Ashley’s Story

Site created on August 25, 2018

Our sweet Ashley was involved in a car accident Thursday night (August 23, 2018) and suffered serious injuries.  She was transported to Denver Health and Hospital where it was determined that she sustained a fractured vertebrae at C6-C7. She had surgery early Friday morning to stabilize her injuries, an  Anterior Cervical Discectomy & Fusion (ACFD) was performed from T1-C5.  She will undergo an additional procedure on Monday August 27, 2018 to stabilize the back of her neck.  She is conscious and responsive, but they are keeping her sedated for her comfort.  

Ashley is paralyzed from the waist down but she does have limited mobility with her arms.  We are hoping  after some reduction in the swelling of her spinal cord  she will regain complete use of her hands.  

We remain hopeful and always positive that she will achieve the best outcome possible.  We need your prayers for her strength of mind, strength of body and strength of soul.  

We know that Ashley has many friends that want to come and visit her and provide support but as a family we are asking that visitors are limited to immediate family for now.  She is currently in intensive care and will be there the first week at a minimum.      The family appreciates all the support but resting is part of the early healing process. Ashley needs rest.   

If you wish to leave a message on this site we will make sure and share that with Ashley.  

This will be a place to get updates on her condition and progress for her recovery.  


A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Ashley and you can find it here: https://www.gofundme.com/ashley039s-journey

Newest Update

Journal entry by Cindi Jack

Hello everyone, it’s been awhile since I’ve had an update on here so this might be a little long 🤗. It has been 6 months to the day of the accident and boy, life is so different. I was at Craig Hospital for 3 months doing inpatient rehab and have been home for 3 months doing outpatient therapy and adapting to my new life. I am so thankful that I was able to go to Craig and learn all the basics to my new life. There’s so much that goes into a spinal cord injury, more than just a broken neck and a wheelchair... I had to re-learn how to do everything from feeding myself and brushing my teeth to showering and using the restroom. All the day-to-day things that become so routine and mindless in our every day life. Craig was such a blessing because it taught me these things and more importantly, how to live a fairly independent life in a wheelchair. Not to mention all the physical work you do five days a week. Within my first week at Craig I was classified as “Asia B incomplete” (Sensory, but not motor, function is preserved below the neurologic level and extends through sacral segments S4-S5). What that basically means is I have sensation from my chest to my toes but I cannot move my fingers, legs, or toes. Being able to feel sensation is a blessing and a curse. While I can’t feel hot or cold, I can feel pressure which really comes in handy when I’m running my toes into a wall 😉. However with sensation comes nerve pain.. this is a very irritating pain because sometimes it feels like my legs are on fiery pins and needles or it can feel like I’m sitting on a freezing wet Brillo pad. I do take medication for the nerve pain but I still feel it constantly throughout the day and I just try my best to ignore it.

The number one question I get is “can you move your fingers anymore?” Sadly the answer to this is no, and while I will always hold onto faith that I will get some movement back in my limbs, major finger movement more than likely will never happen. I may not be able to move my fingers but I have figured out ways to work with what I've got. I had amazing occupational therapists at Craig who were able to teach me skills and hacks for day-to-day life. Because of them I am able to do the majority of my self-care like brushing my teeth, cooking, getting dressed (still working on lower body dressing), my makeup, and so much more.

Physical therapy has been huge in my recovery. While I was in inpatient therapy we worked on a lot of bed mobility and core strengthening. My first month in the chair I was absolutely terrified to bend over and touch my toes. Because I have no control over my trunk, it felt like I was constantly falling anytime I went forward. Because of the C6-C7 injury it caused my tricep in my right arm to only fire halfway. My right arm (my dominant arm) is much weaker compared to my left arm which has full use of my tricep. Triceps, biceps, shoulders, and all of the upper body muscles become so important when your movement depends on them. Your arms become your legs and your teeth become a third arm. Thank God my teeth are strong for the most part 😅Thanks to all of my physical therapist I have regained a lot of strength in my arms. I can almost fully transfer myself from my chair depending on the surface, using a sideboard. I am so thankful to have a decent amount of arm strength and wrist extension.

I have been home since December 3 and have almost mastered the public bus and light rail system. I’ve missed quite a few buses and a couple appointments trying to figure it out but I’m thankful to have the freedom of independent transportation! My chair looks like a muddy Jeep for the most part because I refuse to let snow or bad weather keep me inside. For the most part I am in my power chair because it gives me the most independence. I am working on gaining strength to handle my manual chair. I can’t really stop it going down a hill or even a slight downward slope yet since I don’t have a grip. I’ve already had my first fall out of the chair trying to go downhill.. let’s be honest, I thought I was a bad ass and knew what I was doing. My chair promptly ejected me into a patch of mulch as a reality check.. TAKE THINGS SLOW.. thankfully nothing else was broken in this quad life lesson.

Being home and out of the Craig environment which is completely adapted for wheelchairs, has been a difficult transition for not only me but my family. My parents are amazing and have given me their master bedroom/bathroom on the main floor. My maja Cindi came up with an amazing idea to adapt a kitchen in my room so I can work on independent living. My father made her vision happen and completely remodeled the bathroom/closet! (See pictures below). Having this set up has made it a little less intimidating thinking about living on my own.

The first few months were really working on my strength and getting stronger physically but the main focus now is working on a healthy mentality. I’ve been told since the beginning of this journey that  I’m so strong and am an inspiration. I really appreciate these words of encouragement but it has definitely been a mental struggle to deal the aftermath of the accident and recovery. Thanks to therapy I have been able to process my emotions in a healthy way which has helped strengthen my positivity through this journey. I also learned to just cry it out. It’s amazing what a good cry can do. “happiness is an inside job”, I truly believe this and work on it everyday.

There is a lot more to my story and in time I hope to be able to share it with you all.

Sorry for the lengthy update.. this is a condensed version of everything but I will continue to write on here as I’m finding it to be pretty therapeutic.

I want to thank all of you who have followed my journey and give my family and I words of encouragement and prayers!

Thank you to my family… Dad, Cindi, Debra, Chris, Cory, Kelsee, Jordan, Eric, Julia, Ryan, Loren, Bradley and my amazing extended family. You have stayed by my side and never gave up on me. Not only my world was affected by the accident, but all of yours were as well and yet you still love me. Thank you Dad and Cindi for adapting the house so I can have the freedom to live an independent life. I am so blessed to still be here and to have the strength of my family to lean on.
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