In Memory of Karen Buchanan

33726726_1539822736385670_r.jpegOn 10/14/18, our family suffered an unexpected tragedy when we lost our beloved Karen.  She was a mother, grandmother, daughter, sister and the love of my brother's life.

On 9/28/18, Karen had just finished joking around with her employers on the ranch where she worked, when she walked into the next room and suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm.  Karen was flown from their home in Montana to the closest Level 1 trauma center which is in Salt Lake City.  My brother, her husband Steve, drove the 470 miles that night to be by her side.  The doctors were honest with all of us from the start that Karen faced a long road ahead with many possible life-threatening complications.  Testing showed that Karen had also suffered several strokes on both sides of her brain.  Doctors performed an angioplasty to try to fill the aneurysm and prevent further damage.  

The next two weeks were filled with moments of hope - although Karen was not waking up on her own and was not responding to verbal cues, she was responding to pain stimulus and would occasionally open her eyes.  When she did develop complications, she seemed to respond well to the treatments she was given. 

Throughout those two weeks, various family members flew to Salt Lake from all over the country to support Karen and Steve.  As Karen developed more complications, the doctors tried different approaches to keep her vessels from shutting down and keep the pressure in her brain down.  

Karen fought hard like the strong, determined, fearless woman you all know her to be.  Ultimately, she was not able to overcome the massive trauma that the aneurysm and strokes had created in her brain.  She passed away on Sunday Oct. 14th.  She was 55 years old.

Karen was such a loving, fun, kind and feisty person.  The kind of person that asked my brother for her very own chainsaw for her birthday so she wouldn’t have to borrow his!  Per her kind and generous nature, she had elected to donate her organs to others so that she may help other families avoid the pain and loss that our family feels now.  It is a comfort to know that part of her spirit will live on through the people that her donation will help.

To me, Karen was a wonderful sister-in-law who changed my brother’s life. She saw past his gruff exterior and saw the sweet, loving heart he tries so hard to hide sometimes. She opened his heart to love and he is a better person for having shared so many years with her.  She was the rock of their marriage, the light of his life and will be missed by so many.

Steve and Karen always had far more love than money.  I am asking for any help that you can offer my brother to ease the burden of the funeral and medical expenses that he will be facing as he deals with this tragedy. While thankfully, they do have medical insurance, we know that it will not cover all the medical costs of 2 weeks in the ICU.  

All funds will go directly to Steve.  Any help you can offer no matter what amount will be so appreciated!  Thank you!


2) SHARE on social media – if you feel comfortable doing so, please share this page with your friends and family
3) EMAIL this page - - to your family + friends

  • Jerilyn Kirihara  
    • $25 
    • 35 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $300 
    • 35 mos
  • Tom and Lorie McGuane 
    • $5,000 
    • 35 mos
  • Paula Curtin 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
  • Cory/Leanna Tronrud 
    • $350 
    • 35 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Laura Buchanan 
Big Timber, MT
Stephen Buchanan 
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    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