The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, April 02, 2010

‘Don’t take the simple things for granted’ Ashley improving, gets to go home

By The Building Tradesman

This has been a horrible year for Ashley Yost, but it’s starting to turn the corner.

The Plumbers, Steamfitters and HVACR Service Technicians Local 85 apprentice was critically injured in a Jan. 17 accident, when she was struck by a car on an icy road after she left her own vehicle, which had slid into a ditch.

Ashley suffered two breaks in her neck and five breaks in her back, and lost a tremendous amount of blood. Her grave condition was gradually upgraded in the weeks following the accident during her treatment at U-M Hospital in Ann Arbor.

In the days after the accident, Ashley’s fellow apprentices donated 78 units of blood in a show of support for her. Her grandfather, Local 85 retiree George Yost, expressed amazement at the outpouring of support – as well as Ashley’s great spirit and positive attitude.  She is fourth generation Local 85 member, preceded by her dad, Scott, grandfather George, and great-grandfather, Carl.

On Feb. 17, Ashley penned a letter, which we included below. George reports that Ashley is now home, but is receiving 24-hour care and faces future operations. “I’m amazed at her recovery, she’s doing really well,” George said.

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would like you all to know that I am doing much better every day. Your prayers and constant thoughts are more motivating than you can imagine.

Today (Feb. 17) is one month exactly since my accident and the doctors and nurses cannot believe how quickly I am healing. I am still in the ICU at U of M but yesterday I used a walker and walked 40 feet! What an amazing feeling. Everything is a learning experience, especially with this halo and back brace. But I am completely motivated and all I can say is, “bring it on, I want to go home!”

There has been talk of moving me upstairs to rehab soon so that I can regain my gross motor skills, like walking and upper body strength. I can’t wait to be out of this bed and moving around.

I haven’t been able to officially thank my fellow apprentices for the amazing deed they have done. So here it is. To everyone who donated blood on my behalf, you are amazing. When I heard about what you had done and read the articles, I was in tears. Because of what you have done, someone else will be given a second chance at life like I have. So again, thank you.

I think about you all daily and can’t wait to be back. Along with your continuing prayers I have only one request of all of you. Don’t take the simple things for granted. Tell your families that you love them and be thankful for everything you have every day. You never know how quickly they could all be taken away from you.

Thanks again for all of your cards and support. Everything is greatly appreciated and I hope to see you all soon!”

Fraternally yours,

Ashley Yost

LOCAL 85 APPRENTICES helped replenish the Tri-County area blood supply in January, in an effort to support fellow apprentice Ashley Yost. Ashley needed 24 transfusions after her accident. She’s shown at U-M Hospital in Ann Arbor with Local 85 apprentices (l-r) Joshua Kloha, Brett Ritcey, Barry Smith, Jeffery Lockwood, Dylan Klein, Brent Gross and Doug Kraenzlein.