Breathing / Sleep Issues

We took Ashleigh to a Pulmonologist partly because of bronchial spasm attack she had and partly to see if they could suggest something that could increase her breath support when she tries to speak. He examined her and suggested she go in for a sleep study.

The results have been mixed. She does seem to sleep better and we see that her heart rate is lower while sleeping with the mask on. There have been some issues with the mask moving in the middle of the night but other than that she tolerates it pretty well.

Ashleigh did the sleep study and they found that she did indeed have moderate sleep apnea. We had to go back for another night in the UC sleep lab to have her fitted with the proper masks and equipment.

The bad news is that she has developed a respiratory infection that she can not seem to shake. The doctor thinks maybe she aspirated and he is trying to stop it before it develops into pnuemonia. Ashleigh had never aspirated in ten years and now we are wondering if the CPAP pushed the fluid into her lungs. We were told to stop the CPAP until the infection is stopped. We just had an X-ray done to look for pnuemonia. Hopefully, the infection will clear soon and then we will re-evalaute the CPAP.


  1. sarah griffith on September 27, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Thank you. You have brought me to tears (I've had a lifetime of them, but I thank you for sharing yours) and you have given us some hope.

  2. Lavila on November 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Hi, I have followed your blog for the past year, then on October 15, 2009 my 19 year old daughter was in a severe car accident, life flighted to the hospital and suffered 3 skull fractures among other injuries. She has TBI, however, not nearly as severe as Ashleigh's. However, the information I read on your blog helped me tremendously. We have elected laser treatment for Cassandra (GRT) to help with the recovery. A chiropractor locally is trained in it. So far her recovery has been great. I am not sure what to say but Thank you. Thank you for being brave for everyone. I had no idea I would need this information but I did. Please keep sharing, you have no idea who you are helping. God bless always. Linda Avila

  3. Lavila on November 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I am not sure if you received my comment. My daughter recently received a TBI, however I have been following Ashleigh's story for a year. Thank you for being brave. You have helped a complete stranger by your story. Cassandra is making progress and we are trying different therapies. GRT, laser is the one we are using now that seems to be helping the most. Thank you again for being brave and helping others. Linda Avila

  4. maria isabel on August 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Hi ,I´m from Chile ,South America. My older son Esteban suffered a severe brain injury from lack of oxigen in the brain, 6 years ago. He was in a vegetative state and now he is in a minimal concience state. doctors told us that he will never leave the traqueotomy and will never be able to have oral feed.As your family , we have him at home with all the cares, it´s a little bit easier for me, cause I´m a nurse but ,it has been so hard to all the family and we are still fighting Esteban is now 30 years old ,he can´t talk, we think he understand most of the things . I have an special comunication with him ,he looks at me with so much love that my heart yumps with joy.
    He is now eating normal and breathing by his own. When I read your story, it was like ours. We know that we will have to be strong always but every small progress is so big to all of us that keep us figthing every day with him.Send all our love to Ashleigh , and thanks for sharing your life with others. MARIA ISABEL DE LA CARRERA

  5. Cynthia on March 6, 2011 at 3:53 am

    What a wonderful blog! You folk have already touched many lives and fostered hope for others.
    I was an ER nurse for over 20 years. I did Mobile Intensive Care unit transfers to hospitals throughout Ohio and trained EMTs. I have walked with others through the dark places you have been.
    In 1994 I too had a TBI with a bicycle accident. They say without the helmet I would have died. The left side of my helmet was crushed by 50% and cracked all the way through.
    My healmet hit concrete. The impact damaged my speech center and I had difficulty speaking. I could not tolerate sudden movements I had vertigo (a spinning sensation) if cars went by when I was riding in the car. I remember going in with my husband to buy a gift at a mall. I started having sweating and feeling nauseated in a Sears store just from the bright colors, the noise and the people walking around in there….I nearly passed out.
    I could not recall simple things like the word refridgerator! I would say “that thing in the kitchen that keeps food cold”! I was able to recover more quickly because my injury was not as extensive as yours. It was still over a year before I felt I was starting to feel “normal” again. I was able to return to work as an RN slowly.
    There is a game called Simon challanges your brain on several levels. This “game” helped me recover my sequential thinking. Maybe it would be of benefit to you too.
    I had “lost” all math tables like addition and multiplication. The Dr asked me what 6 x 5 was and I asked if I knew that before I was hurt! He lauged (kindly) and said yes you did…
    I stuttered badly. Before my injury I had done radio and TV spots for our hospital. It was a long road back to where I was before the accident.
    If I am very tired or ill my speech rhythm slows down…others do not seem to notice but my husband and I can tell it is different.
    I thank God every day for the blessings I have been given. Some days we are the teachers..other days we are the students. I learned to be patient and worked hard to overcome the damage.
    You have clearly been working hard as well.
    Ashleigh you are a brave young lady. I admire your tenacity and spirit. Your parents are very special people to have fought so long and hard and lovingly for you
    May you continue to progress, and remember we never walk alone for He is always near your side.
    Best Wishes to you all.

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