The Reset Button

Nicole Marie Hilton

There is not much value in regret, especially when your whole life lays ahead of you. Change what you can and turn the rest over to God. With Christ, our greatest mistakes and trials can be turned to wisdom.

May 30, 2021

First of all, I apologize that it’s taken me this long to write. So many things have happened (haha… that’s the understatement of the century), and I haven’t been able to find my voice yet—until now.

 Last night, I had a horrible dream. In it, I was 18 again—just starting fresh at college who-knows-where, and I got my bachelor’s degree, then my master’s—and then, even going so far as to get my doctorate degree. (I can’t remember what it was in, but that’s not important.)

It took sooo much toil and strife to become what I had become: a professional in my field—extremely knowledgeable, published, respected by all, and surrounded by friends who understood and loved me.

In my dream, I had been given a button that if I were to press, would send me back to when I was eighteen and just starting out in college.

Well, one day, somehow, in my older age, it got pressed. And I was 18 again. Everything I had learned, all that I had gained, drained out of my brain (try as I would to hold onto it). I had a perfect body again, but everything I was, was gone.

I woke up early, horrified. But then I knew what I had to do: write again. So here I am—writing this on my phone—trying to put the words and ideas I have running through my brain to the page.

So, two ideas; the first one is that before The Jump, I had become a consummate professional in keeping myself healthy first spiritually, then emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially.

But it is as though I’ve hit a reset button. Like, things I once knew, I don’t know so well anymore. The good habits and discipline I had developed before are all gone—I had a system, a daily plan that really worked for me, you know? Get up at 7:30, say prayers—sincerely—for an hour or at least until I could feel the spirit (while pondering the whole time in my head the many quotes on my “prayer wall” I had created down by the floor), study my scriptures, bike the six mile loop (while listening the whole time to James B. Cox—or something equally powerful), get showered and dressed, go to my mission, come home and write, then hang out with family and friends until I went to bed. So, there’s a lot of regret now that I’m dealing with an injured brain and legs that don’t work at all, and all of my good habits from before have gone down the drain.

You see, unlike all my other suicide attempts—where I committed suicide because I was depressed, or confused, or angry at God—this attempt was completely different! And I mean, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Instead of being suicidal because I’d just been raped or tortured or programmed or in utter despair over my life’s circumstances—I was pressed to end my happy life by a 3-day long all-out attack from what may have been Satan himself.

It’s like a “reset button” has been pressed, it seems. Without the use of my legs, or my memory, the good habits it had taken years to set up and find out what worked for me are gone. Now, I am back at the starting line in so many ways—

Okay, second idea: is that now—after The Jump—there is all this new knowledge I have gained (besides the old knowledge and use of my legs I’ve lost): about who I am, about what I’m actually supposed to be doing here, about heaven and seeing the most welcome sight in the universe—Jesus Christ walking towards me—a huge smile on His face, arms wide open, ready to embrace me in the most healing hug in the universe… would I give that up for a “reset button” and the use of my legs back? Sometimes, I’m ashamed to say, the thought flits through my brain—yes. But then, when I really stop to think about it, the answer is NO! Not just because of my memories of heaven, but because I have this little inkling of hope that that welcome scene is going to happen: getting myself back, stronger than ever, living a beautiful life of service and writing,  surrounded by friends and loved ones—laughing until tears are streaming from our eyes.

Sex Trafficking & “The Sound of Freedom”

Starring Jim Caviezel and Mira Sorvino

My boyfriend and I were invited to Las Vegas for a private screening of Sound of Freedom, an absolutely brilliant film which tells the TRUE story of one of Tim Ballard’s most heroic and adventurous rescue missions. Ballard is the founder of Operation Underground Rescue (O.U.R.) which seeks to rescue and bring healing to victims of sex trafficking. JJ and I volunteer with O.U.R. I asked JJ to write about this experience.

By JJ Brown

Jim Caviezel was at the screening and told us that playing Ballard was his second most important role, right after playing the lead in The Passion of Christ. I’m pleased to report that it was one of the best made films I’ve ever seen and possibly the most important. I’m sad to report that for some mysterious reason, Hollywood will not promote this film. It will have to make it on the power of its message and humanity’s love of our children.

