Monday, March 31, 2008

Memory Book

I would like to create a book of memories to give to Ryan. To make this a book he will cherish I would like to invite each of you who have had good memories with Tonia to share these memories or stories on this blog. Also if Tonia has inspired you in one way or another, then please feel free to share these experiences with us as well. Then we will compile them and make a treasured book for Ryan and the kids to have forever. Photos are also welcome you can send those to and I will make sure to get them added to the book. Please remember to include your full name and relationship to Tonia or how you know her. Feel free to make the post or comment as long or as short as you would like.
I will leave this blog up for as long as we need to collect these stories and statements. I was thinking at least a month so there will be nothing forgotten and if we need more time after that I have no problem giving more time. So share all you would like!
Thank you,
Kristi Townsend

Friday, March 28, 2008

Funeral Services

There will be a viewing on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 from 6:00-8:00 in the Allen Hall Mortuary (34 East Center St. Logan, UT). Also another viewing Thursday, April 3rd from 10:30am-12:00pm. in the Hyrum Church at 2nd East 6th South. Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 12:00pm in the same church as the viewing prior. Again we would like to thank each of you for your support and love through this time in our lives.

A loving memory

To all of you who are supporting us I give you our sincere thanks. Tonia has been touched as I have read your comments to her. I am sorry and yet happy to say that Tonia has finished her battle with both her pain racked earthly temple and the adversary that was always trying to wear her down. She left in typical Tonia fashion bravely hanging on for an extra 7 to 8 hours so that they could line up organ recipients. From what we were told there are 3 people today who were blessed by Tonia's last physical gift that she could give. She was suffering more then she was letting on in those final hours trying to hide it from those in attendance including her five children. She now enters a new chapter of life with her Heavenly Father and Brother Jesus Christ in whom she has faithfully trusted throughout her long and courageous battle. I believe she has been a hero to many and certainly is one of mine. I will miss her so very much as she is my Elfette and Eternal Companion. With all my Love, Ryan Eccles (Elf)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Morning

Tonia had a hard night last night. She felt a great peace and joy surround her. Tonia would like everyone to know that she loves them and wishes she could give them a hug and kiss. She is now enjoying her 5th slurpee which she has craved since last Wednesday. We have been reading the comments to her and she greatly appreciates them and loves hearing from each of you. There has been another fund set up for Tonia at Wells Fargo Bank. So you can donate to Tonias family at both Wells Fargo and Zions Bank.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

~Happy Birthday Ryan!~

Ryan I just wanted to let you know how greatly loved you are on this birthday. You are such an amazing person with great love and understanding. You are such a great example to so many people of so many things. Thank you for being so great to our sister, and loving her unconditionally. We love you tons and probably won't call because you will be busy answering other call today. But we love you and wanted you to know we are thinking of you. Also if there is anyone out there that feels inclined to leave a message to Ryan or Tonia please feel free to click on the comment button under any blog to leave a message. We will be reading these to Tonia frequently to let her know how greatly loved she is. Love you Ryan and try to have a good day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tracheotomy Surgery

They just completed the Tracheotomy surgery and everything went well. They were able to remove the big tube going through her mouth to her lungs. This will enable her to use her lips a little better for us to read. Dad Townsend thought of a wonderful idea that Tonia just loves. He turned on a laser point pen and we attach it to the side of her head on her head band strap and then she moves her head and uses the laser to point to the letters and words she wants to communicate with us. It works out great and she seems to prefer this over us pointing to the letters.

