Ashley Mae Kelly, age 23, was hit by a drunk driver while exiting a vehicle on 12th Street on December 12, 2006. Ashley was thrown 20 feet and sustained a head injury causing traumatic brain injury. Ashley was rushed to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center where doctors performed surgery to relieve pressure from her swelling brain. Her surgery lasted seven hours and Ashley is in stable but critical condition. Ashley and Robert Flores welcomed their daughter, Caprice Cierra Marie Flores into the world, on November 27, 2006. This joyous event has been clouded by the turn of events that happened on Tuesday evening although Caprice is in the wonderful care of her Aunt. Caprice has not been able to see her mother and because of the uncertainties of Ashley's current condition, the family holds vigil at the hospital. We hope and pray her condition improves enough to be moved from ICU to the long process of rehabilitation. Brain injuries are such that there are no predictors of the outcome however it is known the recovery is taxing on both the patient and the family or family member most involved in the care and rehabilitation process. This process is also expensive and requires significant funds. To help provide financial support to the families and to Caprice during this dire time, The Bills Family Memorial Foundation (bfmf.org)is accepting donations on their behalf. BFMF is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations to it are tax deductible. BFMF will distribute any funds to the families as needed for medical expenses that will not be covered by insurance and also help the families with maintenance expenses.
An account has been set up at the Idaho Falls Teachers Credit Union. If you wish to donate to this account, please mail it to P.O. Box 2871, Idaho Falls, Idaho, 83403, Attn: Lee Kelly/Donations. If you wish to correspond with the family, please use the following e-mail address: email@example.com. The family is grateful for all of the support they have received. We will continue to post updates letting you know Ashley’s condition.
UPDATE as of 12/30/06
On December 13 2006 Ashley had surgery to relieve the swelling pressure on her brain. She had been medically paralyzed and was being kept heavily sedated. The doctors were waiting about 12 days to try to bring her out of the paralysis and started this process on Christmas Day. There was some speculation that she may sit up or say something; however the weaning from the sedative is a slow process it will take some time for her to show just how much she will be able to do. I can tell you that she did squeeze my hand and was trying to open her eyes. It was the best Christmas present I could have received.
Over the next couple of days Ashley was actually able to open her eyes and wiggled her toes on command from the nurse. About 4:00pm on the 28 th Ashley started to become unstable and was not getting the right amounts of oxygen to her brain even with the assistance of the ventilator she is on. She had to be placed into a medically induced comma and increased her pain medication. In a CT scan the determined that she had some fluid built up on the left side of her brain as well as a blood clot near the lower part of her brain. Drains were put in and seemed to help. On the 30 th I came up to see her and everything seemed to be stabilized at this time.
Ashley’s baby Caprice turned a month old on December 27 and is doing fine and staying with family. The Kelly, Brown and Flores families would like to express their thanks and appreciation to everyone for their outpouring of love, concern, help and support that they have shown for Ashley and her family
Please keep praying for her and thanks again for everything.
UPDATE as of 1/15/07
January 15, 2007, Ashley is doing great. She is being moved from the ICU into a regular room and is out of her coma, off the ventilator and is even sitting and talking without assistance. Remarkably, she has even gotten up to use the rest room on her own. She recognizes people and is making an incredible recovery though she still has a way to go. Her family would like to express their sincere appreciation to all of those who have been praying for Ashley and offering their support.