Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Today's update

I know so many of you have been waiting for me to publish something today. We have been working diligently and prayerfully as to what we need to do for Tyree. I will be honest and say that there is no easy way to say what I will say now. Obviously each of you has your concerns and assumptions as to what is happening. I want to set the record straight and let all of you know where things stand. We did receive the results from the MRI and we've met a couple of times with the neurologist. It is definate that Tyree has extensive brain damage. All movements that we have been seeing are results of reflexs from her brain stem, not her actual brain. She will never recover. She is receiving nutrition and things for comfort. She was removed from the ventilator today for about 4 hours and she was breathing on her own but then was too tired to continue. We placed her back on the ventilator at that point. Everything that is happening to her now is for her comfort. She will be moved from ICU tomorrow or Friday into a more accessible room so that any who wish to visit her may do so. We will continue to offer her comfort for the next several days. The family has all had the confirmation that we are doing the right thing, though difficult as it is. We also know that Tyree would not want us to keep her alive with machines. We feel that she has a greater work to do on the other side. She has lived a full life, touching so many, as is evident from this blog and all of the communication we have been receiving. We extend our deepest thank you to all of you who are a part of this great miracle. We feel the hand of the Lord guiding our actions. Chris also wants us to extend his thank you to all of you for the love and support you continue to offer him. He is doing quite well, considering the circumstances. We will continue to update you on what's happening with Tyree. If you would like to visit her, please e-mail (don't call) me at and I will get it arranged so we don't have a constant and huge parade. Again, thank you for your prayers and support during this difficult time. We love you!


At 10:17 PM, Blogger Sarah Johnson said...

Thank you for that beautiful, difficult post. You are wonderful.

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous RuthAnne Young Skinner said...

I have been reading this for so long just getting updates, but afraid to say anything. I met Tyree in 4th grade. She was the only person that was nice to me. She taught me the word "flip-flops", and that everyone in Arizona needs them, and not "thongs."

Tyree, although we went are separate ways in high school, I owe my great life now to you. You taught me that people can be wonderful, happy, and funny with the gospel in their lives. You planted an amazing seed in me that did not bloom until 2000!

I thank you and your family. I just want your baby to know you were one of a kind. Thanks again.

RuthAnne Young Skinner

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erika, Shiloh and family,

I am so amazed at how well you have been doing this past couple of weeks. Your blog tonight was beatiful and peaceful. I find myself having flashbacks to when we suffered this same fate with our dear and beloved family member. IT pains me to the bottom of my soul to know that you all have to endure that same pain. Almost 7 years later, the knowledge of our loving Heavenly Father's plan sustains me through the really hard days. I love you guys so much and will be here for you no matter what you need or at what hour. All my love and prayers for you tonight. I share your knowledge and faith that Ty is happy and served her mortal probation well.

Love, Richelle

At 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you. May the Lord comfort and strengthen you during this difficult time. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

With much love,
Matt & Melenie Ottosen

At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Leonore said...

Dear Erika, Shiloh, Tyree and family,

I just want to express my love for all of you right now in this difficult time. This last message felt so unreal because all of the others were so hopeful and this one is so final. I just keep picturing Tyree and all of you as I remember you...happy, smiling all the time and so kind to everyone. I am sorry you have to go through this. At times like these there are so many questions to which we don't know the answers but I at least know that because of your prayers and those of everyone else, you will feel the peace of the Savior, our great Comforter. Tyree is continuing to do as she has always done, touch lives and make each person a better person by having known her. There is so much I want to say but I will just say, I love you all and my prayers are with you.

Leonore Mortensen Driggs

At 7:29 AM, Anonymous David and Melodie Goolsby said...

"What is the Lord up to?"

Years ago, a dear friend of mine, shared this question with me. At the time, he served as a Stake President, and as he looked out over the vineyard with which the Lord had entrusted him, he could see, unmistakeably, the Hand of the Lord at work. He commented that he saw people joining the Church, one out of each family, and he saw other evidences that the Lord was "up to something."

As we've learned about Ty's condition, I've thought often abolut what the Lord is trying to do in all of our lives.

So, with that in mind, Erika, we want to tell you about this morning's lessons from the Lord.

We awoke early to deal with some of life's challenges, and then, we went to the Lord in prayer. We came away with a good feeling about what we need to do today.

Then, we offered a separate prayer just for Ty and the extended family. We spoke of how the Lord healed the blind and blessed the infirm in many ways. We felt once again the Spirit's wonderful confirmation of the Lord's ability to perform miracles, and this had us wondering just exactly what the Lord has in store for Ty.

During our prayer, we spoke of the possibility of brain damage and other items that would need to be addressed for her to be restored to a full and productive life.

We also spoke of how there have been those moments that gave hope.

Then, we opened this posting (4/4) this morning (4/5).

Talk about an answer to our prayers!

