She Graced Us All…

By PawPaw Mark:

Today is the day we hoped and prayed would never come.

Today, baby girl Audrey Claire Leslie lost her valiant battle against too many physical challenges. She fought a good fight, no…a great fight, but just couldn’t win this last battle. She is resting in the arms of Lord Jesus and is free from the pain and suffering she endured for most of the 81 days she graced this earth. No more tubes, no more IV’s, no more surgeries, chest tubes, PICC lines, G-tubes, endotracheal tubes, infusion catheters, medications, monitors, pulse ox alarms, etc., etc., etc.

Friday evening, Audrey’s condition rapidly declined, she actually had a “code blue” and a swarm of nurses, doctors, PA’s, nurse practitioners, and respiratory therapists descended on room 7110A and literally plucked her from the edge. Throughout the evening and night, assessment and reassessment by her cardiac surgeon and the chief of pediatric cardiology reached the gut wrenching conclusion that the veins in her tiny lungs could no longer sustain her fragile life and that no medication or surgery could save little Audrey’s life. Even maximum ventilator and oxygen support could not overcome her lung condition.

She is happy to be made whole. We are happy for her. We are sad for all of us who already miss her more than can be comprehended. We deeply mourn an amazing little lady who stole our hearts, captured our attention, and taught us much about love without ever uttering a word. This broken world is a much better place because Audrey Claire graced us with her precious life.

She fell into His arms at 2:27 pm today, August 16th at the tender age of 81 days. She left this world in the loving tender arms of two amazing parents who chose to give her life and to love her deeply and love her well. They are an inspiration with the strength and endless determination to be sure she had every chance with all the medical care, love, and prayer to overcome her many issues. They taught us all much about the power of the love of parents.

In the final hours of Audrey’s shortened life, Chris and Rachel were surrounded by big brother Cooper (Spiderman) and the usual masses of family and friends who shared in the continuous stream of tears as well as a tender loving team of caregivers at Children’s Medical Center in Oklahoma City. In time, all will be acknowledged for their compassionate care of baby Audrey. May God Bless each of them for doing an impossible job so very well.

A memorial service is in the planning and will be announced when set. The usual author of The Story of Audrey will write when she can. She is eternally grateful to all who have loved and supported her family and baby Audrey over the past months.

God IS Good. We praise Him for the life of Audrey Claire Leslie and give thanks that His promises are true.

PawPaw Mark

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50 thoughts on “She Graced Us All…

  1. Sending so many thoughts and prayers. There are no words to say during heartbreak, but I pray for peace and comfort for all of those who Audrey touched with her precious life and her contagious smiles. Thank you for showing us all what faith, love and strength look like. Love, Laura and family

  2. My heart breaks for all of you. God loves her so much and needed her to be with him happy and whole. He loves all of you and knows how much Audrey is rooted in your hearts. He is the only one to carry you through this. Lean on His love, strength and understanding. Lakeside know that I am only a call away and will be in prayer for your entire family

  3. Dearest Chris, Rachel and Cooper,
    I am SO enormously sorry for the loss of your precious daughter and sister. I am praying for your hearts and your strength, and that you feel God wrapping his loving arms around you, today and always. May you find peace in the hope of eternal life and know that one day, your precious girl will be back in your arms when you meet in heaven.
    Love and Hugs, Katie

  4. Audrey thank you for teaching me to appreciate what today is and not worry so much about tomorrow. You have given so many people such a wonderful perspective and shown us all what a true fighter is. Before you were born your Mom said she hopes you live long enough to meet her and that is what makes your days here on earth so bitter sweet. I am happy your at peace and free of pain but my heart aches for your Mommy and Daddy. We love you Leslie family! You whole family of four is a true inspiration.

