Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart

9/23/2007

How to Pray

This morning we were hoping for clarity, for answers, for direction, but still we have none. I will do my best to explain what we think is happening in the areas that we are able too. I ask that you read this post with clarity and try not to panic (I say this mostly for my family because I know how frightened they are). This is what we know.

Ashley's bowel shows evidence of the mucosa(the inside lining which serves as a protective barrier) has suffered a rejection episode at some point. To what degree we are unsure, but on the cellular level there is proof. There were 6 biopsies taken. The majority of the biopsies taken on the proximal end(the end closer to the stomach) showed evidence of the sluffing. The biopsies were only done through her stoma(which is the loop of bowel that is on the outside of her abdomen) and they only went in as deep as 10 to 20 cm. How much more of the bowel has suffered this same sluffing from being in rejection? No one knows at this point. In the future, when Ashley is more stable, we will more than likely do an endoscope which will allow biopsies of the upper part of the intestine to be taken and to be looked at. We will have more answers at that time. If only small areas of her bowel were affected then it is possible that the remaining bowel will still function, but it is a proven fact that unlike the liver the affected bowel is not able to be repaired or to recover. The best case scenario is that only a very small area suffered the episode of rejection and that she will still have enough bowel to absorb nutrition and grow. Worst case scenario, we lose the organ and she will be re - listed for transplant. I emphasize that we are not there yet, but I mention it so you might pray against it. She is not currently in an episode of rejection, but her bowel is no longer working because of the "mystery" infection she is currently suffering from.

Currently her breathing status is stable. We are praying it stays this way. We have been "prepared" for the fact that she may be headed toward intubation if she wears out from fighting the infection or if her lungs fill with fluid or infection. Her heart rate remains very high(170-190) as her body fights. Her respiration's remain high(70-90) as her body fights. Her lungs sound clear.

The rash remains and continues to flare up and then disappear. Her hands have healed over night and there is no evidence of yesterdays damage. Prayer is a powerful thing and this morning I see evidence of how very much He loves my daughter. As you can tell in the top picture the rash is currently on her face and her lips have begun peeling and bleeding as a result. The rash is still a mystery to all 4 teams (transplant, dermatology, infectious disease, and pediatric), but they are all working hard to research and discover the cause. They are sharing information and working together for Ashley and Dave and I are so appreciative of that. We are blessed to have so many areas of expertise together in this hospital.

How can you pray for us? Let me share with you some of our requests.

1. Pray for healing and protection over Ashely's life.

2. Pray for her bowel. Our hope and prayer is that she suffers no more incidence of rejection and that it will begin to function again.

3. Pray for her respiratory status to remain stable.

4. Pray for this infection. We all know she is sick, but no one knows why. She will get worse before she gets better is what I am told, but I also believe God can remove it and turn her around if He so chooses.

5. Pray for our children. They do not yet know that I will not be coming home with Ashley. I don't know what to say to them.

6. Pray for our business. Unfortunately financial responsibilities do not cease when your children become ill. They tend to increase.

7. Pray for my husband. He is torn. He needs to be home for Blake and Allison's sake. He needs to be home to earn an income. He needs to be home to meet the needs of his patients and he does not take that responsibility lightly. He is in turmoil and that breaks my heart.


Your prayers are more than appreciated and your support continues to keep me going. I love you and I thank you from the deepest part of me.

36 Comments:

At 12:27 PM , Blogger Tammi said...

Praying, as always. Thank you for the update. Hold tight, Trish. You are lifted in prayer.

 
At 12:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God CAN turn all of this around and that is what I will be praying for today. He has done it so many times before. I pray that He will work through the doctors quickly and also that you and your husband will feel His reassurance and be comforted and that things will both work out in Longview and in Omaha. Thank you for the example of faith and determination that you are to all of us.

 
At 12:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you all Trish. My heart is so broken for you all and I can do is pray so I will. Prayer works and Ashley is living proof! Love you guys! ~Chan~

 
At 12:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

(praying)

 
At 12:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed Ashley's story for a long time. This is my first comment.

Thank you for specifics to pray for. I, too, have a miracle baby. We prayed for him literally an organ at a time. It seems like sweet Ashley's most immediate need is the bowel. For that I will pray. I know exactly how you feel about being away from your other children. That was one of the hardest things for us too when our little one was so critically ill. My sister said it best, ' just go to the one who needs you most now. it will be ok.' Her simple words gave me strength, and she was right.

I am praying for Ashley's bowel. But also strength for you, your husband and children. For her team of doctors and nurses. That God will find a way with finances / business. May you all be filled with the Peace that passes all understanding.

I know you are feeling weak, but He is strong. And your faith and love for your daughter are a strength to all of us.