Tuesday Morning Update

The doctors just came in and said they plan to do the Trach surgery here pretty quick. The one down fall to that is they will not be able to do the Respiratory Therapy for 24 hours. Tonia loves this treatment because "it makes me live". She calls Robert the Respiratory Therapist her Hero because the treatment "gives me courage and makes me live". So they will give her one more before they do the surgery, then she will have to wait for some time. They also said that she will have to work really hard and hopefully she will regain some ability to talk. She then told the doctor "I will work hard". And as we all know she will do her best like she does in everything she does.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Night Update

Today the docotors found some fluid surrounding Tonia's lungs. So they inserted a drain to relieve some of the pressure and allow the lung to expand better. They have also agreed to do the Trach in her throat sometime tomorrow. This will allow them to take the tube out of her mouth. Tonia is looking forward to this proceedure. She looks forward to being able to lip words to us without the tube obstructing her lips and to get a good water swab in her mouth. Tonight as Terry and I saw Tonia she was very alert and quick with her mind. She taps the syringe in her mouth with her teeth, as we point to the letters. This way we know which letter she needs to spell out the word she would like us to know. However, by the time Tara made it to the room (not 1 minute later) she was falling asleep. So it sure takes a toll on her to communicate with us.

MRSA Infection

So we have all been worried from the beginning about Tonia catching some kind of infection. When the accident happened she did have a staph infection which can lead to scarier infections. Well as of yesterday she has a MRSA Infection in her lungs. I was just talking to Ryan on the phone and things are just not looking the best for Tonia. My heart truely goes out to you Ryan please let me know if I can do anything. I plan to go set up a donations account today so that anyone that would like to contribute can. To find out a little more about MRSA infection you can check out this site

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Information about the accident and her condition

On March 18th 2008 Tonia was driving down Main St. in Hyrum alone in her 1992 Jeep Wrangler. When she was faced with a wave of nausea, which has been a very common thing in Tonia's life lately. She tried to pull over to relieve her nausea when she lost control of her jeep which sent her off the road into a concrete curb that sent her out of control into 3rd East, which is a street that intersects Main Street in Hyrum. Then the jeep hit a second curb that blew her tire out and caused her jeep to roll through a fence and into the field on the corner of 3rd East and Main Street. According to an eye witness, the jeep rolled two or three times. There was so much force involved in the accident that it ripped a tire completely off the jeep and blew apart the transfer case.

The ambulance took her to Logan Hospital where they thought everything was going to be okay, until they received the X-Rays back to find she had broken her C3 and C4 vertebras in her neck. At this point she was flown by Life Flight to Intermountain Medical Center Hospital on 53rd South and State Street. The spinal doctor said she suffered from spinal cord damage which resulted in permanent paralysis from the top of her shoulders down. This also includes the inability to control her lungs to breathe and talk. There is a slight chance of improvement to control her breathing. That night they put a black halo on Tonia to help stabilize her neck from any movement to prevent further damage to the spinal cord. Tonia was taken from the emergency room up to a room in the shock and trauma ICU unit on the 5th floor of the hospital. Her family was let in to see her at 2:00a.m.

Wednesday afternoon the doctors took Tonia into surgery to put a filter in her main artery to prevent any life threatening blood clots. That same day, she was given a Priesthood blessing which was administered through her father. She had a surgery scheduled on Thursday to place two metal plates in both sides of her neck to permanently stabilize her neck and protect the spinal cord. However that next morning Tonia's lower right lung lobe had collapsed, so they put off the surgery until after they did a lungoscopy to clean out her lungs and pump that right lung back to where it should be. At 2:30pm on Thursday they wheeled Tonia into the 4 hour spinal surgery. The surgery went well. The doctors were able to take a piece of bone from Tonia's hip and along with other hardware and stabilize her neck and remove the halo. She is currently dependant on a respirator and often needs a lung treatment to clear her lung from the sticky mucus that causes it to collapse. There are plans to give her a tracheotomy sometime soon. She communicates with the aid of an alphabet chart by blinking and mouthing words. Of course the hardest part of this is Tonia is coherent a majority of the time. She understands what is happening to her body and can do nothing about it. Her eyes are filled with complete fright and sorrow mixed together. All of her children were able to visit with her on Saturday. Which seemed to be a good thing for all of them. Ryan our hearts go out to your sweet family and we all have a desire to help some how. For more information about spinal cord injuries you can visit this web-site: