Hundreds gather to pray for CRHS classmate |

Hundreds gather to pray for CRHS classmate

John Gardner
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

PEACH VALLEY, Colorado ” Five girls stood huddled in the middle of the Coal Ridge High School soccer field, surrounded by hundreds, Friday night.

Everyone knew that one was missing.

There are usually six.

Surrounding the five girls were hundreds of classmates, parents, friends and community members, each silhouetted from the light of little white candles ” A sign of hope for Emily Johnson.

Emily, the daughter of Sheryl and D. J. Johnson of Silt, was injured in an ATV accident on Sunday, Nov. 9 on Silt Mesa. According to family friends, Emily remains in a drug-induced coma at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. She suffers from a fractured skull and brain stem injury, friends said.

For Emily’s closest friends from CRHS, the “six chicks,” include Audrey Asplund, Natasha Ehlers, Shanna Hix, Katie Cox, and Rachel Becker, they not only needed to be there for Emily, they needed to be there for each other as well.

“We’ve been in the hospital all week,” said Becker. “And we are just glad to be here.”

“I think it helps us to share what we are feeling,” said Cox.

They all gathered as friends. They gathered for support. They gathered to pray.

“Everyone here is praying and there are so many people here and that just goes to show you what kind of person Emily is,” said another of Emily’s close friends, junior Audry Asplund. “She loves everyone and she is not mean to anyone.”

“It’s really surreal,” Becker said. “But we’re really trying to think positively and we know that she is going to pull through with all the love that everyone has for her.”

Car by car, the parking lot began to fill with vehicles just before 7 p.m. It felt like the coldest day of the year, and it was also one of the darkest.

But the sky was clear, the stars were out, and the moon shone bright for Emily.

The “six chicks” were in good spirits, they were smiling and giggling as they spoke about their friend.

“She is like the friendliest person you’ll ever meet,” Becker said. “She is very loving, compassionate, and strong. She has a joke for everything, with everyone. And she makes everyone feel like they are her best friend.”

Emily’s soccer coach, Brian Blair agreed.

“I always say that she is the heart of our team,” he said. “More than anyone, her main goal is to make sure everyone is involved, everyone is valued, and everyone feels important.”

So, Friday night, everyone turned the tables on Emily, for Emily. Instead of her being the one supporting everyone else, everyone else was there supporting her.

“Tonight we are coming here because we want enough people to make a miracle happen for her,” said family friend, Amy Ehlers. “I think that is what is going to make Emily better.”

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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