See the Trailer

I can say that Nicole considers Jim Caviezel to be a Christ-like figure. His performance in The Passion of Christ had a tremendous impact on her. Now, add the fact that she was able to watch him play the savior of child victims of sexual abuse in another amazing film and maybe you can begin to understand that for her he’s more than just an actor.

After the premier Nicole was able to spend some wonderful time with him, and he proved to be much more than just another celebrity. Nicole told him about her childhood sexual trauma, her healing, and about the attack from the dark side that led to her leap off of Webb Hill.

He told her about being struck by lightning, dislocating his shoulder, getting actually struck by a whip during the whipping scene, suffering hypothermia while on the cross, and the heart surgeries he ended up having as a result of the filming (see the story). He knew these were attacks from the dark side in retaliation for making the film. He said Satan is always coming after us, especially those trying to serve God’s purposes. He told Nicole that if we just keep walking God’s path for us, Satan will never catch up, but God will help us circle back around on Satan, and our work will bite him in the rear.

Then, Jim, with the light of Christ in his eyes, testified to to Nicole that Satan did try to stop her work, but that her determination to keep on her path has already nipped him in the bud. If we just keep moving forward, anything Satan can do to us will be used for God’s purposes and refine us. Then, Jim Caviezel… kissed Nicole on the cheek! She’s pretty disappointed that I didn’t get a pic of that.

That visit with Jim was an extraordinary moment and a tender mercy for both Nicole and me. We determined more than ever to serve those who have been hurt and support those who love them.

Please watch for the release of Sound of Freedom and make sure everyone you know sees it! Unlike some of his other films, Mel Gibson, who is promoting it and helped edit it, handled the sensitive issues very gently without sugarcoating them or rubbing the horror in our faces. It’s a poignant, important, painful, and beautiful true story.

Life’s Worth Living Podcast

Nicole was invited as a guest on Jon Gossett’s Life’s Worth Living podcast series to talk about her suicide attempt. She gives details about her visit to the other side of the veil, and the love and hope she found there.

There Were Miracles!

My Father and Brother

This is a play-by-play after my leap off of Webb Hill in St. George, Utah. It’s a compilation of posts by my mother and boyfriend on social media from the day after my suicide attempt until my first week home from the hospital 3 months later. I fell 60 feet and then rolled another 40 feet down the cliff. That was the beginning of a long stream of miracles. Among those, was my mother’s decision to go against her natural inclinations and social training to honor me by doing what she knew I would want her to do: go public with the truth.

Barbara Hilton is with Nicole

October 8, 2020

Dear family and friends,

So many of you have reached out to us that I feel that I must say something. I do not respond much to Social Media. Nevertheless, we are eternally grateful to you for all of the outpourings of love and prayers, and though I may not respond to you personally, I am humbled by your love and concern for our daughter Nicole.

As many of you know, our beautiful daughter Nicole tried to end her life by jumping from the cliffs behind the towers on Webb Hill. She nearly succeeded. Her injuries are too many to name. She broke almost all the major bones in her body, as well as her spine in multiple places, and ruptured several organs. She is most likely paralyzed from the waist down. She is on a ventilator. If she remains stable, the plan is to take her to surgery late this afternoon, remove the hardware in her lumbar spine, decompress the spinal cord and fix the thoracic spine. The neurosurgeon wanted to do it yesterday, but the trauma surgeon didn’t think she would survive the surgery.

Nicole’s Rescue from Webb Hill

What does God want me to learn from this horrific ordeal? I have learned that grief comes in waves. It comes like a tidal wave that crashes down upon the shore. And when it crashes, it hurts so much you can’t even breathe. You feel like you’re drowning. Then God gives you a little reprieve until the next tidal wave comes. I’ve learned that every day is precious. That life is precious. I’ve learned that every single person is fighting an unseen battle. I’ve learned that I must be more understanding and more compassionate to others. I must be more tolerant, more loving, and more like my Savior Jesus Christ. Nicole is all of these things and more.

