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.