As many of you know, my cousin Emily Powell was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor when she was just a little girl. Luckily at the time, she had the best neurosurgeon in the country working with her, Dr Ben Carson, who saved her life and treated Emily surgically and conservatively for over a decade after.
Through her life, she has overcome many medical obstacles without ever allowing it to test her faith. She somehow smiled and remained positive through every brain surgery, as well as many other corrective surgeries that resulted from where the original tumor was. I’m sure that I can speak for everyone who knows her and say that she is one of the strongest girls we have ever met, and an inspiration to so many.
On Friday February 23rd, Emily underwent a shunt revision procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. The shunt was placed in her brain years ago, and is a device that helps relieve the pressure from the brain caused by a build up of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) helping it to flow more freely.
During the procedure, she developed a significant brain bleed which was followed by a number of other serious complications, prompting the surgeons to place her on life support, insert drains into her brain, and place her in a medically induced coma for several days. She spiked a post op fever, encountered seizures, and had an abnormally high intracranial pressure, among many other concerns.
In the last twelve days, she has needed a couple of emergency surgeries. First, to place an additional drain into her brain to help relieve the build up of blood as it wasn’t draining as quickly as they would have liked it to. Second, to insert a filter above a blood clot that had formed in her leg, preventing the clot from traveling to her heart in the event that it burst. She will undergo a third procedure later this week to for a g-tube and a tracheostomy.
In the last few days, she has been opening her eyes and attempting to focus on those speaking to her, however, has been relatively unresponsive otherwise thus far.
Emily has an incredibly long road ahead of her. Recovery could take weeks, months, and only time can tell how much she will progress from here. She will need extensive long term care and therapy once released from ICU, as well as help with the medical costs that are currently accruing as she is at Hopkins. Her parents, John and Susie, have been by her side every step of the way, as well as her brother Josh and his fiancé Kari. She has had so many loved ones visiting her and sending her cards, pictures, drawings, and balloons (THANK YOU all for that!!!)
As you can imagine, John and Susie have been unable to work during this time as their primary focus is on Emily’s recovery.
The Powell Family could use every bit of help that they can possibly get right now. Whether that be $1, $5, sharing this campaign, or sending positive thoughts and prayers.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to meet or know Emily, there’s no doubt that she has touched your heart or impacted your life in some way. Her story alone will strengthen your faith in God, and leave you in awe of how amazing she truly is. She has the purest heart, the most optimistic attitude, an incredible amount of faith, and a true talent for photography among many other things. She went into surgery confident and strong, and although she never imagined this surgery would result in so many complications, her strength and faith in God will carry her through these next few months.
The family appreciates everything that everyone has done. The calls, texts, prayers, and meal train. Words cannot express the gratitude that we have for you all, caring so much about our sweet Emily.
The Family of Emily Powell❤️
- Leah Ritchie
- Cara Spinks
- Kerry Jellick
- Deborah Wood Ballard
- Deborah Wood Ballard
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more