God Bless--
Maria

 
At 12:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been so impressed over the last many, many months with your overwhelming faith, despite the difficulties that your family faces. I pray that your faith will help you through this difficult time. I pray that He will heal Ashley and allow her to continue living the life He designed.

 
At 1:07 PM , Blogger jtcosby said...

Thank you so much for the update! It is so hard to see Ashley down...I cannot imagine what you are going through. Your unwavering Faith is awesome! I will be praying for your entire family. I know Blake and Allie can't completely understand all of this...and I pray they feel a peace about what is going on.
Love, in Him,
Tamara

 
At 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Trish I am praying as is my DH. I have such a peace over this. God bless. She is in God's hands
Allison

 
At 1:16 PM , Blogger Candy said...

Praying God bless you

 
At 1:18 PM , Blogger Carey said...

Thanks for the update and the specific ways I can pray for you daughter. May Gods hands cover her and your family with His love.

 
At 1:24 PM , Blogger Sun said...

My heart hurts for you and for Ashley - for your entire family...
I have sent an email out to my friends and family - about twenty or so people are joining my husband and I as we lift you guys up before the throne of grace. Thank you for continually updating the blog and for allowing us a glimpse into your hearts -

God is so good and He loves you so much. He will not fail you - any of you. I hope and pray today brings some answers and an abundance of His peace.

 
At 1:29 PM , Blogger Joyful Days said...

No words are adequate for what I wish I could say. My heart & my prayers are full of sweet Ashley, you & your whole family.

 
At 1:50 PM , Anonymous Suzanne said...

Trish, Dave, Blake,Allie, & the sweet extended family of yours; I want you to know your being prayed for & prayer chains are being activated all across our great country. It is astonishing to me how the warriors of God mobilize when there is a prayer need. I can do nothing but pray for you....& I know how much you must be hurting inside to see your sweet Ash in such a condition...to be back in the same hospital where she was given these organs.....

"Lord....I humble myself before you. My heart aches at what this family has had to endure & are currently going through. I pray to you Father that you would guide the medical staff....place nurses ....& doctors on this case that go above & beyond the call of duty....I pray for (YOU...the GREAT physician) to intervene where the staff & we can not. I thank you Lord for what blessings you have provided yesterday....today...& what ones are yet to come.... Thank You Lord....please give Trish & Dave comfort & peace in You....help them to know what to do with regard to medical decisions & travel decisions for Dave....I pray for Blake & Allie...guard their tender hearts....let them know YOUR near...this is not an easy time for them either & there is much that is probably hard for them to understand....Protect them Lord....We ask for Healing of Ash...please protect her organs...stabilize her heart rate & her breathing.... Lord we lift these & So many other requests before you....& trust that thy will be done...." amen
Hugs from Texas....& many prayers

 
At 2:10 PM , Blogger Amy T said...

I put Ashley on our Sunday School prayer list this morning and have sent it out on our church prayer request chain. Praying for guidance and comfort for you and Dave and the doctors. I pray that God will give you the words when you talk to Allison and Blake. God bless you! We are praying here in Longview.

 
At 2:24 PM , Blogger Muriel and Jerry said...

I have read your blog often and never commented. I am so sorry this is happening and will pray for your daughter with all my might.

 
At 2:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

praying with much fervor. our Lord is gracious and his strength abounds the heavens and the earth!!

 
At 2:34 PM , Blogger Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Thank you for letting us know specifically how to pray--our household has been praying faithfully for her for almost a year now, and we consider it an honor--and our duty! We love your entire family from afar and hope that in some way we've been able to encourage you at times! Know that you are covered in prayer, and that though you probably feel SO alone right now, there are literally thousands of people praying for, hoping for, and rooting for you. I hope those answers come soon!!

 
At 2:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Trish,
As I looked at the picture of Ashley's little sore hand, I also looked at her hand holding her daddy's finger at the top of the site. It made me think that just like our earthly father holds us where it won't hurt, so does our Heavenly Father. He is holding precious Ashley as He holds you and Dave. I pray for all of you to have the comfort, security, peace, and protection that only He can give.
Praying for each specific need.

 
At 3:05 PM , Anonymous lori said...

Hope you all get some answers soon. We will certainly be praying for the specific needs! We've told lots of people at church about Ashley and they are all praying too!

Thank you so much for the update!
God bless,
Lori

 
At 3:29 PM , Blogger Gretchen said...

hopping over from Diann's blog. Praying for your little girl and your family.

 
At 3:31 PM , Blogger Fiffer said...

Thank you for the update so I know specifically how to pray. Ashely is the most precious and dear little girl and I just believe God will spare her life because He is reaching so many people through you. Your family has an incredible testimony to share and I know you have touched my life, and many others.

