A Prayer Request:  OLM publisher and editor, Fern Gray, has suffered a stroke in the

     aftermath of a pit bulldog attack while bringing the Host to a shut-in.  Her ankle  

     was broken, but is mending.  Skin Grafts are due 2-1-07.  OLM Readers &  this   

     Website’s Visitors are asked to intercede mightily for Fern’s speedy recovery as  

     her speech, right arm and this Apostolate are affected. 

     Volunteers have produced the latest edition of Our Lady’s Mantle Newsletter.        

     Bless you, Readers & Visitors, for your generous prayers!


Evergreen Tacoma Health and Rehabilitation Center

Room 303

6220 - South Alaska Street
Tacoma, WA  98408

Phone: (253) 476-5300
Fax:      (253) 476-5365







 Fern Blossom Gray


She most loved the scent of Gardenias 

Hi, all,                    March 14, 2007

Please pray mightily for the recovery of Fern Gray, who has had
some sort of relapse,

and is in Tacoma General Hospital - since about 2 AM today, Wednesday, 14 March.

I went to see her tonight at Evergreen Tacoma Rehab and she was not in her room,

and the nurses only could tell me she left early for the hospital in a state of distress.

She may have had a painkiller or sedative in the ER, the nursing staff could not say,

but now Fern does not speak - or want to hear sound -or have any light - as her eyes are tightly shut

and her pupils are very tiny.

Fern will not respond except to show she does not like either. 

She puts her hand over her ear, moves her feet about, turns her head, etc.

There is only a tube feeder for her, and she did throw up some of her food as I just arrived.
The nurses were very attentive and were to call in these changes to her doctor.

However, as her past coughing and lung congestion put a strain on her heart,

it looked like a nitro patch was on her shoulder maybe a week ago.  

Her room partner had 2 weeks of a terrible cough and lung congestion which Fern caught.
Sunday when I and others visited to read her the mail, Fern was not breathing completely normally,

but was not uncomfortable, and readily prayed the rosary in the chapel. 

She did not get short of breath.

So, Just Pray - and beg our Merciful God to lift this further assault on Fern Gray's health.
It may be just another test. 

O, Mary, show us you are our Mother!

God Bless you all for your generous prayers!

Getting Skin Grafts at Tacoma General Hospital, Feb 1-9.  Just 90 days from the pit bull attack and stroke.  Rt. Arm is limp.

  Please Pray that Fern can be allowed to return to her modest home

  with the great views of Mt. Rainier.   Move mountains, please, Lord!!

        First Smile!

Tacoma Mall is West of I-5 Freeway 

WAPATO PARK & LAKE faces South Alaska St.

  Visitors welcome!    

    Drop Fern a line!

Pit Bull yard was like this one with a kennel in front near door.

Fern Gray bitten by pit bulldog - in hospital - broken foot bone         Nov. 10, 2006

 Fern was at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma for 5pm Mass and then took Holy Communion to a sick friend just down the street who was staying with a nurse from the hospital.  As she arrived 2 health care workers also arrived and together went into the home. 

However, they have a pit bull dog who just had babies - and instead of being outside as usual, was kept off the kitchen. 
It attacked the first person into the home - which was Fern.

The dog would not let go and kept twisting her head which resulted in a broken bone and flesh damage. 
Eventually they unlocked the dog's grip and called 911 for help and soon Fern was in the ER.

However, they did not clean the wound until surgery, 4 hours later, so she just had only antibiotics
to ward off a possible infection.  A post surgery infection is her first worry.

Fern is in Tacoma General Hosp -. just next door to St. Joseph as they have a trauma center,
but it was full last night - causing her to wait for surgery. 

The broken bone is above her shoe line in the back side of her foot. 
She was told skin grafts are also needed soon. 

We have Cenacle and Mass tonight at the Polish Church in Tacoma and next Friday in Sumner
at St. Andrew's Chapel, so will be praying for her, and we beg you for your spiritual intercession as well.

God Bless you all!


