Ashley Thwaites


"When Ashley was very young, about 1 1/2 years old, we found out something was not right with her. Ashley kept getting recurring high fevers and kidney infections. We found out that Ashley had two ureters from her kidney to her bladder. We would later come to find out this was called kidney reflux. The urine would go from the kidney to the bladder and return via the other track back to her kidney causing an infection. We also found out that this defect is a genetic anomaly associated with red haired female children. Ashley’s doctor hoped that as she grew, the ureters would grow longer and stop backing up. The first couple of years there was improvement with Ashley taking a daily prophylactic antibiotic to prevent infection, but then things stopped improving, so surgery was recommended. Each year there was an invasive procedure done where they’d shoot water into her bladder completely filling it up to test the functioning of her bladder and kidneys while Ashley was awake. This used to be painful and quite frightening for her. After the last test when Ashley was five, she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said “Daddy, please don’t let them do that again!” As a father, that’s all I needed to hear, and without things improving, we decided to have the surgery. The surgery was done the summer after kindergarten. The recovery in Scottish Rite was about two weeks time. The thing I remember most about her time at Scottish Rite, is that after her surgery I took her down to the playground in a wheel chair. The playground was in the center of the building outside and surrounded by rooms. The playground was eerily quiet! No one else was there, only Ashley and I. She desperately wanted to go down the monkey bars, but was unable to because of the surgery. I wheeled her under the bars and told her to put her hands up, and we pretended to have her moving down the bars. It was a moment I’ll never forget, she and I bonding as one and figuring out a way to give her what she wanted and was able to do with her surgery. I also remember how amazing the staff at the hospital was—always there with a comforting word or smile, making us feel that everything was going to be fine. Due to the surgery and God’s healing, Ashley has made a full recovery and has no restrictions or limitations with her health."