Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


Exactly one year ago...

...tonight this is what I wrote:

I love her. Thats it. Nothing more, nothing less. When I say that I love my Ashley I mean that I love her with every part of my being. She did not come from me, but she is a part of me. I need her. She is a part of us. We would not be "us" without her. Thank you God for letting me keep her. I was so very scared and I know I failed again, but you were merciful and you allowed her to stay with me. I owe you so very much. Thank you that today was not the day I had to give her back. Thank you for hearing my desperate crys. Thank you for letting me love her.

I don't think I can come up with the words to express the fear that overwhelmed me. It was so very close to my worst nightmare. Only God allowed me to keep her instead of receiving her. My heart broke. Physical pain ran through it. The tears have not stopped. My eyes burn from them. I am broken. My spirit is in pieces, but yet I still give Him praise because He did not take her home. My crys, my pleas, my prayers were so ugly. "NO,NO,NO,NO,NO". Not now, not today, not now, not today. God please, God please, God please." I must have cried them out loud a thousand times. I could not breathe. There came a point where I could no longer stand. I slumped to the floor and cried in a puddle with Kiley's mommy. I would stop and think," This is not happening. What happened to my baby. Somebody tell me this is not real. Then my crys, my pleas, my prayers would start all over again, and again, and again. My head is still reeling from the events of today. They all happened so fast. One test led to another, to another, and then before I could think I was signing consent papers for the needle and the drain to enter into the sack that so tenderly holds her tiny heart. I was told they only have to perform this once or twice a year on their transplant patients. Next I was told not to worry that what actually did happen to my Ashley only happens about 5%of the time. I still don't understand why she went into cardiac arrest. Neither do they. Tonight we are walking a fine line. Her vitals are stable. She is fighting the vent. She will not go down without a fight. They continue trying to sedate her but she opened her eyes and shook her head. She kicks her tiny bunny clad feet at them, and she waves her arms. She is there. She is fighting to wake up. She does not want to leave. She knows she has a purpose in this life. They tell me they do not know how long her heart had stopped. They did CPR on her for a full 10 minutes. They do not know if there was a lack of oxygen to her brain, but I am praising because she is physically fighting them every step of the way. I am praising because even after suffering cardiac arrest her lab work looks stable. I am praising because her blood gases are amazing us that they look as good as they do after what her body just went through, and they continue improving every hour. Only God can do this. Only God led us to this transplant center with this AMAZING staff of doctors and nurses who acted so quickly and knew exactly what must be done for her. I will forever be grateful to them.

Tonight I almost lost my youngest daughter and as she was fighting to stay with us, I was fighting to keep the best part of me alive. As a parent, the instinct that kicks in when your child is dying can not be explained. I am not me without Blake, Allison, or Ashley. I would not be the same without them. If I could find a blessing in all of this it would be that my Sweet Ashley Kate is still with us and she is fighting to stay. I thank God for the spirit and the strength He gave her. If only I could be 1/2 the person she is. I love her...

A year later and our sweet Ashley Kate is still with us. She is lying in that crib across the room and I can hear her making sweet noises as she drifts off to sleep. A year ago today we both lived through the absolute worst day of her life. A year ago today I saw the both of us slipping away. As she teetered between life and death my spirit did as well. I have never hurt so much in all my life. Violent, physical pain pierces your very soul as you watch one of your children slip closer to death than to life. The tears burn my eyes as I remember. All day long I have watched in amazement as this little girl sat before me and smiled, clapped, played, and giggled. He does have a plan for our little gherkin and although I have no idea what it is going to be I am just grateful to Him for allowing us to have this year with her. Thank you Father for your mercy and your gift to us. I am humbled. Trish


At 11:27 PM , Blogger Elizabeth said...

Absolutely amazing! Praise God for your faith and the strenght he gave you to get through all of this! I still pray for you and your family! I am just SO happy that you and Ash are home where you belong! Praise Him, Praise Him!!!
God Bless

At 12:03 AM , Blogger Jenny said...

I really can't even begin to imagine what you went through that day, Trish. I am so glad that God spared your sweet Ashley that day. She is precious and a daily reminder to me of God's grace. Blessings!

At 12:31 AM , Anonymous Janiece Baldwin said...

