ATV Accident Almost Takes Life

Ashley App was a typical teen active in 4-H, showing animals at the Kern County Fair, and participating in horse shows all over Kern County. She attended North High School where she was an honor roll student, played softball, and was Future Farmers of America President her senior year.  She was also a member of the High School Motorsports Team, reportedly able to do anything the young men could do, sometimes better. She attended Taft College, graduating with her AA and AS degrees in 2008.  She planned to return to school to become a dental hygienist, but a tragic accident almost took her life in 2009.

Originally just a pleasure rider on ATVs, Ashley began racing competitively at the Taft Arena Cross Competitions, and had been doing so for 4 years. She had her first accident there in 2008. She was flown  to Kern Medical, with a broken collar bone, lung contusions and a concussion. She was back to work in a week.  A little over a month later, the last of the series races was coming up, and Ashley convinced everyone she would ride her quad just to finish, not to compete, so she could keep her points and potentially come away with the Quad C class champion, which she did.

Ashley then began racing all over California, and she just loved it. Unfortunately, Ashley wrecked April 1, 2009 while practicing at a local track, and this time she was not so lucky. Ashley’s quad flipped, throwing her to the ground with her quad coming down front bumper first on her head. The impact split her helmet in two. Once again Ashley was airlifted to KMC, this time with traumatic head injuries. Truly, her life was on the line and her chance of survival slim, but survive she did.

Ashley was in a coma for more than two weeks at Kern Medical, and eventually transferred to Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital where she stayed for 15 days. When she arrived, she couldn’t walk or talk. One half of her hair was shaved off to insert a bolt to measure swelling inside her head. She came home with a tracheotomy and her mouth wired shut.
Thanks to excellent medical care, the support of a caring family and friends, and blood products that were on the shelf when needed, Ashley made a full recovery. She was back on a horse about 5 months after her wreck.
One year after the accident,  Ashley wanted to visit everyone who was involved with saving her life. She visited the fire-station that responded, the Hall Ambulance Medevac crew, the Highway Patrol, and Kern Medical staff to thank them for their efforts.
Ashley is now married to Matt McConn, and the mother of Zane and Kimber. She, and her whole family, including her mother Lori Jauch who is our May Donor of the Month, are very grateful to blood donors for being there for Ashley in 2009. Ashley says: “It’s very important to donate! I had never donated prior to my wreck, but working as a contractor for Chevron, I began donating on the mobile bus. After my wreck, I donate every time I can because I feel I used so much blood needed to give it back.”