Make Sure Katie Is Not Alone This Holiday Season

Your contributions to Katie's journal this year made sure that they never felt alone. Your tax-deductible donation in Katie's honor will make sure that Caringbridge continues to bring hope and healing to those who need it most.

Donate Now

Katie’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about Katie. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.

Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.

On Wednesday, January 19, Katie was taking pictures of the sky ( her passion!) with unusual cloud formations our on our front steps, when she lost her balance and fell down the steps.  She was having a seizure when I found her.  She was taken by ambulance to VCU Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, the best trauma center in the area, where they determined that she had a left cranial bleed, contusions on the front of her brain, a skull fracture behind her right ear and a contusion on the back of her scalp.  She went right into surgery to remove the blood clot in her brain.  By God's grace she didn't receive any other bodily injuries and is able to move all extremities.

The first day after surgery, Katie responded perfectly to all the neurological tests and told each of us (Joe and me) that she loved us. I asked her if she remembered falling down the steps and she said she did.

On the second day after Katie's surgery, she stopped responding, and they put her into an induced coma by reducing her body temperature, put her in a paralytic state and heavily sedated her.  Her brain started to swell and they had to do a ventriloscopy, which is where they insert a pump between the ventricles in her brain which did two things: measured the innercranial pressure and relieve the pressure by draining the spinal fluid off of her brain into a container.

Katie remained in the coma state for 22 days. As soon as they could, they did an MRI on her head and found that she had had several strokes.

Kate remained in MCV until July 13, when she was moved to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia. We were so thrilled that she was able to go there and were amazed at what they were able to accomplish in therapy.

On February 16, Katie was admitted to MCV Hospital again to received a Baclofen Pump (implant). Following surgery, we welcomed Katie home after 399 days, on Feburary 22, 2012. We are thrilled to have her home with us and she is doing very well. We continue to try our very best to take it one day at a time. God is in control.

Latest Journal Update

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dear Katie,
It all started over a year ago with a neighborhood yard sale to raise funds for your new bedroom and barrier free bathroom. Next, Santa paid a visit with a large donation from a local Kiwanis Club. In the spring of this year, our church rallied around us with the "Katie's Spring Shower Vision" Fundraiser. Our family in Christ from Ingomar Church in Pittsburgh, PA, held two spaghetti dinners to help the cause; and the kids from Harvest Church in Carlisle, PA, each gave up something for 10 days this summer to raise money for your room. After five months of hard work along with many new friendships, you spent your first night in your new bedroom last night! We still have a lot of organizing to do and pictures to hang, but it is now your room!
     As we prayed last night, before falling asleep, you had your usual smile on your face and did your best to vocally participate in the prayer. We felt a very calming peace at the end of the prayer. Everyone had a good night's sleep and smiles on our faces, also.
     Your standing frame was the first item that I moved into your room - imagine that! You have a beautiful view out of your windows which I believe will help you to relax while we work out. We are still waiting for your shower chair which hopefully will be delivered soon. Once this happens, the tropical rain forest shower head will be put to good use.
     By the Grace of God, your rooms are complete. "A great beginning is sometimes at the point of what you thought would be the end of everything." Dodinsky
     We are so grateful.
Love, Mom, Dad and Josh

P.S. I do want to give an update on your spasms, too. After some really difficult days with spasms, we were able to take you to see Dr. Kunz last Thursday. He turned up the Baclofen pump once again and after much discussion, he decided to have some x-rays taken of your hips and lower back, including the catheter for your pump to make sure there are no kinks in it. The next day, Dr. Kunz called me after having you on his mind all night, and he asked me to take you off one of the doses of another medication, which side affects include abnormal muscle movement. You seem to be much more comfortable now and we hope that's all it takes. We will have your films done this week.

5 people hearted this



Ann Long
By Love, Ann
I can't wait to visit tomorrow and see your things in your room. Also can't wait to visit with you.
Sue Hurley
A room with a view - both inward and outward - and just in time for Thanksgiving! May this be the beginning of a very special time of healing and recovery for you. God bless you, every one!
Terry Lynn Smith
By Terry Lynn Smith
Dear Katie, I am so excited for you and your family. Your OWN bedroom in a bright yellow color. Praise God for all the people who provided this to happen for you and your family. Katie, Josh, Mom, and Dad, keep on keeping on...Blessings and Love, Terry :+)
Sue Katich
God is so good! What a story leading up to your new room! It is absolutely beautiful and so bright and cheerful. I know you are going to love it.

Thanks be to our God and Savior Jesus Christ for the blessings you have all experienced this year. You certainly will be praising Him this Thanksgiving! Enjoy!!!

jan morehead
By Jan morehead
Hot dog!!! Can't wait to see your new crib Katie! Steelers gold wall??
Cindy Slade
Wow, the room is beautiful Katie, you are truly blessed!!!! So glad it's finally done. I have been thinking of all of you. Have a wonderful & blessed Thanksgiving! You are in my prayers, love to you all. Cindy
connie smith
By connie smith
Katie, your new room is so cheerful. I know you are going to love it! Enjoy!
Laura Wert
By Laura Wert
what an incredible testament to God's work in your life. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!
Cindy Martin
By Cindy
What a blessing for Katie to have her own space and you to reclaim some of the family space! Her room looks lived in already! (And the shower looks amazing, you need to try it out too!)