I feel the tears in my eyes as I read the words you wrote one year ago. I remember that day very well and these words you wrote. I cried out loud then when I read them and my heart ached so much for you and little Ashley. I couldn't sleep that night and I just prayed.
Now a whole year has passed and even though you have been through other valleys, we can praise God for His tender mercies and His goodness. His love is endless and unconditional. What a blessing that all 5 of you are home together.
And there is no place like home.

Love and prayers~~~Janiece

At 7:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember hearing about the intensity of that day and the fight for Ashley's life. It has made us all more aware of the blessing she is and the purpose HE has for her. You have all come a long way and over a difficult road, but you are home and she is beautiful! We love you all,
Lou Ann

At 9:00 AM , Anonymous Molly said...

I am so thankful that sweet Ashley Kate is still here. She is still here with your precious family. She is still here in LONGVIEW!
Amazing Love our Father has for us.
I love to drive by your street and thank God for your family.
Love and Praying,

At 9:06 AM , Blogger Laurie said...


Isn't it amazing that one year ago, God knew you would be posting these exact words today? Ashleys journey has been one that has taught me just how close God is in our lives and how He never takes his eye off of us. I am so grateful to read of your heart in all of Ashleys ups and downs, and it always comes to rest in Gods arms. He is so faithful to keep His promise to us.
I love coming each day and read about her little but "oh so big" life. Enjoy today with all of your heart as you watch her grow and heal.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

At 9:39 AM , Anonymous Davian's Mom said...

I cried while reading these words, because I know that pain. WE both know I watched my little one slip away almost a year ago. It is the most undescribable, painful, heartbreaking moment a parent should not go through. You are right. We are not the same without our baby. We are not complete. I have prayed so many times for you to never experience that pain with Ashley. I can't believe she is still with you, but I am so happy that she is. Enjoy every moment as you do. Just to let you know, I am pregnant. I hope that somewhere in this new baby, I will see my Davian again. Take care and give Ash lots of kisses on those cheeks.

At 12:37 PM , Blogger Gretchen said...

I am humbled, touched, and blessed by your post. Glory be to God in the Highest. Thank You Lord, for Ashley Kate. Thank You for Your purpose in her life and in ours. In Jesus'name, amen.

At 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

how amazing HE is!!! Just imagine reading that 8 years from now!!! :)
She's a beauty! & so is her family!!!

At 1:04 PM , Blogger julie said...

I have tears in my eyes as I read your story. Praise be to God for your sweet Ashley.

At 2:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Trish for sharing such a beautiful miracle from God with us!! Just absolutely unreal to read that post! I know how I felt reading it over again....I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel. The waves of emotion that must come over wow! That is all I can say.
I am very happy to hear a turn in the story from one year ago.....I am very happy to know Ashley is playing and giggling. What a miracle she truly is. Thank you JESUS!
May God Bless you all forever and always.

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

Thank you for sharing that with us.

At 4:52 PM , Blogger Sun said...

wow - this made me cry and shout for joy - all in one post! I just love your heart. I praise God that she is still here - we are praying Sunshine

At 4:54 PM , Blogger Sun said...

Oh and can I just PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! I read through the comments and am SO happy to read about Davian's mom's pregnancy. In case you (Davian's mom) come back to read the comments - CONGRATULATIONS! Oh that is AWESOME! Sunshine

At 5:07 PM , Anonymous Jule White said...

Oh Trish ~ I remember reading that post and how I hurt for you. What an awesome God we serve!! Ashley is an amazing, precious mircale. I am so thankful that y'all are home and thriving. So thankful for basketball and laundry and everything else that comes with daily life.

Praying for continued healing and for Ashley's physical therapy.

Love, Jule White

At 9:40 PM , Blogger Leslie said...

Trish, I've been praying for your family since May 07. I'm a Christian, a mom, and a wife. I feel like I can relate to some of the emotions and frustrations you've shared in the past months. There are others, though, that i've not come close to experiencing. I read what you write and I am so touched by your honesty and so overwhelmed by our God's amazing grace. My oldest daughter is four and we love to sing in the car. Our favorite right now sings about how God never changes. Our unchanging God has heaped blessing upon blessing onto your family. I pray you will look back years from now and be able to reflect on his graces and mercies and still be able to look over and see your sweet Ashley sleeping peacefully! Sleep well tonight, sister!

At 2:13 PM , Blogger Amy T said...

What an amazing post! I was not yet following Ashley's story at that time. I can't imagine what that day must have felt like. What a glorious God to bring you and her both back from the brink. You are an amazing woman Trish.


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