Sunday, August 15, 2010

I would love for you all to meet Abbie

I want you to meet Abbie. She was born March 18, 2007 in Washington state to a loving mom and dad, Angie & Kurt, the same age as Paul and I. She was born the little sister to Lillian, who turned 6 in June. She was a little spitfire with an infectious personality that everyone loved. Advanced in her development, empathetic and loving... she was also the boss. She had aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and friends that all loved her and were blessed by her time on earth. She loved pink and purple, dancing, Disney princesses and anything sparkly. As much as she was girly, she also loved bugs and the outdoors and was a dare devil! Abbie was excited to start school one day and wanted to be a doctor when she grew up. She loved others so much that she wanted to help people in need. Abbie was more precious than can be summarized in a paragraph.

Three months ago today, on May 15, 2010, Abbie made an unexpected entrance into heaven. While playing at the neighbor's house on Friday the 14, she endured trauma to her delicate skull when a play structure collapsed on her. She was rushed to the hospital, but after a day on life support with no brain activity, her parents made the painstaking decision to let her go and be free of pain and donate her organs.

Abbie may not have become a doctor, but she saved a one year old child with her kidneys, an adult with her liver, her beautiful eyes went to the eye bank to give someone sight and her heart to our beloved Gabriella. She will forever live on through the lives she touched.



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I have known about Abbie for some time, but have attempted to keep her information confidential for the sake of the grieving process for her family. I spoke with her mom about sharing her story, to which she gave me the ok to do. As I mentioned on my blog previously, I went about contacting Gabriella's donor family by sending my (9 page) letter to the procurement agency for review and forwarding around soon after Memorial Day. Abbie's mom accepted the letter right away and wrote back almost immediately. But it takes time for the procurement agency to send letters back and forth, so Abbie's mom reached out to me through email before I received her letter just to introduce herself and begin personal communication. When I got her letter, I wept reading the details of Abbie's accident. She shared with me in personal detail everything that happened. I have been grieving the loss of Abbie since Gabriella's transplant. I have felt a connection to her and her family since I saw Gabriella with the beating heart of another child at 230am on May 18. I took on a mothers grief, seeing how close I was to being in the very position Gabriella's donor mother was living, but also filling in vital parts of our own journey with the very details that completed it.

It is now our responsibility to keep Abbie alive through Gabriella. Gabriella has been our hero, and Abbie is her guardian angel and our new hero. Without Abbie and the selfless decision her parents made, Gabriella would not be alive to experience life. Whatever Gabriella accomplishes in her life will not be without Abbie.

Abbie's mom will be writing a letter/blog for me to post on Gabriella's website one day, when she is ready. I couldn't be more honored to know this woman and feel so blessed to have formed the bond we have over such circumstances. She is family, her husband and daughter and extended family as well. We have been connected through Gods divine plan and will forever have a bond unlike any other. Abbie gave Gabriella life in a way no one else could.

For so long I asked you all to pray for Gabriella's donor family. Since the day we knew she would require a heart transplant, I began including whoever these angels would be in our prayer requests. Now, we know who they are, which enables us to pray for specifically. We can place a face, a family, and a life with those words 'sparkly heart' and 'donor family'. I ask that you please pray for her sister Lillian, who saw her entire accident happen and tried to save her little sister by lifting the structure off of her. She is struggling with so much right now, and is only 6 years old. And also for Abbie's parents and their grieving hearts. They are still struggling and dealing with life without Abbie and it is not something they will ever get over.

You all have been so amazing at lifting us up and wrapping your words around us like a hug. If you feel you would like to post any condolences to the family of Abbie, notes or anything relevant... please comment on this entry. Abbie's mom checks in with Gabriella's website and I am sure she would love to feel your loving words around her like I have over the past year and a half journey.

38 comments:

Mary said...

What a brave little girl Abbie is. She and Gabriella will have an eternal bond from now on. My thoughts are with you all as you always remember Abbie and the miracle she created by just being her. So sad yet so amazing this story was to read.
Mary (@LincolnAndMe on Twitter)
x

Linda said...

I am just crying reading about precious Abbey... Heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. Prayers for her family.

Kristine said...

Wow. I just don't know what to say. Lots of chills. Abbie and family are heroes. True heroes.