Is there a way we could donate towards a fund to help with some of your living expenses? I would be honored to do that. Please let me know if anything could be set up in short order that we could send a check or Paypal donation to.

I will be continuing to pray for your precious family.

Love in Him, Martha

 
At 3:41 PM , Anonymous Ally from MI said...

I believe that Prayer Works!!!
So I am praying!!

Miss Ashley Kate... you are a beautiful little princess and I am praying that you feel better soon!
((hugs))

 
At 4:08 PM , Blogger Sun said...

it has been on my heart all day too to ask if we could mail gifts to you all to help with living expenses and such - I agree with the comment by "fiffer" - is there an address or something set up that we send gifts/donations to? I have a package that I was going to put in the mail to you - but I have held off -

Sorry to leave another comment - Sunshine

 
At 4:13 PM , Blogger Robyn said...

Thank you for the direction with specifically how I can pray...and I will. He is faithful.
"The Eternal God is your refuse, and underneath are the everlasting arms" Deuteronomy 33:27

 
At 4:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for Ashley and for your entire family today and for the days to come. Just keep believing that God is in control and that He loves her so much.

 
At 6:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been following Ashley's story since the beginning. I had not checked the site since wednesday and then I come today and I'm just speechless.

I know that God has been with you and your family since the very beginning and he will be there today, tomorrow and forever.

You have no reason to feel guilty you have have done what most of us can not do. I am truly humbled by your strength. You guys are in deed a TESTIMONY!

Over the past 2 years I have watched people near and far surround you guys in prayers, just know that it is not beyond us to contribute financially too. Whatever needs to be done I feel I can speak for most here to say we will be willing.

 
At 6:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tears have been shed and the prayers continue to be spoken! You continue to be such a blessing and know you have so many more lives to bless....we love you little Ashley!

 
At 7:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashley's donation fund can be accessed through the sidebar of her journal. Click "Ashley's website" and then "donations."

 
At 7:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying as always, Trish and Dave. I will hold your requests up to the Lord this very day. Hold tight!
Shari

 
At 7:26 PM , Blogger oh amanda said...

Praying! God has done so many things for you. He is not far. And it is not too hard. I'm praying for everything you listed.

Psalm 107:20 says He sent His Word and healed them!

 
At 7:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying as always for your intentions. I will also pray that you both have peace tonight and can get some rest. I pray she heals soon from this illness.

 
At 8:07 PM , Anonymous becky said...

I'm continuing to pray and asking God to give you even a little rest. I know how hard it is to make decisions and even deal with things when you're as tired as you both must be. You have others lifting you here in Kalamazoo as well.

 
At 9:31 PM , Blogger Paulette said...

Praying tonight for precious Ashley.
I noticed in the past few pictures Ash is asleep, is she sleeping on her own or is she sedated?
I am praying well into the night, as I will be up late praying for Copelands family as well.
You are not alone, and I know God is hearing all our petions on Ashleys behalf.
I am thankful tomorrow is Monday so there will be more answers perhaps.
Praying....

 
At 9:47 PM , Blogger Troy and Melanie said...

Father, we lift this precious family up to You. We know that You are aware of all that is going on inside Ashley's body. We just pray that You would give the doctors the wisdom they need to help treat Ashley....to help her discomfort to cease. We pray for the family and their continued strength. Each time I read the posts of her tiny body's struggles, my heart cries out to You - we don't understand. We know all things happen for Your honor and glory, so we continue to trust in You. Father we pray that there would be no further signs of rejection. We pray that You would give David and Trish peace about each and every decision they make regarding Ashley and her care as well as decisions to be made about Blake and Allison - as well as David's feeling torn about his obligations to his patients. Father, there are so many things going on right now, just help each of the family members to feel Your presence with them, hold them all close to You. Help them to continue to lean and depend on You - and help us as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to love them as You do. To continually carry them to You in prayer throughout the days and nights. Father we love You, and we thank You for all the blessings You have poured over this family. We pray that Your love,mercy, and blessings would continue to rain down on them. Thank You for who You are, and for all You have done and continue to do. In Your Precious Name I pray, Amen.

 
At 10:28 PM , Blogger Haylee Gabrielle said...

I am praying, I'm just drawn to Ashley's website since my friend sent me the link. I even have it linked to my daughter's blog so that my family & friends can read & pray.

We are all praying. It just breaks my heart. But God has a plan and He is the only one who knows the answers.

Praying for you all...
Melissa

 
At 10:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so very sad this is going as rough as it is. It was just a few days ago that Gradma and I were talking about how perfectly wonderful Ash was doing. It doesn't seem real that I read this against our conversation the other day. In God's time, Trish and Dave, not ours. I pray for you all and for Ashley's healing. She has touched so many hearts.

 

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