Please help; Family of Retired, Injured LAPD Sergeant Seeks Help Finding a Condo for June 30-July 5

Staff Writer

NOTE: The Mammoth Times received this email from the Mandala family, who have been coming to Mammoth for decades. Their father and husband, Chris Mandala, is a retired LAPD sergeant, who was terribly injured in two separate car accidents recently, neither of them his fault. The family is hoping someone in the Mammoth area has a home or condo they will rent out for the week of June 30-July 5 for a reduced rate as their medical bills are huge. The MT checked the story out and made sure the identity of the family is accurate. It is legitimate.

Can anyone help the family with a condo or home for a lower rate for the week of June 30-July 5?

Here is the full story that we received:

Chris Mandala has been going to Mammoth every summer since he was 6 months old. On one of their dates, he took Rachel to Mammoth and she fell in love with Chris and Mammoth! They were soon married and honeymooned at MeadowRidge for two weeks. Their 25th wedding anniversary is coming up on September 7th.
Chris and Rachel keep the tradition going by bringing their 3 children, Victor, Nick, and Samantha to Mammoth every summer. This summer is especially important to Chris and Rachel because of recent tragic events.
Chris is an honorably retired LAPD sergeant, and owns a private investigations security firm in San Dimas, Mandala Investigations Inc.
Chris is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol, which is a volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. They are tasked with such real missions as searching for missing and overdue aircraft, covering the entire United States. His wife Rachel is an elementary school teacher.
Chris has been in two horrific car accidents within three months. The police and both insurance companies ruled that neither of these accidents were his fault.
In the first accident, a Suburban, driven by an unlicensed driver, broadsided Chris’ new Expedition on the driver’s side. Both vehicles were totaled. Chris was taken away by paramedics. He was diagnosed with a severe concussion and trauma to his neck and spine. His concussion is so serious that his eyes look in different directions, he suffers from excruciating headaches, and non-stop ringing in his ears. The damage from the traumatic brain injury has severely impacted several key areas of Chris’ brain, such as his heart, balance, and the body’s ability to regulate temperature. He has severe pain requiring a multitude of medications. Because of his age, time is of the essence. Being 53, he is outside of the window of making a full recovery, but it is possible. Chris works very hard through all his types of therapy to maximize his chances of someday out-hiking his wife.
Chris also has an almost complete loss of short term memory. When Chris awakes, he does not know the day, month or season. He jumped out of bed one morning thinking he missed Halloween, and was heartbroken for our children, but it was April!
Chris has been unable to work or drive since November 2015. He is self-employed and has no income. During the time between the two accidents, Chris suffered from shingles….twice.
Ironically, he and Rachel were returning from his concussion therapy, when they were rear ended on the freeway by a Ford F-350, which worsened his condition. He sustained a second concussion and lower back injuries. Chris was asleep at the time, with his seat reclined. When the truck hit, Chris’ body flew forward in the seat. The seatbelt stopped his torso, but his head and neck whipped forward and back like a ragdoll.
Chris hasn't been the same since the accidents. Chris and Rachel do carry uninsured motorist insurance for the two accidents, but it will take at least 2-3 years of litigation before they see a dime. The Suburban carried $15,000 in insurance, yet Chris’ totaled out Expedition was just purchased for $63,000 and his medical care to date totals over $200,000 and growing fast.
Our understanding from what the attorney said is that our health insurance can rightfully demand 1/3 of any settlement. The attorney fees are 40%. On top of that fees charged by the biomechanical engineer, doctors, and other expert witnesses. The attorney stated that Chris and Rachel may not have enough insurance to cover Chris’ medical expenses, with no funds left to cover Chris’ current and future loss of earnings.
Meanwhile, Rachel has had to take numerous days off without pay, to take care of her husband and drive him to medical appointments. The majority of the time, Chris has to take Uber because he has 7-14 medical appointments per week all over Southern California. Chris’ short term memory is so bad, that on one day he took Uber from our home to a doctor in Arcadia and from there was supposed to pick up a prescription from another doctor in Yorba Linda. Instead, he got confused and ended up in Anaheim at a dirt lot. Chris was very frightened and didn’t know what to do. He called his vision therapist and the second she answered the phone she could tell that it was Chris and that something was very wrong. She talked to Chris and posed brilliant questions. Within a minute, he was able to orient himself and load the correct destination into Uber. The Uber bills alone are around $600/week. Rachel is also doing all the driving, taking their 3 kids to school, cheer, soccer, Boy Scouts, etc.
At this point it’s a real possibility for them to lose their home.
Chris’ brain was recovering well, however over the last 6 weeks, things have significantly worsened. It has been way too exhausting for Chris to manage his health care appointments, physical therapy, vision therapy, counseling for the accidents, and additional testing, etc. Several of his doctors advised that Chris clear his schedule for a week and find somewhere to relax.
As soon as they said that, Chris knew where to go! Chris feels safe and relaxed in Mammoth because he has so many long term memories readily available to him.
If possible would you please circulate this story, or portions thereof, requesting that if any of your readers are in a position to offer their condo/home etc. at a discounted price.
Because of Chris’ healthcare schedule, our availability is limited to June 30-July 5. We are specifically seeking a rental that is large enough for 5, including 3 adorable children, and can accommodate a very well behaved Labrador.
Please also consider making a donation to their campaign which can be found at:
If you have a condo or home or you can help, call the family at 877-290-3131 or email Rachel at --- MT