The Thorne Family said...

God Bless Abbie's family. God Bless them.
Tears stream down my face as a mother of an almost 3 year old & almost 6 year old.

Tears stream down my face as a fellow heart transplant recipient (20 years post) that has yet to meet her donor family and at the wonderful tribute that Gabriella and you give to Abbie each and every day.

God Bless all of you.

Danielle said...

What an amazing little girl! I don't know what else to say, but thank you to her family. While they were going through the hardest time of their life, they made a decision to save other lives. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

God will bless all of you with each tear cried and with all the fears felt God will bless you. I know how scary it is to not know if your daughter will make it if they have no donor My daughter Ricki just received her liver from a truly sweet selfless person (Nancy) and if she would not have done this Ricki may not or probably would not have lived much longer, so I do understand that pain and fear now for the Mom and Dad donating little Abbie's organs I can only imagine the feelings. God bless you and help you with your pain of missing her and thoughts of her but know this there are not many who could have made a selfless act as you and your husband did and without people like you two many people will die you are giving life and in other ways Abbie lives on and I hope you have been able to meet all I am sorry for your loss But she is with God and he is taking good care of her and I'll bet she is very proud of Mommy and Daddy God bless you and Gabriella who's Mom has struggled in a different way w/pain I can tell you that the weight that was lifted from me when the Doctors came out and said the surgery went well for both my daughter Ricki and her live donor I just can't put into words, so if that helps any to know that you have helped not one but many through your little angel and I know that it will someday soon if not already, then her life was really meaningful even if it was not long enough I hope I am not making it worse with my words because that is not at all what I am trying to say to any of you it is so hard to express these kinds of feelings for both sides I still have not been able express how much it really means to me that somebody very special saved my daughter and that I wish I could give her the moon and stars I do know God will and to all of you as well. I will say a prayer for all of you for comfort and healing God Bless your life with peace and joy amen.(Shari) Thank you for letting me share and for taking time to read.

Anonymous said...

I can't stop the tears from falling for the loss for Abbie's family. I am so sorry for their loss and yet I read about the incredible blessings that came from it. I will be praying for Lillian and her mommy and daddy. God Bless this family!

Colleen said...

To Angie, Kurt, Lillian and extended family, You have given such an unselfish act of love, you will be forever remembered for the gracious gifts you have shared. God Bless!

To Kristi, Paul, Princess G and PJ, Your strength, perserverance and faith continue to amaze us. Thank you for keeping us included and updated with your story of God's true mircle!
God Bless!

Both families continue to be in our prayers of healing and comfort.

Tasha said...

With tears swimming in my eyes, I write this comment. May God bless Abbie's family as they go through this difficult time. May their grief be comforted knowing that through others, their daughter lives on. Gabriella now has a guardian angel for life.

Kristi - I know how heavy this has weighed on your heart even before you knew who the donor family was. I'm so glad you get to share Abbie with all the rest of us. Thank you.

Papaya Mom said...

My heart goes out to Lillian and her family as they grieve the loss of this sweet little hero. Please know none of us will ever forget that if not for Abbie and her family we'd not have the pleasure of Gabriella, Abbie changed the world for the better and continues to do so after she is so very missed. *hugs*

Kristen said...

Wow. That's all I can really say right now. What a blessing to be able to honor Abbie. She and her family will be forever in my thought, prayers and thanksgiving.

Suzanne Hollander said...

Such a heartbreaking story with such an amazing outcome. Abbie and her family have remained in my prayers.
Much love to you all.

Laura said...

My heart is breaking open with the utter sadness and complete awe I'm feeling after reading about Abbie and her family, and the incredible gift that has impacted far more lives than just those who received her precious organs. My prayers are with this family as I ask that God's peace and comfort cover them, and His blessings overwhelm them during this time of grief.

Sherry Leach said...

As i sat here reading Abbie's story, I have tears running down my face. It was such a joyous day when G got the transpalnt call but it was bitter sweet beacuse I knew that meant someone else had lost their life. The thought of ever losing G killed me, and I remember thinking when she got the call, how could someone, in their very darkest moment, make the decision to donate their childs organs? That has to be a person with more strength than anyone else in the world. I thak God every day that Abbies family had the strength to make that decision. I pray for her family to get through this hardest of times. Thank you for the amazing gift of life for G....