If the God of this world can suffer as he did in the Garden of Gethsemane – then who am I to resist the lessons to be learned from my own suffering? Was it the purpose of my daughter’s life to teach me to become more like Christ? If so, then her life was not in vain.

If she remains stable, she will undergo surgery for the second time in 24 hours. It will certainly not be the last time. If she survives the surgery, she will have months if not years of rehabilitation ahead.

As I sit here in ICU, looking down on my daughter’s bruised and broken body, I know that the Lord Jesus Christ loves brokenness because He, the God of the Universe, was broken himself …

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes, we are healed.”  (Isaiah 53:5)

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. We as a family would like to ask for prayers to be directed for Nicole’s healing. But we ask, not our will, but God’s will be done. If God chooses to NOT heal her broken body, if my daughter never walks again, then please, please, please pray that He will heal her broken mind. . . .

I will never assume to understand the complexity and gravity of the darkened world of Mental illness that my daughter lives in. In the note that she left, she describes the torture of her mind, body, and soul as being in a burning building with only one option left, and that is – to jump.

God’s purposes are accomplished through suffering. The Nicole I know, who is free from mental illness, is smart and beautiful, hilariously funny, and talented, and she loves the Lord Jesus Christ. She was always lifting others, she showed kindness, love and understanding to those who struggled. She understood the pain of others because she was well-acquainted with pain herself. Her blog at https://healingwithchrist.com/ has touched thousands all over the world. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of my daughter.

Thank you also to the paramedics who spent over an hour extracting my daughter from the canyon, the trauma team who received her and worked so hard to save her life. The surgeons, nurses, and respiratory therapists who continue to care for her and monitor her status. Thank you!

Barbara,

October 9, 2020 Update: She made it through spinal surgery last night but we don’t know the extent of the damage to her spinal cord. The physician says it doesn’t look promising.

If you or a loved one is struggling, please go to her blog. Her writings have touched thousands all over the world.

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Jared J Brown

October 8 

Please Pray for Nicole Hilton

Those of you who know her, know that she has been on a difficult path of healing from childhood trauma. What needs to heal is in Pandora’s Box, and healing requires opening it.

In spite of great progress in her healing, and having the full love, understanding, and support of her family and loved ones, the part of her who was hurt the most surfaced with a terrible vengeance this week, and yesterday morning she slipped away and jumped from a cliff.

Her parents were able to get to her body in time to save her life, just barely. She is completely broken, and the doctors don’t believe she will walk, again.

She is having her spinal surgery as I write. Please pray with all your heart with gratitude for the miracle that she’s still alive, and for the next miracle that she’ll survive, and walk, again.

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Video Created by my brother, Ben. It shows how JJ used location services for my parents to find me.
Jared J Brown

October 9

Update on Nicole Marie Hilton

As of last night she was having mini strokes. Those need to stop for her to be able to survive and recover.

They completely rebuilt her spine last night and give her 1% chance of walking. That’s MUCH better odds than winning the lottery.

My prayers: 1. Gratitude that her parents and medical teams were able to save her life. 2. Praying for the strokes to stop. 3. Praying that she’ll walk, again, 4. That all the broken bones and injured organs will heal, and 5, that this whole thing will spark emotional and spiritual healing rather than the opposite.

If you’re interested in seeing how amazing she is and what could possibly lead a person to commit suicide, even when they are loved and supported by family and friends, below is her beautiful blog about her healing journey:

HEALINGWITHCHRIST.COM

Healing with Christ

by Nicole Marie Hilton

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Jared J Brown

October 10 

Nicole Marie Hilton update:

Still asleep. She’s had organ surgery, major work done on her legs, a massive spinal rebuild, and many, many other injuries. I’m no doctor but the longer she sleeps the better, from my perspective.

Since the incident she has never actually been awake. She complained about her ribs just before her first procedures in the ER, but has been out since. They tried to extubate (take her off the ventilator) yesterday, but she didn’t respond well enough, yet, so they left it in. They are doing an EGG to check her brain waves, but that takes 24hrs, so no results yet.

It appears that the mini strokes are dying off and they believe her brain is OK, but the EGG results will help us know better. She has upper body movement, but is still paralyzed in her lower body.

