Monday, June 2, 2008

Tragic News

I had gathered a bunch of pictures and information for our next blog and was ready to post it when I was met with an email this morning stating that Kate, the 19-year-old daughter of my college friend, September (Voss) Vaudrey, had been killed in a tragic car accident. This news sucked the breath out of me. I spent the rest of the day crying and calling out to God on behalf of my friend and her family. I have never met Kate, but I have read about her vivacious personality and her incredible artistic talents and love for our Lord in the Christmas letter I receive annually from the Vaudreys.

It literally made me physically sick as I imagined what this precious Christian family must be going through. Only a few days ago we had received from them a 50 pound care package loaded with “junk food” (our kids were ecstatic!) and toiletry items such as deodorant, shampoo, and lotion (I was thrilled!), sent in a HUGE duffel bag and delivered by an Azusa Pacific University missions team as it was passing through Guam on their way to work in Yap. Kate and her sister, students at APU, kindly made the logistical arrangements to get us the care package. As I look at the junk food overflowing the duffel bag, and I remember the joy our family experienced in getting such a fun care package and the fun we are having eating our daily rationed snack, it is unimaginable to think of the depth of loss this family is facing.

There are no trite words or platitudes for this situation. And so, I cry out to God on behalf of my friend and her family, that our God of all comfort and the Father of compassion will hold this family in His gentle arms (2 Corinthians 1:3).

I've attached their latest update as a testimony of their on-going faith, and also to solicit your prayers on their behalf.

Kate Vaudrey Update: Monday, 2:18 am

Dear Friends and Family,

Katherine Rachael Vaudrey died this morning. Her heart beat its last as it was removed by the transplant team.

I have always suspected that there could be no worse loss than that of losing a child. Thus far, the pain of losing Kate is every bit as awful as I would have anticipated.

The rest of our kids-- Matt, his wife Andrea, Bethany, Sam, and September were with September and I this evening as we all said goodbye to Kate before they wheeled her away to the OR. The unity and pride of my family leaves me with a level of gratitude that nearly matches my level of grief.

Kate brought life to every room she entered. Tonight, she has brought life into the bodies of several dying people. As I type this note, a patient at Northwestern Community hospital is being prepped to receive Kate's liver, it will save his life.

Also as I type, they are prepping a patient at another facility that will receive Kate's pancreas and one of her kidneys. This will likely save his life.

And finally, as I type this note, there is a 26 year old woman getting her hopelessly diseased lungs removed at Loyola University. Yesterday she was told that she had less than 24 hours to live, unless they find an organ donor match. When she wakes up later this morning, she will be breathing with Kate's lungs. It will save her life.

Countless numbers of you have sent texts, emails, cards, food, etc.... Thank you! We have not had the time or emotional space to respond to any yet. But please note that we appreciate every one of them.

I believe that September, the kids and I are in a good place. We are overwhelmed with sadness and loss. But as we think through the other alternative ways this scenario could have played out, we are feeling a renewed appreciation of God's love, provision and sovereignty.

At this stage we are anticipating a reception and a memorial service this coming Friday and Saturday at Willow Creek Community Church. We will send you details once they are known. We would be honored if you would join us.

We so appreciate you!
Scott and September


Anonymous said...

We were traveling the same route on our way to a soccer game at West Dundee, must not too far behind Katie. We slowed to the accident scene to make way for the emergency response vehicles. Several travellers have stopped to assist at the scene. The accident had saddened and haunted us. I've prayed silently, but we didn't stop. I did not know it was Katie until yesterday, and I felt horrible, just horrible.

Katie was a diligent, loving, and delightful small group leader in our Elevate Youth Ministry for two years. She is soft spoken and always wears a big smile. Her love for God and willingness to serve at her age humbles me. I am privileged to know her.

Dear Scott and September, Thank you for sharing the story. It's really uplifting for what you've done under the circumstance. Your response reflects God's Grace and is something I can learn much from. You've raised Katie well. I am very sorry for your loss. I will miss her. Our prayers will be with you.

Cynthia Clement

guitarist.always said...

i didn't know kate, but i'm an APU student. i just found out about it right now. i'm shocked. i offer my condolences.

Anonymous said...

How tragic is the loss of someone so young, beautiful and vibrant. We will never understand why God chose to take this young woman home but we do know that, in his plan, he will use it for his glory. Katie sounded like such a treasure and I can't imagine the loss the family is feeling. My prayers are with them as they grieve. It is very touching to see how this family is handling their praise to God and knowing that he is sovereign. I pray that Katie's death will help others to recognize the brevity of life and their need of a Savior.


guitarist.always said...

I made a tribute video for Kate with some music that I played in the background: