Ashley Cook

First post: Jun 23, 2022 Latest post: Dec 23, 2022
To the friends and family of Ashley Cook,

We are not sure where to begin.

 On Tuesday, June 14th, Ashley, her son Bodhi, and a friend visited a horse stable where the friend boards her horse.  After not feeling well she decided to rest on a bench outside the barn and allow Bodhi and her friend to visit the horses within the barn.  Upon returning to Ashley they found she had fallen and suffered injuries to her face and head.  911 was called and an ambulance quickly brought her to Regions Hospital in Saint Paul intubating her along the way to ensure consistent breathing.  Upon arriving the initial assessment suggested that she may have suffered a seizure causing the fall and subsequent head injury.  The stable quickly located security camera footage confirming the initial assessment and further providing evidence of a Grand Mal seizure.

Ashley spent the next couple of days in and out of consciousness but slowly making progress to the point of reasonable communication by Friday.  Ashley’s first visit included a CT scan, MRI, spinal tap, an hour long EEG, an Angiogram from her inner thigh to the arteries that support the brain and numerous other tests.  Without any reasonable cause identified, and several blood tests pending, the hospital thought her well enough to return home and continue the medical process as an outpatient.  The first day was rough with several new personality traits evident.  A sleepless night with possible hallucinations drifted into a better, but far less active Sunday.  Monday morning came with signs of significant deterioration and at times the inability to fully communicate.  Shortly after noon Heidi was forced to call 911 as she feared increasing signs of possible seizure or pre-seizure activity.  Paramedics arrived and once again brought her via ambulance to the Regions Hospital Emergency Room.

From the ER Ashley was admitted to her own hospital room around 9pm after spending the afternoon in the ER as the medical team continued to increase and adjust medications in an effort to stop ongoing mini seizures.  

Today is June 23rd which marks the forth day of her second visit.  I regret to write that each passing day has brought reduced capacity to the point where Ashley is currently completely unresponsive.  She has been maintaining a 100degree+ fever without any sign of a bacterial or viral infection.  She has undergone a new round of CT scans, this time over the majority of her body.  She has had a second MRI as well as a second spinal tap and an EEG lasting over 24 hours.  Daily and sometimes hourly blood tests and numerous other pricks and pokings.   All have come back clear from the standpoint of masses (tumors), brain bleeds, signs of a stroke, and infection of any kind.  “The good news”, as we are frequently told, is that they haven’t found any of those difficult things.  The “bad news”, we are nowhere closer to understanding what is causing the seizures or Ashley’s descent into total isolation with the inability to communicate no matter what the stimulus.  Further positive news is that the anti seizure medicine has proven effective and no seizures are evident.

The “Infectious Disease” Doctor has expanded their search beyond normal expectations into infections rarely seen.  The Primary Physician has obtained permission from the Neuro Doctors to move forward with steroids in an attempt to reduce inflammation while we wait for the Neurologists review of test results that could point towards an auto-immune complication. 

It goes without saying that we treasure your thoughts and prayers.  We will offer updates as new information becomes available.  

Sincerely,

Heidi and Chad

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