Local girl gets heart, lungs, and kidneys transplant

Ashley Pearce King Powell has been dealing with cystic fibrosis all of her life. The disease has brought her to this current place where she needed multiple organ transplants. Those transplants recently came through and Ashley is putting on the fight of her life.

According to cff.org, "Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States, 70,000 worldwide. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food."

CFF goes on to explain, "In the 1950s, few children with cystic fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF. Many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond."

Three months ago the journey with CF brought Ashley to be admitted to the hospital with an emergency need for organ transplant. In the end she needed a new heart, lungs, and kidneys. The transplants took place and Ashley is slowing working her way through recovery. Her journey is being recorded by her mother, Lisa Lorenzen, on a Facebook page called "Ashley's Transplant Journey."

The Facebook journey is a collection of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, and the never-ending fear of something going wrong.

"Her prognosis changes often," Lorenzen said. "She has ups and downs and isn't completely out of the woods yet. We will be here for probably six more months."

It is the last three months of watching Ashley's health decline prior to surgery waiting for a donor, staying faithfully by her side, and losing so much in the process that has brought Lorenzen to her knees. But prayers and support from a community and loved ones keeps both of them fighting strong.

The community is coming together like they have so many times for those in need by utilizing the consultant work Lorenzen already does to help provide an income so she may stay by her daughters side and provide the much needed love and support to see her heal. Lorenzen is an Origami Owl consultant and an event has been created on Facebook to purchase items in support of Ashley by providing income so Lorenzen can stay by her side.

"I do not want a hand out and I am not asking for money," Lorenzen said. "This is a way I can work from here and help in Ashley's recovery."

Ashley has a fundraising page through an organization called COTA, Children's Organ Transplant Association.

"I have been her caregiver for all but six months of her life, the last six months before transplant," Lorenzen said. "I had always been her IHSS worker, until the few months before this admission. I lost my IHSS and because I am a family member I do not qualify for any benefits."

When things became more serious, Lorenzen said, "I had to close my home based business, put my home up for rent to avoid foreclosure, and now the bills are just piling up as I live on credit cards."

It was in a moment of quiet that Lorenzen realized she could earn some money focusing on her consultant business with Origami Owl. "My head has been spinning how I can make an income from here and the days I go home to see my other children. I have a 4 year old but she can't be here right now due to Ashley being in ICU."

You can find the public event on Facebook under Lisa's Origami Owl Event and it will end on March 15. You can also visit her Origami Owl page at http://lisalorenzen.origamiowl.com or on Facebook at Origami Owl Lisa Lorenzen Independent Sales.