Morgan said...

How brave and strong Abbies' family is. They must find some peace that Gabriel has lived on, and forever Abbie lives within her..... God bless them.

Colleen said...

Abbie is truly an angel, and as the original owner of Gabriella's SPRARKLY heart, she is the entire reason this blog is able to live on! How great that her family chose life. How amazing that you guys share this INCREDIBLE BOND! You are all such AMAZING individuals and families. We can only hope to be a shimmer in the GLOW that you have all produced!

LeAnna said...

Two AMAZING little girls, two wonderful famlies. Gabriella and Abbie's family have been in our prayers from the beginning and will continue to be. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I want to say how proud I am of each family. I cant imagine how proud the grandparents must be of raising such great children (parents) who brought these precious children to this world. These parents have a strength that most of us will never know. However,know this.. Because of your amazing story, you have turned 2 parents into donors and made the decision for their children to donate. God bless.

Corey~living and loving said...

the tears are streaming...and the lump in my throat is large. I feel so blessed to see the beautiful face of the child I have been praying for. Abbie's loss has not been for nothing....but quite surely it hurts none the less. I simply can not imagine, and my prayers are with her family. May Lillian find peace in this situation.

Callie said...

What a stunning little girl Abbie is and her spirit lives in the incredible gift given by her and her family. My heart goes out to Angie, Kurt, and Lillian, and I am inspired by their generosity. My prayers are with both families.

The mom of 4 monkeys! said...

I am so very sorry for your loss... I will pray for your family... God Bless you all.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I am absolutely, completely bawling my heart out. That description of Abbie mirrors our Aliza Joy exactly. I cannot even wrap my mind around the horror and grief this family is walking through. To be able to make such a powerful, life-giving decision in the midst of such life-shattering loss . . . Incredible.

To Abbie's family - thank you for being brave. What an amazing time we live in that her life goes on through Gabriella's.

To Kristi and Paul - thank you for encouraging us to pray for this family. It is so special to have a name and a face to put to the miracle that transformed your lives last May.

Abbie's mom and dad and precious sister Lillian will be in my prayers for many months to come.

Suzy said...

I too am crying my eyes out- bless you, Angie and family, for having the strength to give this gift to many children, when you're in so much pain yourselves. What a truly beautiful angel Abbie is.

Many positive, healing thoughts for all of you. I wish you peace and happiness.

The Simmons Family said...

My heart is breaking as I read through this post. Abbie.. you are such a brave little girl. I am amazed at the strength of your family to allow you to give the gift of life to sweet Gabriella.

Abbie sounds like such a sweet little girl. I'm glad she is now Gabriella's angel and I know that Gabriella will take care of that sparkly heart forever.


Thanks for sharing Kristi! I am speechless at how amazing everything has turned out.

Noah said...

Wow, what an amazing family. I can't even imagine. And it's nice to have names to put in my prayers, since I've been praying for this family since before this tragedy happened.

Thank you so much Abbie's family for your selfless gift in your time of grief. God bless!

Heather said...

I have been following along through Suzy and leaving messages now and again. I'm so happy that Gabriella is doing well and that you are in touch with Abbie's family. My own heart goes out to both of your families. I look forward to the entry from Abbie's mom and keeping up with your Gabriella as well. Take good care of you. :)

Becky said...

There has been so much that so many of us who know you have wanted to do for G that this family did not knowing who would benefit. May G (and Abbie) have a long, long life this time around, and may Abbie's sister know she did all she could and find peace!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh what a joy to know of precious Abbie and the tremendous gift she gave to sweet Gabriella! Lifting the family of Abbie up in prayers daily! <3 May God Bless!

Karen said...

Thank you, Kristi, for giving us the chance to get to know your miracle donor angel-baby. Abbie, and her loving family. Just like you, I have been lifting up this family in prayer since you shared the news of Gabriella's heart issues, because I knew that for your baby to life, someone else's sweetheart would have to die.

My continued prayers go to Angie, Kurt, Lillian, and the rest of Abbie's family, who are still navigating that unknown territory of grief and loss. May they find some comfort in the knowledge that their sweet girl's sparkly heart lives on, and that someday, we will come to be in a world where no child is sick and no child has to die. Until then, they have my constant prayers and thanks for being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and give the ultimate gift that Gabriella might life.