Christmas                                                                                                                               Dec. 31, 2006

Fern did not go home as planned, Christmas Day, but they called and someone held a phone for Fern to get

their greetings.  I guess the logistics did not work out with the feeding tube machine involved, etc.


A nurse came in to redress the ankle and the front + right (inside) looked good - with only 2 deep puncture wounds and the skin was healing and peeling. Clean.


The back by the Achilles tendon area has a 5-6 inch cut where surgery was done to her bone(s).

Looks gruesome, but is not infected,  so will heal fully in a few weeks.


Also on her table is a 12 inch pegboard with colored plastic pegs

that her working hand can use to get ambidextrous, as it is her wrong (left) hand.


Right hand does not move yet.  It may have a connection to her right shoulder injury when she fell. 

Nobody has info on that.   She can only shrug on her left side.


She does write on the dry erase board for me,  so she is somewhat dexterous with it. 

She does sometimes forget the new word or sentence, and is amused to find she did not pick up

on the word - when her mind thought she had.  Laughs more now.


She said she has PT - has a special boot for her ankle to protect it while she hangs onto a handrail with one

good hand and dips and sways and leans to gain balance and strength.  She says she has some type of weights

for muscle building arms and legs.   All good news.


So, what can I say, except it is still going UPwards, and it is in God's timing.   So, we shall see.


Keep up the prayers!  Thank you ahead of time!

Blessings for 2007!



Fern has been mending for 94 days now.                                                               Feb. 19, 2007
She has come a long way, believe me!

Last night (Sun.)  she was breathing much better - as she had picked up a croupy,
near-pneumonia cough last Friday - from the
extreme case in the lady in the next bed. 
Both are better, so that is a good deal - but the neighbor has been at it for 2 weeks!
I do not know why they do not
put the sick one in quarantine in the next room - which has been empty!
You just spread the germ to the next guy!  Dumb.

Tues Fern is going to the surgeon - to check her
skin grafts on the ankle with the dog bites.
It has a pretty big wrapping, but less than 2 weeks ago. 
I think once the skin has healed she can do more leg & ankle PT,
perhaps with the walker in mind - as her balance will be way better
full weight on both legs.

I told her we just had a great Cenacle with the Polish at St. Margaret’s in Seattle.
They had their choir and a good crowd - with Adoration before our Rosary and lots of refreshments.

Anyway, I read the letters to Fern that came to PO box 699.
She looked over each one, carefully, saying how she remembered this one or that.

Also we trashed the junk mail and pulled her name off the addressed pieces.
She was pointing out where the addresses were on the letters
before I got to them,
so she is
absolutely following all her environment, like normal.
She just cannot externalize it well yet - with words or her bad hand. 

But she is
talking better - giving quips, if they can be short - but stumbling - if long or complex.
You just have to phrase questions for a short reply. 
Best therapy is the phone!       No dial tone yet for the wall phone!!! 

Also someone from St. Martin of Tours is bringing Communion to Fern
and another parishoner doing rehab at her facility.  That is a big plus.

I pray they will give her the chance to recover and return home!

So progress is
continuous, just not as fast as my patience would like!
Fern is comfortable and in good spirits, so all that is a plus.

Bless you for  your prayers!
People have called me from as far as CT to say they read her plight in the Mantle
and are praying mightily for her complete recovery. 

The best medicine is God.

                                                                                                                                                                          March 6, 2007
Fern's leg is healing well!

Sister and niece, to visit mid-month.  


Coughs are nearly over.

Lungs have more congestion, however! 

It is a strain on her heart.

Eating meals now in morning + lunch -- low appetite -- so has tube feeder at night.
I think she lost the taste of food - and her stomach shrunk.  Refuses more when full.
But she does eat by herself -- and drinks, too!

I think her PT will focus on walking now.
She wanted to walk with me Sunday night - out of the wheelchair, but was unsteady

and I feared she would fall, so we just went 2 laps around the building - inside.  Safe and sane!

Phone was still dead—and I asked for the staff to get their repairman on it ASAP.

