ST. GEORGE — Elsie Mahe, the 3-year-old daughter of Brigham Young University running backs coach Reno Mahe, has been hospitalized since a tragic accident last week in which she was found hanging from a window blind cord. As the little girl’s health continues to decline, her family said Sunday they will donate her organs.
“The miraculous healing we have been praying for is not for Elsie, but from Elsie,” the Mahe Family said in a GoFundMe update. “We met this morning with a representative from the hospital organ donation team and feel confident that this is the Lord’s will for Elsie – to be a lifesaving miracle for others. It is not the miracle that we wanted, but it is the one we got. It is still a miracle.”
Elsie Mahe was playing with a friend Tuesday at the family’s Lehi home when a cord from the window blinds became tangled around her neck and strangled her, according to the “Help The Mahe Family” GoFundMe page. Her mother, former BYU volleyball star Sunny Mahe, was nearby when Elsie’s friend sought help.
Sunny Mahe administered CPR to her daughter until emergency crews arrived and subsequently transported Elsie Mahe to Primary Children’s Hospital via Life Flight helicopter.
A magnetic resonance imaging scan on Friday revealed that while Elsie Mahe’s brain was able to perform basic functions like breathing, coughing and reacting to pain, the upper lobes in her brain “went without oxygen long enough to be devastated,” according to a GoFundMe update.
“Elsie’s condition continues to slowly slip. And yet we feel peace,” the Mahe family said in an update on her condition. “ … her brain is only functioning enough to give her body oxygen and perform very basic functions and those have begun to decline as well.”
The family update continued:
She is comfortable and not in pain. We will stay by her side and continue to love her forever. We do not have a timeline for how long this transition will take.
Since Tuesday, an outpouring of support continued to flood in for the Mahe family. By Monday afternoon, the family’s GoFundMe account, established by family friend Jeremy Roberts, had raised $52,571 by 814 people in five days.
Sunny Mahe voiced her appreciation Sunday for the support the family has received:
We continue to be attended by angels – seen and unseen – and truly have been given strength beyond our own capacity. Thank you for this gift. My friends of all faiths, thank you for your sustaining love, support, prayers and fasts. I believe it to be the reason I have not fallen to pieces and am able to be a strength to my family. May the Lord bless each of you for your caring and kindness to my family.
The family’s tragedy serves as an important reminder of the dangers of window cord strangulation.
Nearly one child each month dies after becoming entangled in a window-covering cord, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These cords are on the commission’s list of the top five “hidden hazards” in the home.
“Strangulation deaths and life-altering injuries can occur wherever there is a window covering with an exposed cord,” according to the safety commission. “Children can wrap window covering operating cords around their necks or can become entangled in loops formed by cords, some of which are not clearly visible, but are accessible.”
Strangulation happens quickly and silently.
To prevent window covering cord strangulation, the safety commission offered the following safety tips:
- Use cordless or inaccessible cord window coverings in homes where young children live or visit. Child safe window blinds and shades are available for sale today.
- Examine all shades and blinds for accessible cords on the front, side and back.
- Do not place cribs, beds and furniture close to the windows.
- Check regularly that cords are out of reach of young children and cannot form dangerous loops.
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