Thank you, Kurt and Angie. May God continue to heal your hearts, and may He richly bless you for all of your days.

Bernadette said...

Suzy has always thoughtfully kept us updated here about little Gabriella's progress.
This is a heart warming and at the same time a heart breaking story.
A beautiful child has given the gift of life to another beautiful child. To you, the parents and families of both children - may God be with you always.
Bernadette

Anonymous said...

What a heart warming and heart tearing story. I have children and could never imagine going through what your two live have had to endure. I praise God for the vital life restored to Gabriella but will pray for this family.

God will bless both of your lives and will ease the pain that the donor family endures. Thank you for saving a life one heart at a time!!

sandra said...

Angie and Kurt
I can't imagine your heartbreak at losing your daughter so suddenly. Your selfless gift of donating Abbie's organs is a tremendously beautiful and selfless expression of love. Not just love for those who received this precious gift, but love for your daughter and her memory, too. To be able to act so bravely in the midst of your unfathomable pain is incredibly humbling to me. I am praying that you and Abbie's big sister will truly feel God's love holding you gently and supporting you.

Angela Wolf said...

First of all, I feel so blessed to know that such true, selflessness, exists.

Angie, Kurt, and Lillian - I'm sure you already may know this, but Abbie's gift could not have gone to a better family. Gabriella will always have a bond with Abbie and their sparkly heart will allow them to beat as one.

I started following Kristi's blog at a friend's request for prayers when Gabriella went in to receive her new heart. From that very moment, both families have been in my prayers and will always be.

The first time I saw Abbie's photo was in our town's newspaper after the accident. At the time, I did not know that Abbie and Gabriella were connected. However, just by the photo in the paper, I knew that while the world had lost a precious little girl, Heaven had gained an angel. As you can imagine, it was much to my surprise that I saw that same photo of Abbie on this blog. At first glance, I remembered all the prayers I said for the family when I first read about the passing of Abbie. It is so nice to know that the sweet Abbie I read about, continues to live on and will forever be, Gabriella's Guardian Angel :)

My love and prayers go out to you all. Always.

Danielle said...

Angie, Kurt, and Lillian... thank you for your beautiful gift to this family (and others)!

As a mother to two daughters of my own, Lorelei and Lillian, I have special eyes to see how special this is... especially since Lily is a 13 week old CHD baby. I can only imagine being at the mercy of some incredibly strong family going through their worst struggles to find my miracle, and I thank you for being that miracle in the Vegas' lives. Kristi has been amazingly helpful to me as we go through difficulties with our newborn and I truly cannot express my gratitude enough for your role in this.

Angies Support Team said...

I read this a few days ago and have strugled with what to say. I have to little sisters, one is 7 and the other is 2. I know they are not my kids so I couldn't ever even imagine, but this is all I have to work with. I love my babies with everything I have I will do anything to make them smile. I can't imagine the pain that you are going through. Honestly I don't want to imagine. All I can say is thank you. You had to make a very hard choice in such a horible time. But because of that hard choice so many others get the chance at a normal life. I thank you and your daughter. :) I don't know where you stand religiously, but I would like to share a verse with you. "And we know all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
There is no doubt in my mind that your baby is in God's hands right now. The place where NOTHING can ever hurt her physically or emotionaly. :) I pray that God will comfort your family and bless you guys for such a selfless gift.

Laura said...

Kristi, I've been praying for God's comfort to be poured out over Abbie's family since long before Gabiella received her "sparkly" new heart. Thank you for giving names (and Abbie's face) to all of us who have been following Princess G's journey. I will continue to pray for Angie, Kurt and Lillian to find peace in knowing that Abbie has given life to so many. They are amazing, to have chosen to give life in the midst of their loss. Blessings to all of you!

The Working Home Keeper said...

Wow! God bless Abbie and her family.

Mary Ellen

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the loss of Abbie. My heart is sad. May God bless you and give you peace at this time of loss and hurt. May God comfort you and wrap His loving arms around your family. I pray for strength for your Lillian. May God protect her and love on her. Abbie is truly a blessing to Gabriella and a beautiful gift.

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