Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rest in Peace, Bonnie Codier

Bonnie Codier was a regular here at Best Things in Beauty. If you are too, I'm sure that you saw her comments from time to time. Bonnie won a few of the weekly contests I used to do, and when I could, I sent her boxes of makeup for fun. She called me her fairy godmother. I treasured our relationship.

Bonnie was a very special person. I used the term "was" because she passed away yesterday after years of suffering with Mitochondrial Disease, a very rare, but deadly disease that robs the body's cells of energy. I took the following paragraph from her CaringBridge page to explain to you how horrible this disease is. There is no cure.

Bonnie endured dozens of surgeries and had hospital admissions as long as seven and 11 months at a time (she celebrated multiple birthdays and holidays while an inpatient). She had a pacemaker and an implanted double vascular port and required daily IV medications and fluid, oxygen therapy, and lab draws several times a week. She delayed motility problems and gastroperesis, and she had her gall bladder, spleen, thymus, and colon removed (prior to which to she had a loop ileostomy). This disease affected every organ system in her body and caused adrenal failure, polycystic ovarian disease, and kidney and autonomic problems as well. Because of her severely impaired immunity, she required IVIG therapy every three weeks to help her fight infections, which often become life-threatening. Bonnie was unable to walk for years due to profound muscle weakness and was bed-bound, but used an electric wheelchair when she needed to be transported places. She also had chronic GI bleeding and required blood transfusions every three to five weeks. Her parents were her caregivers; her mother and father are saints.

Despite her disabilities, Bonnie loved reading beauty blogs, entering contests, and writing. I was blown away when I received long, handwritten letters from her, letters I would not have had the energy to write. She was beyond special.

Always optimistic, she wrote in December, "I have a fluid collection in my abdomen that needs to be drained. It has been drained before, and it filled up again, and that will likely keep happening unless it is removed surgically. Unfortunately the pathology sample got lost last time it was drained, so the doctor wanted to try again and hopefully not lose the sample this time. I would so appreciate your prayers, they mean a lot to me and definitely make a difference! :-) Even after all the surgeries and procedures I've had, I still get a bit nervous, and contrary to the popular saying, it doesn't get easier the more I do it, I actually think it gets a little harder since I KNOW how much it hurts to have my abdomen stabbed with a huge needle (I've already been *not* enjoying daily lovenox injections, since I have to be off my coumadin for several days before and after the procedure)."

Her courage was unparalleled. Unfortunately, she developed sepsis one last time and lost her battle with this cruel disease. She asked the doctors to let her rest a few days, optimistic that rest would help her fight the infections raging in her body. They sedated her, and she rested. Her mother posted the following announcement on Facebook less than 24 hours ago, and I have cried since I saw it.

Bonnie has fought the good fight, but her Mitochondrial Disease had taken so much from her body's ability to fend off the sepsis. She passed peacefully with her family all around her earlier this afternoon. We are heartbroken, but we know she is finally free from the constant pain and is dancing with the Lord in heaven. We will be arranging a service to celebrate her and her ministry to so many.

Bonnie loved ballet. I have a mental picture of her, freed from her ailing body and returned to the one that loved to dance. I'm sure she is dancing in heaven with the angels. The pain and suffering she endured for so many years are gone, leaving her free as a butterfly. May she rest in peace.

I send my deep and heartfelt sympathy to her family - and to the many friends she made at CaringBridge, among her medical teams, on the Internet, and locally in her home state. Bonnie was a very special person.

Photos courtesy of her friends on her Facebook page

34 comments:

MarciaF said...

I'm so sad to hear this. I sent her a giant box of products at the end of January and hadn't heard back from her. I was getting worried and now I see I had reason to do so. I'm so sorry to hear of this. Thank you for sharing and for your wonderful tribute to a very sweet woman. Rest in peace Bonnie.

LilyBiscuit said...

What a beautiful person! It breaks my heart to hear how much she suffered. I'm sure your kindness was deeply appreciated. I lost my own mother quite young and she suffered for several years as well. I can understand the ordeal. My sincere condolences <3

Jo said...

She must have been special indeed to endure all she did and still have such a beautiful smile on her face.

I hope your recovery is going well CG - all the best to you.

Jane Woodruff said...

A beautiful post for Bonnie. I will keep her & her family in my thoughts & prayers. Thank you for posting this, we all need to keep someone like this in mind on days when we are consumed with our own problems...

Meredutg said...

This woman does sound very special. I doubt that I could remain very positive in such a set of circumstances. We all take so much for granted. It would do us all good to really listen to what this woman went through in her life and appreciate all that we have, instead of complaining or feeling that life is unfair to us. Life is unfair to everyone, but some people really get dealt a raw hand. It humbles me to listen to Bonnie's story. Thank for this, CG.

lovethescents said...

Terribly, terribly sad. My deepest sympathies to all who miss her.

lov2read68 said...

I am so very sorry for your loss Charleston Girl. Bonnie sounds like a wonderful lady! My thoughts go out to her parents and friends during this very difficult time.
I hope you are continuing to mend as well.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

What a lovely young woman Bonnie was! My sympathies to her lovely, caring parents, and what an example of strength they are to all of us.