My non-medical, hopeful mind is hoping the lower body paralysis will allow her to heal from all the damage down there without all the pain. And then, after some healing, she’ll get some feeling back in her lower body. So I’m throwing my faith into the idea that the paralysis is a blessing and only temporary.

Either way, I’m so grateful for all the good news. It still far outweighs the bad, in my opinion.

Please keep praying for her and her family. This latest attack of darkness against her seemingly came from nowhere and proved to be bigger than all of our best efforts on her behalf. We are learning that many more people than we would have guessed actually understand what she’s been through.

Even before this incident, her entire family have been a strong circle of support. Now they are an iron wall of faith and love.

Thanks for all the love and support. We have felt lifted.

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Jared J Brown

October 10

Latest News about Nicole Marie Hilton

She has been out all day. Her eyes are open, but she has been under a sort of medically induced coma and not been interacting with others.

Both her lungs are collapsed and she has tubes in both sides. (Another reason why we can be so grateful her parents were able to get to her so quickly).

After her 24 Hr EGG reading (testing brain waves) it came back abnormal, but the readings were not able to specify a specific problem. Blood from her spinal injuries getting to her brain were causing mini seizures, which is a major source of concern, however, after the spinal rebuild, it appeared that those had lessened.

She had a very serious fracture on her lower left leg. It has been operated on, and she has an apparatus on that leg to help it rebuild itself. However there is a problem with her arterial blood flow below that injury. They are giving her a medication to help with that blood flow, but are concerned that the medicine may also contribute to more of the brain seizure problem. I’m sure they’re monitoring that carefully.

This entire time, she has not been able to interact with her family and has been in her own world. However, just recently her mom asked her to blink if she could hear her, and she blinked!!! She’s there! Of course Barbara is telling her how much love and faith is being sent her way. And now we know that she can receive that message.

So that’s todays victory and miracle: Nicole is there, and she knows we are all here, loving her.

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Jared J Brown

October 11

Update on Nicole Marie Hilton:

Please continue to pray as hard as ever. She is not out of the woods, and there are a couple new concerns. The drain from her back reconstruction showed that she was leaking spinal fluid. This isn’t good. In fact, they pulled the drain so that she wouldn’t lose anymore. They will re-open her back tomorrow to figure that out. I’m grateful they discovered it, and intend to try address it tomorrow.

Both her lungs are still collapsed. She needs them, so please pray for her lungs. She also needs the arterial blood to flow better below her left leg injury. Legs must have blood to be legs. Please pray for that.

The good news is that the doctors are aware of all these things, and addressing them. Also, last night she blinked for the first time, when her mom asked her to. That has continued, and at one point she gave the doctor a thumbs up. She is also using both arms just fine. In my non-medical opinion, this tells me that she is increasingly conscious and aware of her surroundings. That and the fact that she can move both arms tells me her mind and brain are pretty OK, and this is increasing rather than decreasing.

This is the point where her parents and family are exhausted and not seeing quick progress. But they are still full of hope and faith. Please pray for them, as well. The many prayers and other expressions of love and faith are HUGE!! We all feel lifted and supported. Please keep it up.

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Jared J Brown

October 12

Update for Nicole Hilton and My Thoughts on Suicide

Update: Nicole is still not alert. This afternoon, they will go back into her spine to try to close a leak of spinal fluid. Praying they can find it and solve this problem. Her lungs remain collapsed, and the arterial blood flow to her lower left leg remains a concern.

Here are my Thoughts on on Nicole’s Mental Health Battles

I believe these types of mental health issues are the same as a computer virus. A computer virus is an outside force introduced into the system. It self-operates, it protects itself, and it even self-perpetuates.

This one feeds on fear, shame, pain, trauma, and anxiety. Therefore, it must induce thought patterns and behaviors which keep the programming fed inside its host (victim).

Each virus has been concocted and perfected by the dark side. It is introduced during times of vulnerability such as trauma, abuse, illness, pain, sadness, or great fear.

All forms of abuse or trauma provide an opening for infection. It is especially effective against children, who are still learning how to think and feel and who must decide whether they are safe in this world.

