Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings

[Following post written by Ashley's husband, Mark Bonnema]

Yesterday Ashley was admitted to Sanford for low blood oxygen levels and continued lung function decline.  That afternoon, with the guidance and advice of her CF team at Sanford, she was transferred to the CF team at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for continued care.  We are so very grateful for her team both at Sanford and at U of M.  

There is a deafening silence about our room on the 7th floor of University of Minnesota Fairview East Bank Hospital this afternoon. Ashley sleeps with fervor, as though it is her body’s one true desire and the only worthy way to spend her time and energy. Disrupting the grunts and groans of labored, heavy breathing is the occasional grind and hum of the IV pump, slowly turning her blood into a toxic solution – toxic to both bacteria and her usual vitality. 

Days may pass this way. Will the antibiotics and treatments be effective? Will the breath and spirit of life once more course through Ashley? Only time will tell. We must trust the situation to the hands and minds of those with expertise, her fearless and ever encouraging physicians, nurses, and hospital staff. We certainly are thankful for them today. True lifesavers.

A room with a view
And then there are all of you… ever positive, ever encouraging, ever concerned, ever loving. We feel surrounded by a cloud of your prayers, engulfed by the presence of the peace you have so diligently sent our way. Thank you to each and every one of you. We are ever thankful for each of you as well, knowing full well there is no way to ever repay your kindness, yet grateful for it in each of the many ways you have found to express it.

The plan is to continue with several forms of antibiotic and antifungal medications throughout today and tonight. Nebulizer/vest treatments also continue at regular intervals. Tomorrow Ashley will have a lung function test to see what, if any, progress is being made. The plan will adapt from there: different antibiotics, medications, etc.  For the first time ever, however, the words “lung transplant” and preparing ourselves for making that decision in the future was mentioned.  I don’t think anyone is ever ready to hear those words, nor did Ashley or I ever really think we’d ever have to hear them.   Right now, we are going to focus on fighting the battle at hand and getting Ashley well and back home, all the while cherishing each other and the fact that we can be together in this battle.

A Thanksgiving Day Blessing for my wife and for each of you this day:

May many a family and friend never cease to surround you
May you feel content and safe in your body and home
May peace seal your heart in times of unrest
May joy fill your mind and endow you with wonder
May gratitude be your nature, no matter the circumstance
May the breath of life always move you in a blessed direction
May love abound in every way, and never be far from your door


  1. I will be praying for Ashley. I'm not that far from U of M, if you need anything please contact me.

    1. Thanks so much, JoAnne. I did think of you as I was in Minneapolis and hope you are doing most well! I enjoy catching up on your blog and getting a taste into your life! Sending all the best!

  2. Larry & Kathy McHenryNovember 27, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Can't begin to imagine your battle - please know that we are praying for strength for both of you and your families, healing and health for Ashley, and wisdom for your CF teams.

  3. Saw this posted from a friend. Praying for you Ashley. I had a good friend with CF and she was treated at UofM. It's a great care facility. Our family lives close to the hospital. If you need anything we'd be happy to help you out. With love from your new friends in Minneapolis, Steph Fuerniss

    1. Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness, it means more than you know. Sending all the best to you!