  5. Rachel and Christopher and Copper!
    I have had you in my heart and thoughts everyday! Miss Bunny, was a strong fighter! She will always be with you and your families! Rest in Peace, little girl! All my prayers and love! Marcia

  6. You have been in my thoughts and prayers every day. I am so sorry for your loss. May God surround you with His arms of love and strength and protection. I know that you will draw comfort in your faith in HIm.
    Beckie Rogers

  7. I do not even know what to write, except that Audrey’s story will always be close to my heart. The strength and courage that you and Chris have had during this time, I only hope that I would have the same. Thank you for your unconditional love and determination that you have shared with us all.

  8. I am saying prayers for you tonight and everyday after. No words can describe the pain you must feel. May the Lord guide you, protect you, and give you strength for the coming days and after. Prayers for your little boy that one day he will understand. Your strength amazed me over the 81 days… Saying many prayers!

  9. All of our prayers are with you . Audrey amazed us in so many ways and taught us many things. She is resting now . She knows how much love everybody feels for. Rest in peace little Audrey . Jacquie and Antoinette

  10. Love prayers and heart felt condolences to you all. We just arrived back from vacation to this news and have been following so diligently. May The Lord hold you during this time. Love you all xxxx

  11. Dear friends, Joe Bob and I are thinking of you on the loss of your precious Audrey. Thank you for sharing her life with us–what a blessing and a privilege to read about and pray for your family. May God comfort you, your families, and the multitude of angels who worked with Audrey and who were there for you during Audrey’s earthly life. Prayers will continue!!

  12. Chris, Rachel, and Cooper may The Lord’s perfect peace be resting upon you tangibly tonight and the days ahead. Thank you for being such a wonderful family and showing us all what strength, perseverance, and trust looks like. God bless you in this time. Joyful days are ahead as Audrey lives in eternal wholeness with her Creator.

  13. Sending our love and prayers to you and your family! Audrey fought a very courageous battle. May god bless each one of you during this most difficult time. Love you!

  14. MAY OUR LOVING GOD SHOWER AND COVER YOU WITH HIS COMFORT, HIS PEACE, HIS UNDERSTANDING, HIS LOVE, HIS GRACE, AND HIS MERCY DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME AND THE DAYS TO COME. YES, HE IS GOOD! HE WILL TAKE CARE OF EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU AND GIVE YOU EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED.
    I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL THAT I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW THIS JOURNEY WITH YOUR PRECIOUS AUDREY. SHE WAS AND WILL ALWAYS BE AN AMAZING SHINING LIGHT THAT I WILL CARRY IN MY HEART FOREVER!
    THANK YOU FOR TRUSTING AND LOVING OUR GOD THE WAY YOU DO!
    MAY HE BLESS YOU, KEEP YOU, AND GIVE YOU PEACE.

  15. She was so loved. What a fighter that little Audrey bunny. She was so beautiful with all of her tubes off. We are grieving with you but celebrating her new life in heaven. Love you all so much.

  16. It is with a broken heart that i humbly write that I am in awe of this amazing baby girl and her incredibly faithful family. What a gift you have shared with us. Thank you. “Heaven is For Real,” sweet baby.

  17. Words truly can’t express my deepest sympathy. My heart breaks for you guys! I have been one of the many prayer warriors since Dr. Leslie told me about precious Audrey. I will continue to pray for God’s grace, peace and love on you all. I know Jesus is holding her tight in His arms. Oh how I have learned so much from Audrey bunny. Thank you for sharing this journey.

  18. To Audrey,
    Baby girl. Some say that people come and people go…. I can promise that you came and you stayed. Maybe not your body, but your fight. It will live on in the lives and days of all of us that came to be inspired by you. For your fight I will hold my love less closed, I will share my heart more open, I will cherish what you fought so hard for…. Time. I know that it’s not fair for you to be gone away from all of the wonderful people that you met and felt in 81 days, but know this angel….. You touched and changed more lives in 81 days than I have in 30 years! I mourn your loss, but I rejoice in your work sweet baby…. Rest well in his arms

  19. I am certain I will never have the words to adequately thank you for sharing sweet Audrey’s life with all of us. She is so loved by so many and we are all grieving with you. Prayers that His peace will bring you comfort.