As difficult as it is to read the professional opinions, it does help to have new news on the MRI, the extent of the brain damage, and other details about her medical condition. It sounds as if her weakened heart is struggling when she is off of life support, and the condition of her heart was one of the questions we had as we visited with the Lord this morning.

So, thank you for filling in the gaps.

It bears repeating that we prayed this morning about the possibility of the damage that her body may have sustained, and then, we read more. To say the least, we felt the Spirit's promptings and comfort as well as the "mourning with those that mourn."

Certainly, we had hoped to read that she had awakened and spoke to you, but that was not the case.

So, our hearts go out to you.

I hope you know that our prayers about her condition as well as the answers that were already awaiting us points to how communication can indeed take place to guide us.

It sounds as if the Lord is guiding you through some difficult realizations and decisions.

I feel the need to relate more about the sure knowledge of the spirit that resides inside a body that cannot function as it once did. My grandmother spent years in a rest home unable to communicate with us, but despite this her strong heart kept her body functioning in an almost vegetative state. This was before I knew of the Restoration and the many truths that taught me about the spirit body within the mortal body. To say the least, I've spent a great deal of time pondering the fate of those spirits trapped inside a body that can't function.

I feel so comforted to know that the spirit body lockde inside such a physical body knows and senses so much. Account after account is given of people that have out of body experiences, and I once was in the company of Elder David B. Haight as he testified of the experience he had as he was carried away by the Spirit during a coma of his own.

So, we might not know until after this life all of what Ty is experiencing, but I can state most assuredly that she knows you are doing all that you can for her.

Despite what the doctors say, I still feel that the grip that you felt as well as the efforts to open her eyes were more than just the "brain stem" functions.

I feel that Ty was trying to communicate with you, and I know that in the midst of Grandmother Tevis' vegatative stay in a nursing facility there were those moments when she did communicate.

Sadly, as her physical body continued to go down hill, it was less and less possible for her spirit body to communicate with us in ways other than just the spirit we felt in her presence.

So, I truly believe that with what she had to use Ty was letting you know that she was aware of your efforts, and I know all too well how painful it is to face the reality of extent of damage that her physical body has suffered.

In the end, it all comes down to what the Lord is doing.

He has miracles in the works.

Certainly, the prayers and the "lessons learned" from this has blessed many. Whether He now has a mission for Ty here or in the life to come is specific to her, but the miracles in all of our lives will continue, here or there.

To say the least, to read the latest tells us more of your struggles as a family. We feel so very honored to be allowed to learn more of this most difficult struggle.

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Leisha Strasser said...

To Tyree dear family,
I could not tell you the sadness that I felt when I read the update this morning, but also the sense of relief and comfort to know that dear Tyree is no longer going to be in pain, and is in the fathers loving hands. I knew Tyree for a little less than a year, but I can honestly say that she has been one of my greatest friends. Thank you to the family for giving us the chance to say goodbye to her body, because thoses of us with the true gospel know that we need not say goodbye to the spirit, only farewell to meet again. I wish more than anything to be able to come down, but thought it best not to, not because I loved my dear friend any less than those who are going down, but because I want to remember her the way she was when she was here in my house smiling and laughing. I'm going to be going to the MAnti temple this saturday, and there when I'm in the celestial room is where I'll say my farewell, for there I'll be as close to heaven as possible on this earth. To Chris know that me and Robert will get to work on the garden when we return, so that you and Jocelyn may have something to enjoy that will remind you of Ty and how much she loved to grow things. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help in this difficult time.
Leisha Strasser

At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyree you are an amazing person with a great heart. I am thankful for my time that I spent with you as I was growing up. I am thankful for the family parties and the church activities, and the people you introduced me too.
What a blessing to have you in my life.

Alice Young

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Charlotte said...

Erika, Shiloh and Family,

Much like Richelle, these posts have been so reminiscent of four years ago with my dad. I check it every morning and feel the ebb and flow of emotion along with your words. Your strength of testimony and conviction of love for your family and especially for your dear Tyree are evident. I pray for you all and hope that Heavenly Father's love will be felt, even in the quiet moments.


At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are truly saddened to read of this news!! We were wondering if you have thought about setting up a fund at all for donations to be made for Chris to use towards medical expenses or traveling expenses and such. So many of us want to help and yet we live far away and feel completely helpless. Tyree is loved by so many. More then I believe she or Chris really even realize. You will continually be in our thoughts and prayers and know that everything is in the Lord's hands and that he knows all things.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:--
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our family is sadden by this post and our hearts go out to Chris, Tyler, and Jocelyn, and all the other members of Tyree's family at this time. Our prayers are still with you every minute of the day. Now is the time we all need to have renewed faith in our Heavenly Father and what he has in store for each and everyone of us. My daughter is one of the Young Women whom Tyree has blessed beyond words here in Cottonwood. She will never be forgotten nor what she has taught not only our daughter but our whole family in loving life and giving it your all. Our love to you all and thank you so much for keeping us all updated, we check this several times a day for news. I can only imagine how hard it has been to keep it up but thanks you again for it!


