GoFundMe supports ‘one last vacation’ for former Decorah woman

Abby Theisen, formerly of Decorah, suffered a spinal cord injury in a 2010 car accident when she was just 16 years old. Though ridden with medical issues and other challenges, Theisen became an artist and brightens the world with her work. (submitted photo)

Abby Theisen, originally of Decorah, now living in Rockland, Wis., was severely injured in a car accident on May 8, 2010. She was a vibrant 16-year-old hanging out with her friends. In the blink of an eye, the car went out of control. Theisen suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the shoulders down. She became an artist in the last few years, painting with adaptive brushes and brightening the world with her pieces.

Suffering years of medical issues, Theisen is now on hospice care. Her aunt, Annette Boelk of Farley, started a GoFundMe page to raise money to get Theisen one last vacation. Boelk stated, “I would very much like to put that beautiful smile on her face if only for a short time. Abby and her family are not able to put funds together to have a vacation. I would love to be able to send her to Florida to see the beach, and maybe a day or two to see Mickey Mouse. Please consider helping Abby take a family vacation that she has never been able to take.”

Theisen herself stated, “This is by far the hardest post I’ve ever had to make. I have been open about my journey with pneumonia, respiratory failure, being ventilated, being trached and getting liberated from the ventilator. For the past several years I have been dealing with wounds and pressure sores. I am currently dealing with an infection that involves an abscess and a bone infection. Unfortunately, the bone infection cannot be cured with antibiotics alone and I’m not a candidate for surgery. With that being said, I will be going home with palliative care and hospice. The doctors are unable to give me a timeline on how long I have left. It could be a few weeks or a year. I’m devastated, heartbroken and scared. Despite these emotions, I’m determined to spend what time I have left doing the things I enjoy with the people I love.”

Currently the page has raised $9,010 of $10,000 goal, which will be used to fulfill Theisen’s bucket list as is possible. For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-abby-take-a-once-in-a-lifetime-vacation.


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