Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at

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Girls Night Out Becomes A Fight for Life

How many times have you had a girls night out and felt that you couldn’t get out of the house soon enough?  I always hug my boys and say I love you, and then I jump out the door, crank up the car stereo and meet my pals.

No one needs to live a life of trepidation and What if, but…What if?

Last Saturday night, the sky over Indiana darkened and a violent wind storm suddenly blew over the flat land.  The concert stage at the Indiana State Fair Grounds collapsed just before Sugarland took the stage, and four home-town friends were in the front row.

Four friends before Sugarland concert. From left to right: Hailey, Hillery, Kendra & Andrea.

As everyone literally ran for their lives, three girls I know were hurt.  Two are home and doing physically fine despite stitches and a skull fracture, and the last — Andrea Vellinga — is still in critical condition at the hospital.  A large piece of the stage structure fell on her and crushed the back of her head.  Brain swelling is somewhat under control and she’s as stable as possible right now, though still in a medically-induced coma.  Small miracles are happening daily, and the time from now to Sunday is so very important to her long-term outcome.

Andrea is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother.  She’s fighting.  To live, to hug her family, to thank her rescuers, to see her little girl again.

When asked last night, “How much do you love your mommy?” this is how Andrea’s girl responded.

Do you see the determined love in this little face?

In the midst of your day (packing lunches, running late, shuttling kids, reading blogs), please take a moment to breathe in your family and to pray for Andrea, her family and her support team.  They’re strong, but sometimes we all need the strength of the world.  Join them.

Pink ribbons are being displayed all over Andrea's home town and in Canada, Philadelphia, California and many other places. Support Andrea and rock a pink ribbon at your house!

As Andrea’s family accrues food, gas, hotel and medical expenses, donations are appreciated through Catalyst Church: Vellinga Support.

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Comments (9)

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  3. Julie 08/22/2011 at 12:42 pm

    Our prayers are with her and her family!!!!

  4. Lisa Wallace Fulk 08/19/2011 at 10:54 am

    Very nicely written Erica. Prayers continue daily for Andrea. Pink ribbons are going up at my home this evening.

  5. Melanie 08/19/2011 at 8:39 am

    You got it! I hope Andrea heals quickly!

  6. Pattie O 08/19/2011 at 8:34 am

    Thank you for posting this, as it made the story more personable to me. I now know how to put things in perspective, as my best friend suffered a brain aneurysm and stroke last week. The support of her family and friends, will get her through this as it will for your friend, Andrea. I will add Andrea and her loved ones to my prayers. May Andrea continue (just like my best friend) to take those baby steps and heal quickly and rejoin her family. <3
    PS… I love the bow!

  7. Michelle Powell 08/18/2011 at 10:21 pm

    Wow, what a TRAGIC event! 🙁 Your friend will be in my prayers!

  8. Chantelle @ Pizazz! Florals 08/18/2011 at 8:56 pm

    Hey, thanks so much for this great post!! The more prayers for Andrea, the better. I love that you used MY bow picture in your post. (For some reason, I’m strangely proud of my bow making skills! lol)

    • Erica Fehrman 08/18/2011 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks for not minding! I normally don’t grab pictures this way, but figured it would be ok in this case. Very nice bow 🙂