At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Dawn (Echols) Farr said...

I read yesterday's post this morning and I can't begin to describe the feelings I have about all that is going on. I feel like this is happening to someone in my immediate family and my heart breaks for Tyree's little family. I wish I could be there for you all right now and help US all to get through this. I don't understand why Heavenly Father has called her home at such a young age or why Jocelyn has to grow up without her Mommy. I will try to be patient and have faith that something good will come from all of this. I am grateful that Jocelyn has wonderful aunts and uncles who will tell her stories about her mother and keep Tyree's memory alive and here with us. I believe that Jocelyn has something very important to do here on this earth and that Ty's earthly mission was completed by bringing that special little girl into the world.

Tyree, eventhough its been an extremely long time since I have seen you, I will miss you terribly. Thank you for all you brought into this world and for the legacy you are leaving with us.

I have the greatest respect for the Johnson family and appreciate the time that I got to spend with you all after we moved into the 18th ward all of those years ago. Maybe we can all find some comfort in knowing that now there will be one more angel in heaven who is pulling for all of those people she loves so much.

I will keep you all in my and my family's prayers and I will to say my goodbyes on Saturday in the celestial room of the Salt Lake temple.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Brodie Foster Hubbard said...

I just found out about all of this today. I went to grade school, and I'm pretty sure junior high and high school, with Tyree. I don't know if she would have remembered me, but I only have good memories of her, and this makes me so sad. I am glad she has such a wonderful family, and that everyone is by her side now. All my love, thoughts, and prayers are with Tyree and you all.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Crossing of the Veil

I’ll miss you
I’ve missed you so
My heart is broken
My heart is full
I leave family and friends
I return to family and friends
We’re separated by such a thin veil
We’re together through the sealing power
You must carry on
I will carry on
As we lose our lives, we gain them again
Through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

There is the ever-present expectancy of death,
but in reality there is no death—no permanent parting.
-Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, August 1991

At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Laura Miessner said...

I've thought about Tyree so often over this past week and each time I always picture her in the church foyer smiling and laughing. If you need to find Tyree, follow the laughing. She radiates joy. I think one of the first days we met Chris and Tyree, they invited us over for dinner the same day. I said to my husband, "Do you think they know we have kids? Do you think they're invited too?" I thought that Chris and Tyree were trying to make friends with the "young marrieds" in the ward and we somehow fooled them into thinking that's what we were! Anyway, I soon found out that Tyree is a friend to EVERYONE - young, not so young, kids, no kids, none of that mattered! She was very kind to me when we lost a baby at birth and then sadly, not too long after, she lost a baby too. We really bonded at that time and I hope I was as good a friend to her as she was to me. I'm glad she's had this time near her family in AZ as I know this is where she wanted to be - she talked about her family often. I've never met most of you (I think I met her mom when she came to GA) but I want you to know that I'm sorry for what you're going through. You remain in my thoughts and prayers. I know you will be comforted because I know it was from you that Tyree got her faith and her testimony and your faith and testimony will help you endure. I like to think that maybe Jocelyn will have her mother's smile and laugh. Please tell Tyree I love her and give Chris a big hug from the Miessner's.

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How saddened we are to hear of your situation! We hope your grief will be balanced by the knowledge of how great an impact Tyree has made upon so many, and the wonder of what work the Lord has planned for her on the other side. Tyree did for me something I could not do myself...she forgave my shortcomings! Then she helped my teenager's testimonies to grow in a way that is outside parental influence! When my girls were sick of hearing about standards, dating, dressing modestly, etc. Tyree's dynamic energy made even these topics palatable...and they listened. I will be eternally grateful for this beautiful service and the lasting impression of her powerful testimony. On me and my girls. Much love to Chris and Jocelyn.
Shannon Bonham

At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Tyree so much I am sorry to here about her but am greatful that she will be able to see her Father in Heaven agian. She has been a great joy in my life, she is a wonderful person, leader, mother, wife, friend and advise giver. I will miss her terribly and she will always be in my heart. I will always charish the times I have had with her. She has made me into a better person just by the way she was and by her trust in God. I hope one day I will be able to be like her. I will always ask myself what would Tyree say to me, when I have a problem because she always knew the way to handle things and the best way to help others return to Christ. I love her tons and am greatful for all that she did while she was here on Earth.

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Steve & Evelyn Hibbert said...

To the Johnson Family and Miller Family,
We want you to know how much we grieve for all of you. Tyree is such a wonderful Spirit and she has blessed so many people and touched so many lives. May the Lord continue to comfort you and bless you with peace and understanding during this difficult time in your lives.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear this bad news. I am one of her AZ girls. I just moved here about 2 months ago. and she made me feel at home when I felt so lost.

Tyree I will never forget how you came all the way out to the car to see me to get to know me and to see if I wanted to go to that dance. I love you and will miss you more than ever VALERIE


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