Blythes

Blythe-family
 
Blythe-receive
 
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softball-team
Crossroads United Methodist Church Baseball Field
9315 E. Shelby Drive
Collierville, TN 38017

 
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
 
In 2001, just two months after 9/11, Ashley and a group of friends were driving to the Maryland shore for a weekend of fun when they decided to take a detour. A brother was being shipped overseas and they wanted to spend some time with him. It became late, yet they decided to head to their destination right away rather than wait until morning. Ashley got into the backseat and said she was going to sleep. Unfortunately, they all fell asleep, including the driver.
 
Cathi Johnson, Ashley’s mom, said she was ejected from the car when it flipped into a ditch. She was airlifted to the trauma center with severe head injuries. When she arrived she was told the daughter she knew was already gone and they weren’t sure if she would make it. In spite of heroic efforts, Ashley was declared brain dead on November 11, 2001.
 
Ashley was an athlete, a strong 17 year-old. Cathi and Ashley’s dad made the decision to donate her organs and tissue, something she later learned Ashley and her friends had talked about just a few weeks prior to the accident.
 
Her mom said: “I knew she would have made the same choice, saving or prolonging lives of numerous individuals. She helped so many – a seriously ill girl received her heart, two people are no longer on dialysis, there are those who can now see and burn victims whose skin is healed because of Ashley.”
 
“I often think of how she still lives on in the bodies of others, and their “re-birthday” must have meant a lot to family and friends. April is National Donate Life Month. Be an organ and tissue donor. Plan ahead.”
 
She and her husband made a donation to CrossRoads UMC after Ashley’s death so the ball field could be upgraded and the bleachers installed. Ashley played softball for Germantown High School and competitively during the summers. Cathi felt the church’s field provides a lasting memory of her for friends and family.
 
Her mom Cathi continued: “I am grateful to the coaches who helped Ashley become the wonderful girl, teenager and young woman she was. They taught her about being a team player, working with others, accepting differences in others, respect for leadership, being gracious at both a win and a lost, and how to have a whole lot of fun! Although she didn’t get the opportunity, she had wanted to play on the Olympic team one day. Her coaches would have been the ones to help her get there. I have great respect for all coaches do to help guide children to be strong adults.”
 
Pastor Birgitte French of CrossRoads United Methodist Church of Collierville said: “It’s a beautiful thing to honor Ashley’s legacy this way. We are glad that someone wants to use our softball field. We are thrilled how they’re taking care of it. We are so humbled by their gesture. It goes to how that when you give something to someone you get it back tenfold.
 
Fact: There are currently more than 123,262 individuals on the national waiting list for an organ transplant. Sadly, 18 people will die every day waiting. To save lives, register as an organ and tissue donor when you get or renew your driver’s license, permit or state I.D. or visit www.midsouthtransplant.org.
 
The Mid-South Transplant Foundation is the not-for-profit, federally designated Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) serving the 150-mile radius that surrounds the Memphis area including parts of western Tennessee, northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. www.midsouthtransplant.org