Washougal woman copes with daughter’s coma

Angie Uhler raising money for daughter and daughter’s young family

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Aimee Martin (right), daughter of Washougal resident Angie Uhler (not pictured), sits with her husband, Michael, and son, Hunter. (Contributed photo courtesy of Angie Uhler)

Washougal resident Angie Uhler says she has been going through a “roller coaster” of emotions after her daughter fell into a coma in August.

“The ups and downs have been awful, but it is what it is at this point,” Uhler said. “I was shocked that this happened. You can get a (bandage) and fix things when (your children are) younger, but this is something that is out of your hands. You can’t fix it. It’s been difficult.”

At about 12:30 a.m. Aug. 19, Uhler’s daughter, Aimee Martin, went to Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center in Gresham, Oregon, complaining of breathing problems. Doctors gave Martin, who has asthma, two breathing treatments, steroids and a prescription for more steroids, and sent her home.

At about 8:30 p.m. that night, Martin collapsed at her home in Sandy, Oregon, went into cardiac arrest and has been in a coma ever since. She is being treated at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.

Uhler has been told that she might have to choose whether to continue treatment for her daughter, but said she “doesn’t want to make that decision too soon.”

Martin and her husband, Michael, have a 14-month-old son named Hunter. As of Tuesday, Sept. 17, Uhler’s Facebook fundraiser had raised $11,705 to help Michael pay for bills and medical expenses related to Martin’s illness.

According to Uhler, Martin opens her eyes every once in a while, can move her arms and “has a little response.” She’s been kept stable thanks to the help of a tracheostomy breathing tube and feeding tubes, but Uhler said doctors don’t know when or if Martin will wake up.

“The outcome, they say, is slim to none that she’s going to be ‘normal,” Uhler said. “They say, ‘What’s a win for Aimee?’ Well, I don’t know. If (the best case is) waking up and being able to see, or being in a wheelchair, at least she could see her son grow up. If Hunter could know that his mama is still there, we would be willing to take care of her that way. We just want the baby to be able to know his mom. Maybe it’s not the right choice, but it’s the right choice for us.”

Washougal resident Ed Holterman, a family friend of Uhler’s, said the past few weeks have been very hard on Uhler.

“She’s suffering a lot,” he said. “Aimee is a young girl, full of life, and a devoted mother. It’s very devastating. But lately we have seen some improvement. All we can do is hope and not give up.”