Patti's Village Fund

On 8/21/18, Patti/Trish Johnston was involved in a near-head on 3-car collision and tragically passed away after a brief hospital stay.  The portion of road she was driving on had no center median and her car endured the full impact of 2 cars traveling in the opposite direction. Patti left behind a radiant piece of herself, Julian, who is entering high school this year. Patti was a kick a** single mom, raising Julian on her own and no matter what happened in her life, she did everything in her power to make sure he was cared for. She assembled a village for herself and for Julian. Julian will continue to be deeply cared for by the many people who loved him and his mother. 

Anyone who knows Patti knew that she lived a full life. She came into all of our lives for a reason and was especially gifted at being a supportive friend, a listening ear and providing validation to anyone that doubted themselves. She was often bursting with energy and rarely stood still; she was a social hub for many different groups of people. She brought people together. She had a huge sense of adventure, always traveling and bringing the people she loves along for the ride. She adored music and supported an immeasurable number of artists. She worked in restaurants since she was 14 years old (almost 20 years), learning all facets of an industry that became her passion. Recently, wanting to provide a good example for her son as well as follow a dream of her own, Patti pursued and obtained a degree in culinary arts/hospitality management. She performed her job in an awe-inspiring way. Her shoes are impossible to fill.

In her honor, please consider contributing to the ongoing care of  son, who now has no active parent in his life. Julian's Godmother, Karen Kester, carries the #1 priority of giving Julian the very best chance at having wonderful life experiences!!! She is very capable but will continue to need a village of supporters for Julian. It is Karen's (my) hope that Julian will receive even more access to healthy/comfort foods (his growing appetite will soon be that of 3 grown men), proper clothing and school supplies, items to make his new room more homely, after school activities, regular haircuts to help his self esteem, eventually a used car to learn to drive, field trips and vacations, current technology, music and arts, sporting events, and so many other things that are necessary to create a well-rounded individual. 

Julian has a long, difficult journey ahead and we hope to provide everything that Patti would have wanted for him and more. We need resources and funds to succeed in this task of raising a healthy teenager! Not having the stress of bearing this burden alone, will help me be able to be there for him even more. Even if you are unable to donate money, please consider spending time with Julian, offering rides, including him on experiences and just generally helping him year-round. Please join Patti's Village and consider lending a hand in this monumental task. 

It's my goal to provide updates on how he is doing and how the money is being used!


For anyone interested in a few more details on Patti's untimely death:

Patti was involved in an auto collision on August 21, 2018. It was approximately 8 mins from time of medical dispatch to Patti being rushed to UMD Shock Trauma on a ventilator. We are forever grateful for the quick response as it allowed us time to say goodbye as well as gave Patti a chance to fulfill an 18 year commitment of being an organ donor. 

Upon arrival at the hospital, it was discovered that Patti had sustained life-threatening injuries, centering around severe head trauma, along with multiple fractures in her neck with possible spinal cord damage. Though she received extraordinary care from medical staff, Patti remained unconscious for the remainder of her heartbeats. On August 23, 2018, it was determined her brain activity had stopped entirely and Patti was officially declared deceased. Even after "death," we remained by her side to see her wish of organ donation fulfilled; she was never alone. Patti was able to donate both kidneys which should allow 2 people to live without dialysis. Sadly, no other organs or tissue were able to be donated due to her condition.


Patti loved the connection of numbers, so we wanted to share a few with you: her time of accident was 4:36pm, time of death was 4:34pm and the time she entered the OR was 4:36am. Both of her kidneys went to 38 year olds, 1 male and 1 female. We wish them a lives full of adventure. Her hospital room # was 420 =). We planned her organ donor flag ceremony for 4:20pm, ran late and ended up starting at 4:36pm. Her son was born 04/04/04.

Our hearts are broken and lives forever changed. The world is a bit dimmer without Patti's radiance. We've found peace in knowing we fought hard for her wishes and rights, which thankfully were written down.


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Karen Kester 
Laurel, MD

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