows Nancy Rus the necklaces she has been making while talking Friday in the Prolex Medical Services office.
Photo by Angela Lewis.
Audio clip

Mary Cody singing Silent Night

Question: How is Marilyn "Mary" Cody doing after Nancy Rus rescued the homeless woman from Chattanooga streets?

Answer: Very well.

Mary, at 55, is growing up.

The mentally challenged, epileptic and partially paralyzed woman who spent months homeless in 2010 and 2011 has a raft of new friends and caretakers in the group home that Samaritan Nancy Rus helped her find.

On Friday, Mary showed off beads and pictures she has made in day programs at an East Ridge senior citizens program.

And in a day service program with Prolex Medical Services -- which also manages her group home -- she has even recorded a Christmas song: "Silent Night."

Now the woman who loves to dress like a gypsy has a new goal: to design clothes for men, women and children.

"She's doing well," said Rus, the retired organizational psychologist who rescued Mary from a park bench during the July 4 weekend in 2011.

"She's still Mary. She can make you laugh, and she can make you crazy. But she's trying to be adult," said Rus, who now is her conservator.

Under Rus' watchful eye and the care of Prolex and its owner Betty White, Mary has a new front tooth. And she has had a mole removed from her eyelid that interfered with her vision.

She speaks more clearly, and with physical therapy she has regained some use of her weak arm and hand. She can tie her shoes and dress herself.

"It makes me feel more responsible for myself," Mary said.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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