Coping with Grief
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Raven India Shipsey Davis was born in the living room of her family home on April 21st, 1992, to Patrick Shipsey and Deborah Friedman. It was such an exciting and momentous
occasion that her dad dropped the pizzas he ordered for dinner and had to get new ones made. She was always extremely social and quick to make friends. From a very early age, she loved fashion and makeup and styling her hair, skills she certainly did not learn from her mother or older sister.
At the age of six, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition thanks to the wisdom and quick actions of her doctor, Clare Heriza. This condition required her to have a liver transplant very urgently at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University. She was given this incredible gift by the family of her donor, Edgar Kwan. John and Sandra, Edgar’s parents, as well as his siblings, Cynthia, Winnie, and Alex, became a part of our family and they never failed to celebrate Raven’s achievements and accomplishments with pride.
During the time around her transplant, Raven and her family were enveloped in love and care by the community of Baker and by family, near and far. The village sent cards, letters, toys, and gifts for her whole two-and-a-half-month stay at the Ronald McDonald House. The California Cousins rallied to support Raven and Debbie during her time in Palo Alto. Once she got home, her elementary school classmates always carefully washed their hands, and her teachers would let her mom know if anyone was sick at school, to help protect her fragile immune system. Over the years, she had many health struggles and hospitalizations but faced them all bravely and with a resilience that made her a force to be reckoned with. She found a wonderful supportive community through a transplant summer camp held at St. Dorothy’s Rest. She attended as a camper, and later on as a counselor. These friendships sustained her through many hard times with her health.
In 2016 she married Dru Simonski Davis and they shared six years of partnership through thick and thin. Dru was a loving and patient caregiver during many difficult illnesses and hospital stays throughout their years together. They had no children but their fur babies Clancy, Caesar, Talia, Parker, and Quinn; and they welcomed a foster son into their home in the summer of 2022.
She had a very generous heart and pursued a career as a community health worker, impacting the lives of many people in and around Baker County by creatively moving mountains to help people get the care and resources they needed. She would never hesitate to do a favor for family or friends, lend her possessions, or drop everything to run an errand. She
cultivated many friendships with her infectious personality and she highly valued these relationships. She loved remaining connected to people she met along her journey, including friends from childhood, friends from St. Dorothy’s Rest, college friends, and work friends. She loved traveling and spending time with family. She fiercely loved her dogs. She was straightforward, stubborn, incredibly loyal, and always unflinching in her delivery of honesty.
In recent months, her autoimmune condition had resurfaced and despite attempts at medical management, it became clear that she would need another liver transplant. She faced this eventuality with the same poise and grace she had faced every other adversity. She died unexpectedly on Monday, November 6th after a sudden and catastrophic medical emergency related to her underlying autoimmune liver disease.
She is survived by her parents, Deborah Friedman and Patrick Shipsey; her sister, Lily Wittich, and husband, Chris; many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins; too many friends to count; and her dog, Quinn. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, her beloved dog, Clancy, and too many of the friends she made at transplant camp. She leaves behind a legacy of strength through adversity and a genuine care and compassion for everyone.
Her family would like to thank the medical community of Baker County, particularly her doctors at St. Luke’s EOMA and at the Saint Alphonsus ER, who always took amazing care of her, and treated her as though she were their own family. Over the years she also received excellent care at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and at OHSU.
Finally, we wish to extend our gratitude to the team from LifeFlight, and the ICU team at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise who fought so hard for her in her last moments.
We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community during a time of terrible grief for a life cut short. Anyone who wishes to make a donation in Raven’s name can, at Donate Life America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness around organ transplantation. This may be done through Gray’s West & Company Pioneer Chapel,1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, Oregon 97814.
Donate Life America
5516 Falmouth Street, Suite 302, Richmond VA 23230