Our favorite girl, Louise Elizabeth Williams, 5, died June 6, 2019, at Seattle Children’s after an extended illness.
She was born Aug. 19, 2013, in Ellensburg. Her life was full of love.
Louise was a happy girl, and her big smile lit up a room. She loved stories and songs, Daniel Tiger, playing with toys and her little dog, Nori. She enjoyed attending school, getting on the school bus in her wheelchair, going on wagon rides, naps with grandma Lynn and storytime at the Ellensburg library.
She was adopted by Valley View Elementary School in Ellensburg as part of the Sparrow program, where she inspired other children to do good things.
She made connections everywhere she went, from therapy appointments to the grocery store. She taught us about compassion, perseverance and joy.
Louise had mitochondrial disease, an illness that limits energy production in the cells. The disease isn’t well understood, and it can affect every part of the body. Ongoing research in the field is vital, and could provide clues to a variety of medical issues.
Louise also was susceptible to episodes of nonanesthetic malignant hyperthermia. Her case presented a significant challenge to her medical teams, and many providers at Seattle Children’s worked tirelessly to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan. We thank the doctors and nurse practitioners at Seattle Children’s, in particular the Medically Complex Child, PICU and palliative care teams. We also thank the staff at KVH in Ellensburg and the Virginia Mason Memorial emergency department in Yakima.
Louise spent many months in the hospital during her life, and we were amazed by the care provided by many passionate and kind nurses. They were some of Louise’s best advocates, and she loved crinkling tissue paper and playing with blocks with them.
She was preceded in death by grandma Lynn Metzenberg and grandpa Bill Williams.
She is survived by parents Joanna Markell and Steve Williams; grandparents Joyce and Clark Markell, Caryl Williams and Rod Metzenberg; aunts and uncles, Andrea (Julien), Andrew, Mike, Christina “Krissy” (Rick), David and Adam; and many cousins.
We were inspired by other families dealing with complex medical issues during Louise’s journey. They understand what it is like to have a child on a life flight, the sleepless nights with beeping machines and the celebration that comes with every milestone, no matter how small.
To honor Louise’s memory, we ask that you take the children in your life to the library and read with them.
A memorial service is planned at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 22, at First Christian Church, 600 Ruby St., in Ellensburg.
Donations can be made in Louise’s name to the Seattle Children’s Mitochondrial Research Guild, www.nwmito-research.org or PO Box 761, Lynnwood, WA 98046.