Fern just lights up when talking on the phone -- searching mightily for words is
best therapy of all.


And Thank You for all your generous Cards, Prayers and Masses!

A STROKE!      

                                                                                                      Nov. 15, 2006

Hi, again,

Fern Gray's daughter came last night to her room in the rehab unit of Evergreen Tacoma

Nursing Home - and found her suddenly unresponsive - and called for help and got her to St. Joseph's

Hospital in Tacoma.

A quick CT scan showed a forming blood clot - and an MRI is scheduled for today.
Her right side is affected - she cannot speak - but will respond if you speak slowly to her.

We need a miracle in healing!!

Please storm heaven for one of our stricken prayer warriors.

I will send an update as I get it.
Bless you, all!

Hi, again,    March 16, 2007

Last Evening (thurs) I saw Fern Gray at Tacoma General and a new nurse had some things to say about her condition.  Basically, Fern "had a heart failure - and after a stroke, you have to wait to see what comes back."   

Attack (or what = not specified).

Fern is not under sedation and they are not doing an MRI to see the stroke effects.

Nor do blood thinners - as the life support dictated they do not want any intervention.

So the policy is different - and they only give Fern saline water and tube feeding to keep her internals as normal
as possible.  The nurse washed her teeth and lips, but Fern kept them tightly
pursed, so it was taken as a refusal of sorts - to be tried again later on.

The nurse added that Fern's first 24 hours saw her unresponsive to speech,
then responsive, and then not again.  So it was wait and see.

As I came in and spoke to her,
Fern opened both eyes and looked at me
and said something garbeled -
then closed her eyes very tight --
and I am sure Fern was listening, but perhaps the light levels are still a problem for her. 
The nurse was right there - and was very impressed that Fern did respond so well,
and asked me to see how much we could talk to her and get more response.

For the next 20+ minutes I said prayers, read her a Mass Card to her
that the people at Blessed Sacrament Church in Seattle had signed at the end of
our 5:30 Mass. 

I went home at least thinking things had improved, certainly better that the night before.

We have a 6 PM Cenacle at Mount St. Vincent's Home in west Seattle tonight, so will be
really begging God for Mercy and recovery for both
Fern and John Carr, who is failing enough
to be bedridden and speechless (very frustrating, says his aide) at this point after his 2nd stroke.

Again, thank you for your prayers!

Fern said on Sunday after the rosary that "
we should thank all those who were helping"
her with their intercession and sacrifices, etc.
She very much enjoys the letters people sent + the emails we received. 

Her phone connection never has gotten dial tone.  I guess it was meant to be another frustration to offer up.


Hello, prayer warriors,
I was called by Sharlene last night on Fern's latest condition:

Fern's daughter called Sharleen to say since the heart failure and restart, the stroke was now considered
un-repairable,  Fern would be moved to a separate room, without any support.
She might last a few days or a week.

This was 5:30 pm, just after Fern was visited by a prayer group who said the rosary for her.

Wednesday as they were saying the rosary, Fern moved her hands on an invisible set of beads,
and she followed and opened her eyes a few times.

Sunday when I was with Sharleen we said another rosary, but Fern only rolled her head
and did not open her eyes - even though they were moving about under the eyelids. 

Her left hand has begun to swell up and at times her breathing gets slow or fast
and may be accompanied by facial discomfort, and then settles into a sleep state. 
She was on the feeder tube and mostly comfortable as we left, but the patients across
the hall said Fern was in audible discomfort overnight for several nights.

Fern's sister has arrived from Fresno and arrangements for a funeral were underway
at St. Martin of Tours in Fife.

Personally, I am doing a novena to the Infant of Prague and will continue no matter how grim it seems.

Bless you for your prayers, I know how this pains us all.
God's Merciful Love to you all!


       Some Rare Ferns DO blossom!

Original OLM Flyer Heading, 1979

Back at Evergreen Tacoma H& R waiting for the phone to be installed, Feb.-12.

No dial tone yet!   Speaking short sentences.

 Book of Hours and Angel of Hosts, Fern’s Life