  20. Rachel and Family,
    I just came across ur blog for the first time and read it top to bottom. You guys are incredible, inspiring, and did everything right. I’m so glad u were able to spend time with her and show her love. You are in our prayers.

  21. All of my prayers for you all…. God Bless you all and keep you….. May HE give you Peace that surpasses human understanding….. So Sorry for your loss…..

  22. We all are feeling your loss and our hearts are so sad! We are praying for but knowing God has all of you wrapped up in his tender care. Thank you for allowing us to witness an 81 day miracle.

  23. I woke up this morning knowing I needed to check on Aurdrey. My heart is broken for you. I hope peace, calm and hope finds you and your family.

  24. As I sit here with tears in my eyes, I can only imagine the pain and sorrow. Audrey touched so many lives with her short life and long, hard fight. Know that you are all loved and you have our prayers.

  25. I am so sorry for your loss. I want you to know that Audrey and you have touched my life in ways I could not begin to imagine. Audrey’s and your family’s courage in the face of such tremendous adversity is an inspiration to all. May God bless each and every one of you.

  26. There are no words that can express my sorrow, you are all heavy on my heart and in my prayers. Our Lord loves your beautiful Audrey so much that he knew it was time for her to come home to him and be full with no more suffering. Your little miracle will always be a part of you forever, and she is now your angel. I wish I could have met her. Love Always.

  27. Dear Leslie Family,

    Precious Audrey’s life mattered because God uniquely designed her. In Psalm 139 the Bible says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb .… Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:13, 16 NIV).

    God made Audrey unique because He had a unique plan for her life. He personally oversaw her creation because He had something for her to do that only she could do. Audrey’s parents may not have planned her, but God did.

    God set her apart for a special use. How do we know this?

    • God planned her life before she was born. God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God had a purpose for Audrey’s life before she took her first breath. God thought of her before her parents conceived her. God said, “I’m going to use these parents. I’m going to use them because I want to bless the world through this man.”

    • God made Audrey for His pleasure. Revelation 4:11 says, “For you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Look around at the universe. God made everything you see for his own enjoyment. God made Audrey to enjoy her. It’s why she was created.

    Audrey’s precious, short life was not an accident. She had great value and purpose because she was designed in God’s image, He planned her life before she was born, and she was made for His pleasure.

    God will see you through sweet family… and you will be better and forever changed for Him allowing Audrey to make a difference in you as her parents. In your family and friends as they watched you depend on Him and His promises and your witness to Him throughout your lives will glorify Him and bless so many that you know, will come to know and may never know.

    In Him,

    Debra Shadid

  28. Thank you so very much for sharing your journey with audrey. She is beautiful and her life is a precious gift. Your words have been so eloquent and have portrayed the journey so well. And I know that the journey is not over- it is just a different chapter. For that, our family prays grace and peace over you all. May His word be like a spring rain to you all as you in many ways take a deep breath for the first time in a couple of months.
    Grace and peace to your whole family.
    Love, Amanda Williams (friends with debbie, and momma to our own NICU babe at children’s mercy in Kansas City.)

  29. To say “I am so sorry” hardly seems to express the unspeakable sorrow I feel for all of you! Praying for comfort for your family!

    • Rachel and Chris, We are hurting with you. I became physically ill when I heard the news from Mom and Dad. Chris, as my brother, Audrey feels so deeply connected to me through our blood ties so I ache deeply to know she is no longer with us fighting on Earth, but she has imprinted so many hearts that the impact of her life is so very powerful and she was given to you and Rachel to be just that. Donovan and I love you both and Cooper with all of our heart.

  30. Rachel, Chris, and Cooper-

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you from Germany. Jason kept us posted on Audrey’s fight as well as following the blog. What a warrior. We are so sorry for your loss and happy you had the time with her that you did.

    All Our Love-

    The Jacos

  31. I know so well that there are no words at a time like this. It has been such a long fight. Such a strong little spirit. My prayers are with all of you at this difficult time. The only peace is knowing she is in the arms of Jesus and all of us will soon be with her. Love and hugs, Thelma

  32. Pingback: “Be still…” « The Tru Story

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