Vickee Jenkins, the 14-year-old Freedom High student and cheerleader’s mother, reported via blog on Wednesday morning that Ally had a peaceful night after spending most of Tuesday in the operating room. Ally began breathing exercises this week to work her new lungs on Wednesday afternoon, and as soon as she’s ready, doctors hope to have her walking – something Ally hasn’t done in nearly month after being admitted to UCSF Medical Center on July 23.
Ally was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. The disease, which impacts blood flow from the heart to the lungs, has no cure and the only way for Ally to get well was to receive new lungs from a donor. Due to the severity of Ally’s condition, she was moved to the top of the transplant list, and when lungs became available on Monday, the organs were rushed to UCSF.
Details about the donor have not been released, but Vickee said in a journal entry that the lungs came from a 12-year-old girl. In his post-surgery posting, Jeff Jenkins thanked the donor’s family.
“Please join us in lifting the family of the donor up to God and ask our Lord to comfort them through this unbelievably difficult time,” he wrote. “I truly hope they will know that this incredibly selfless act has given an Angel new wings! Although we may never be able to express our humbled gratitude to this amazing family, I truly hope that they may receive comfort in the knowledge that they have given a gift that is truly a miracle!”
While the successful transplant surgery was the miracle the family has been waiting for, Ally’s biggest fight is still ahead of her as doctors monitor how her body and immune system react to the new organs. The risk of organ rejection remains a concern.
In the meantime, the community continues to do what it can to help the family. Last week, a fundraiser at Black Bear Diner raised more than $12,000 to go toward Ally’s medical expenses, and more fundraisers are on the way.
This Sunday, a bake sale fundraiser will be held at 14 Susie Court in Oakley. The Friends of Ally bake sale will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and all proceeds will go to Ally’s trust fund, which has been established through Bank of the West. For information about how to support with the bake sale by donating a food item, call Laura Osborn at 925-679-8051.
The following day, Monday, Aug. 24, a fundraiser will be held at Lumpy’s Diner in Antioch, where all proceeds from food sales will go toward Ally’s trust fund. Lumpy’s, located at 5891 Lone Tree Way, is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more details, call 925-778-5867.
In Brenwtood, Yogurt Pizazz, 3860 Balfour Road in Brentwood, will be donating 10 percent of its sales every Saturday in August to Ally’s trust fund. Yogurt Pizazz is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Donations may also be directly made to Ally’s trust fund at Bank of the West. The account number for the Ally Jenkins Trust Fund is 105155766. For more information, visit www.bankofthewest.com.
For the latest information on Ally’s recovery, visit her family’s blog at www.caringbridge.org/visit/allyjenkins, and visit thepress.net for more updates.