A nod goes out to Caring Bridge, an organization that made it possible for my 16-yr old niece, Sarah, to stay in touch with her friends and family while she was suffering from AML Leukemia, 4 years ago, when she lost her battle with the disease. It's a wonderful website, allowing patients to feel less isolated while in the hospital for treatments.

Lisa S. said...

A beautifully written tribute to Bonnie. Thank you for sharing her story. My condolences to her family and friends.

Jem McL said...

It is such a sad post but really puts things in perspective. Bonnie seemed like such a positive lady who gave it all regardless of her weak body. I pray for all those she left behind and that Bonnie is resting in peace for the eternal dance with our Lord in Heaven. God Bless you, CG for sharing this sad news and for the caring post in memory of Bonnie.

Sandra Sallin said...

Thank you for this loving tribute.My heart goes out to her family and those lives she touched. Her bravery is stunning. It must make you happy that you could bring some joy into her life with your writing and your little boxes of joy.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful courageous soul, I too hope she is dancing the ballet.
Blessings and sympathy to all who knew her. May she rest in peace.

Charleston Girl said...

MamaVal, now you have me in tears again. Through CaringBridge, Bonnie touched so many people.

Charleston Girl said...

Marcia,

Such a sad way to find out why you didn't hear from her. Thank you for being her friend.

Charleston Girl said...

Thank you, everyone, for your sympathy. She was a very brave, inspiring young woman.

Evelyn said...

Aww she was a lovely woman and truly one of the bravest among us. I will keep her and her family in my thoughts. Peace and healing to you as well.

Blushing Noir said...

Such a beautiful woman inside and out.. may she RIP

bisbee said...

I was so excited to see you were posting...then so saddened when I saw the reason. This young woman endured so much...my heart goes out to those who loved and will miss her.

Shannon said...

I didn't know her, but what a great article about her Adrienne. Of the many issues my 11 year old nephew has, they suspect he may also have this disease. It's scary.

Moxie Reviews™ said...

This must have been such a very difficult post to write. Bonnie sounds like such a beautiful person, and I'm glad that you wrote a lovely tribute to her so all your readers would know. Thoughts and prayers are with her family and you, too.

LSBD said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew Bonnie. And especially to you dearest CG, for your love and kindness. Everyone needs a Fairy Godmother and Bonnie was blessed to have you. I know your friendship, support, prayers and love meant a lot. I am so sorry for your loss.

Liz G. said...

This is very sad. I didn't know anything about Bonnie until this post but it sounds like she struggled with the disease for a long time. You were a good friend to her and I'm sure she and her family appreciated how you elevated her spirits with your caring.

Claire said...

My sincere condolences to Bonnie's family and friends. Very touched to have written her tribute here, CG.

Sharina said...

I am extremely moved by her spirit. She's such a strong woman and I wish I could have gotten to know her. Thank you for posting this and letting us know about her journey. I will be praying her family.

bella said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person. I have never have heard of her, but your writing it always so concise that I was immediately able to conjure her wonderful spirit. She sounds like she was a very special person. Thank you for illuminating her life.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie sounds like a beautiful person. I am very sorry for your loss. You have had one tough fall and winter-I hope the spring brings all kinds of good luck to you.
Look after yourself, and take care,
Sincerely,
Carole

Christina said...

I'm so very sad to hear this. I do recognize her name from several posts. I will keep her and her family in my thoughts and prayers. May she finally find peace and happiness now that she no longer has to endure the pain.

ame said...

May she rest in peace! What a wonderful woman. Thank you for giving her such joy.

makeup magpie said...

She seems like a truly lovely and brave person who had to endure so much. Thank you for sharing her story. My condolences to her friends and family.

Resham said...

Very sad to hear this. May she rest in Peace.

Linda Codier said...

Thank you for your beautiful tribute to our sweet Bonnie. If you are interested, I was able to upload her amazing Celebration Service on Youtube. I am so heartbroken by her absence, we were more than mother-daughter - more like best friends in every sense. I feel blessed to see this post on this, our first Easter without her.

Thank you,
Lyn (aka Bonnie's Mummy)

Neeraj Navare said...

I'm so so so sad to read this. Got tears in my eyes. I'm a general physician who changed his profession to a professional makeup artist. Diseases are debilitating but Beauty keeps you zealous and happy. I'm so sorry for Bonnie but I'm so sure she led a beautiful life. Her strength, her parents, her friends made her feel beautiful. At the end what is life without friends and the ones we love. I'm sure Bonnie is going to be angel.

Lena said...

Dear CG,
this is a beautiful obituary. You are a beautiful person as well.

Meredith said...

I am floored to hear of all this woman endured. I am sure I never would have come close to her kind of bravery, stamination, and positivity. I can't begin to imagine what her daily life must have been like. Really makes me pull myself together and appreciate my health. I'm no spring chicken anymore and am feeling it, but this woman humbles me. Incredible lady! Thank the heavens that she had such fantastic and dedicated parents who were so loyal and loving. There are amazing lives being led out there, and they don't necessarily belong to the movie and sports stars.