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Ayla’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep all of our amazing friends and family updated on Ayla's progress. We appreciate more than words can say your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most. Please use this site to show your love for Ayla and our whole family. We will do our best to provide regular updates of her progress here. If you want to help defray Ayla's medical expenses please go to her give forward page. https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/wjl4/ayla-james-recovery-fund (the link to the right is for donations to Caring Bridge not to the James family)

Latest Journal Update

A Season Of Thankfulness

First, A prayer of thanksgiving…..

Dear God, In this thankful season, we have so many blessings to give praise for. Thank you for your healing touch on Ayla, our family, and all who have been involved during this recovery. Thank you for your power and love which are so evident in our lives. We ask you to continue to watch over and strengthen the Snider and James families, this community, and everyone who has been touched through this. It’s in your name we pray, Amen

Happy Birthday Gracie Snider 

December 6th was Gracie’s 11th birthday. I wish we could have been in heaven to celebrate it with her. You know it was a great party… I can only imagine the killer colored socks the angels were all wearing! We continue to see Gracie’s work as an angel in everything we do. There’s not a day that goes by we don’t think about you #7. We love the whole Snider family (In heaven and on earth)

Update from Seattle Children's Hospital

Ayla went back for her sixth month check up on November 25-26th. The crew at Seattle Children’s continues to be amazed and so excited to see Ayla and her continual healing. We love all our friends at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Thank you nurses, doctors, therapist, administrators, and everyone who works behind the scenes. We couldn't have done it without each and every one of you. We love you all. I’ve include a couple pictures of Ayla with some of the amazing doctors who helped guide her recovery. They balanced compassion, reality, wisdom and both the capabilities and limitations of medicine so well.  Now for some specifics about the check-up…

Ayla participated in a neuropsychological evaluation. This test consists of a series on non-verbal/verbal tests that accumulate to about 6-7 hours of testing. Ayla was a rock star. She was exhausted but scored high (average to above average). Thank you for all the prayers around Ayla’s brain healing and recovery.

Ayla has been cleared from speech therapy. This is exciting news for Ayla. She can take this one thing off her plate and consider it done.

We met briefly with Dr. McNalley. Ayla will have her one-year follow-up in May and then we will discuss being cleared for contact sports. Ayla has big hopes of being back on the soccer field as soon as she can. She has such an amazing spirit, drive, and will to live life to the fullest.


Ayla still attends physical therapy once a week. The focus continues to be on strengthening her body especially her right side. She isrocking that treadmill and even doing some sprinting in the hallway. It’s so nice to hear from her PT, Dave, how amazed he is with her strength, determination, and improvements. Thanks Dave for all the hard work.

 Things to Come...

Ayla will see a local ophthalmologist for follow-up on her eye. This is something that is really important to Ayla. Please keep this appointment and the continued healing of her eye in your prayers.

Ayla will begin counseling soon and start addressing some tough topics around social, mental, grief, trauma, etc. She is ready for this but it will also be a challenging and overwhelming time for us all as she begins to really process the events of the last year. The rest of the James Gang (mom, dad, and Noah) continue to weave our way through this challenging time. We all attend counseling and are relying on our faith to know God has a plan for us all. Some days are super hard – no other way to say – they are just plain hard. Each of our struggles seem so very different, please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Thank You

Thank you to our amazing families, friends and even strangers. Words will never adequately express our deep gratitude. We love you all so much. Thank you for the love, support, and prayers. You have stayed with us on this difficult journey for seven months now and we can still feel your strength. The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. Don’t forget to take a moment to hold those you love close and remind them daily of how much they mean to you. We hold each of you in our hearts and we ask for God to bless each one of you as richly as you have done for us. Blessings to you all and Happy Holidays.


30 people hearted this



travis amann
By Amann/fountain
Love you guys thanks for the update you guys mean the world to us we will continue to pray can't wait to see you guys again 2+7 hope everyone has a great holiday
1 person hearted this
Peggy Gretsch
By Love, Big Peg
Dearest James Family…Can't tell you how much it means to me to be able to hear from you.
The small steps you so beautifully describe, are GIANT steps for all of you. I feel blessed to be appraised of your progress, and thankful to be able to feel your strength through your well chosen, heartfelt words. Ayla…you are so strong, and beautiful!
1 person hearted this
Steve Pybus
By Steve Pybus
In agreement with Dawnette Thomas, who said it well, your transparency is amazing and a testimonial gift to read. Thank you for sharing your story during this challenging time, allowing myself and others to observe the power of Christ's love at work in your lives. I pray this miraculous recovery Ayla has persevered through with great determination continue. Also, that each of you receive many blessings this holiday season.
1 person hearted this
Dawnette Thomas
By Dawnette Thomas
Your transparency is both refreshing and encouraging. I continue to pray for mental and spiritual clarity and strength. Grief is hard - very hard. Yet, your willingness to share even that is a gift from God. What is in the light can stay in the light - thank you for not hiding your pain and hard days. May the Great Physician and Gentle Healer heal and hold each of you in the way that is best for each at that time.
1 person hearted this
Cheryl Adkins
By Cheryl Adkins
Praise God! Thank you for sharing. I continue to pray for Ayla and all your family. May God bless you and keep you in His peace and bring each one of you to a place of being whole and well and strong again by the power of His Holy Spirit! And now may the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
1 person hearted this
Becky Williamson
By Becky Williamson
Nathan, I am so thankful for the continued recovery that Ayla is experiencing. I am also grateful that your whole family is getting the guidance through counseling that you need in order to continue on in your journey through life without the shackles of the feelings that this trauma continuing to hurt you. Your families our journey continue to place me in awe of the wonder of our Father. I hope that Gracie's family is able to do the same.
1 person hearted this
Alice Galeotti
By Alice Galeotti
Wonderful update, truly amazing how far Ayla has come in such a short time. Keeping you all in my prayers for continued healing emotionally, and for Ayla's upcoming eye appointment. May God continue to work in your lives and bring good from the terrible ordeal you have endured. Prayers also for the Snider family as they continue to miss and grieve for their little girl Gracie. Love to you all...
1 person hearted this
Brandee Elmore
Merry Christmas you guys! Can I just say it is such a wonderful delight to see you, Mom and Dad, bringing Ayla to school everyday. It was also a blessed treat to see your pretty girl, front and center stage, singing and dancing at the schools Halloween performance this year! We continue to think about the 4 of you as well as the Snider family everyday. We also continue our prayers for all of you..

The Elmore's
Greg,Brandee,Stella,Landen xo xo xo xo
1 person hearted this
Chris Mariscal
AMAZING!!! That says so much of the James/Snider journey. I pray for all of you everyday. You all have great faith and strength. Ayla's progress is amazing ( how could it not be with all of the prayers and love she receives). I am hoping that there is plenty of love and joy and extra healing in this holiday season and in the New Year. Thank you for sharing your Ayla and Gracie with us. God bless you all!!!
2 people hearted this