Eventually, no perpetrator is needed, the learned behaviors and thought patterns take over, inducing ideas and life choices to produce feedback from others and from themselves that confirm what the voices have always been telling them.

People from all over the planet have a very similar experience, with the same exact thoughts attacking their mind. That’s because the same programs are introduced globally. There’s a program for every form of addiction, and for the various forms of trauma, and anxiety.

I understand that science cannot contemplate the concept of dark programming. For this reason, science will never fully understand.

Nicole has worked incredibly hard processing her initial trauma and abuse. She has accepted it and healed a great deal. She has given value to her true emotions related to the actual trauma. She has acknowledged that while those feelings were real, they are related to the past and no longer useful to her present life or her future.

She has made great progress and has seen miracles through writing in her blog and sharing with other survivors.

Nothing was externally amiss for Nicole. She was not filled with shame. She was loved and supported. She believes in God and Jesus Christ. She listened to the recent Church Conference and knew some of those talks were for her, but during all this, this emotional assault didn’t go away.

A hundred times, she had felt these feelings before. She has gotten much better at quickly grabbing onto resources such as blessings, scriptures, and prayer, etc. to get back to herself and to put the dark program behind her.

But this particular, sudden attack simply persisted. In spite of a great deal of prayer, blessings, love, nothing could shut down this program of thoughts and feelings running like a torrent in her psyche.

Free will is not relevant at times like this.

When you are in a burning tower and your only options are slowly burning to death or jumping, this is NOT actually a choice. Anyone who’s been through this will tell you it is something that happens to them, it’s not something they choose.

Her normal pattern is to feel these emotions and then, using her tools, she gets back to herself, again, and goes forward in all her light and strength. She is the most (sometimes painfully) honest person I know. But Wednesday morning she lied to her mother, calmly telling her she felt much better, and she slipped out of the house. It only took about ten minutes before her mother and I, over the phone, decided that she wasn’t actually OK. I checked location services on her phone and saw that she was at the cliff’s edge at Webb Hill. That ten minutes was not enough to catch her, but it was just barely enough time to save her life.

Christ is always there. Sometimes we find him at the top of the cliff, sometimes at the bottom. Failing that, we can find him in the world of Spirits to continue our healing.

We are grateful that Christ was at the bottom of the cliff and that she’s still here to heal. Her life plan has always been to help others who are suffering to feel understood and to help their loved ones understand them better. It seems that this is God’s plan for her, as well.

The day before the incident, Nicole received a blessing that repeated three ideas a number of times: 1. The dark side could not afford to allow her to complete her healing and pursue her life’s purpose, 2. that Heaven would protect her, and 3. that in spite of the viciousness of this attack, this was a sacred moment and had a great purpose.

This is one of Nicole’s blog posts that I wrote regarding Mary Magdalene and what we can learn from her experience.

HEALINGWITHCHRIST.COM

Mary Magdalene’s Strength

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Barbara Hilton

October 13

I am a private person and have not been one to openly display the private struggles we have gone through with my daughter’s illness. Nicole on the other hand has always been upfront and open about her struggles. In this way, she has helped to courageously tear down the stigmatization and misunderstanding that often accompanies this illness. She has reached thousands of people with her writings on her blog healingwithchrist.com. Therefore, for my daughter’s sake, I will try and be brave and talk about this in this most public forum.

I’ve had so many people ask me for updates, so I will post this here. Nicole was leaking cerebral spinal fluid so she was taken back into surgery last night. The neurosurgeon patched a large tear in the dura sac covering the spine. It was much larger than initially thought. She is still intubated, but they have stopped the sedation. We are still waiting for her to wake up which is taking longer than anticipated. She is currently getting another EEG to check for seizure activity.

The recent conference talk by Elder Holland “Waiting on the Lord” was meant for me. “The point is that faith means trusting God in good times and bad, even if that includes some suffering until we see His arm revealed in our behalf”.

And so, even though we can’t understand why this has happened, we are “waiting on the Lord” until we do. We believe in the power of prayer and in the priesthood power of God. Nicole was given a beautiful blessing in which she was told that the choice was hers whether to stay here and fight or return to her Heavenly Father. We are so grateful to all of you who are keeping her in your prayers. Thank you for your love and support for our daughter.

