Friends of a Vernon family are gathering financial support for a mother who recently received life-saving emergency surgery in the United States.
Stephanie Bellows started a GoFundMe campaign for Ashley Ashworth, who was driving with her family through Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 22, when Ashley started experiencing a sharp pain in her abdomen. She lost consciousness several hours later.
Ashley was rushed to a small hospital nearby where it was determined she had severe internal bleeding. She was flown to Seattle but before arriving, the helicopter was grounded by a severe storm. It was determined she would not survive the four-hour ambulance ride, so with no other options, she was taken back to the small hospital to receive surgery, with hospital staff consulting with other specialists by phone to navigate the surgery.
Against all odds, Ashley survived.
She lost four litres of blood and needed seven blood transfusions, several plasma transfusions and emergency abdominal surgery to remove a ruptured ovary and repair a hemorrhage. She and her husband Tim returned home to Vernon Monday, Jan. 24.
“Anyone who knows this family knows that they are honest, hardworking and generous. Always willing to offer help and support to their families, friends and neighbors,” said Bellows in the GoFundMe description. “Through this campaign, I hope to support their family financially, with donations being used to cover the medical bills associated with Ashley’s life-saving surgery.”
Because they were outside of Canada, the Ashworth’s insurance doesn’t fully cover the medical expenses. Ashley will also require ongoing care while she recovers. Donations will be used to cover basic needs while Tim is off work.
“My hope is for our community to rally around this local family, giving them time to heal as a family and to soften the financial burden for them,” Bellows said.
The GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $50,000 as of Tuesday, Feb. 1.