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Jared J Brown

October 13

Nicole Marie update:

Where is Nicole? This is the question we (all of us who are focusing love and prayer her way) are working on today. She has come off the repair of her leaking spinal fluid. It was much, much more extensive than doctors expected.

ICU Dixie Regional Hospital

She is now off the sedative used during the operation. She is not alert, though, and she is not responding to outside stimuli today. Also, her body is “posturing” which is a medical term for when the body twitches or acts on its own when there’s been brain injury.

On the other hand, there is no physical evidence of brain injury, and the MRI does not show it. This gives us hope that although she’s not here with us right now, she’s temporarily, consciously, somewhere much better.

Except for the uncertainty it causes, I am praying that this is the case. I would rather her be somewhere much more peaceful for a little while longer while her completely broken body tries to stay alive and begin recovery.

Can we all pray that this is the case?

She is getting another EEG, which measures brain waves. This is principally to monitor in case her mini brain seizures begin, again. The last test was over 24hrs, so I don’t expect results on it until tomorrow. But I haven’t forgotten the miracle that these seizures died down on their own earlier, when we were all praying they would.

I am also grateful that the very extensive repair of her leaking spinal fluid occurred yesterday. The fluid that showed up in her spinal drain was a signal that her spine needed much, much more attention than the doctors knew about, and she got that attention. Another answer to prayers, I believe.

Earlier, there was another miracle. When arterial blood flow lessened to her lower leg, she was sent for an X-ray. The technician made a mistake and accidentally X-rayed her chest area as well. (Not sure how that happens). And that X-ray revealed that one of her lungs was in serious trouble, and they were able to quickly fix that.

Her body seems to keep sending out clues for the doctors to respond to things they wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. I’m sharing all this to let you know that we are all partners in her healing. We are not helpless observers. I am sure our prayers are making all the difference for Nicole. For her family and close loved ones, we also have felt loved and lifted every day.

Thank you so much!!!

Jared J Brown

October 14

Update on Nicole Marie Hilton

Nicole is still out. I’m still hoping this is a good thing. The doctors continue to monitor her brain and spinal fluids. The readings aren’t normal, but neither do they specifically indicate brain damage. Also, her posturing, (moving her arms around) which is sometimes a sign of brain damage, is not occurring in the specific ways that indicate brain damage.

In other words, there is no reason to lessen our hope that she is getting the rest from consciousness any of us would want while her body is doing so much work. I’m also heartened by a message Stephanie Rose Lemmon sent me about her husband who was in a similar situation a month ago.

Stephanie wrote:

“I saw your post on a friend’s page. my husband was in the ICU for 20 days it took him about 3-5 days to respond after being off the sedative and paralytic.”

I was so grateful to read this, because Nicole was on these types of drugs, and could be following the same pattern. Please add Stephanie Rose Lemmon’s family to your prayers, as her husband is still struggling.

Nicole’s family continues to feel engulfed by your prayers and your love. The love coming to us from this side of the veil is just as powerful and tangible as the light and love from Heaven.

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Jared J Brown

October 15 

Update for Nicole Marie Hilton

She is still unresponsive, but showing signs of progress. Her white blood count is up, but they haven’t found any infection in the various drains she has from her wounds.

She has 12 different tubes in her for various purposes.

They removed a wound vac from one of her ankle wounds. The vac helps it heal faster, and the fact they removed it shows that it’s been healing. That wound looks good.

Today, they removed her lumbar drain, so there’s one less tube. And also big news is that her bowels are beginning function. This is actually a great sign.

Still praying for her lungs to heal and for her brain to remain seizure free, and a million other things. Also asking that she wake up on God’s timing. I would love to see her alert, but I don’t mind her healing in peace for a while, as long as it’s good for her.

While she seems a little more stable every day, we can’t know what her mind is like for sure until she wakes up. Please keep including her in your prayers. We are relying very heavily upon them. Thank you so much. This outpouring of love will have a big impact on her later when she’s alert but facing a mountain of healing and rehab.

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Jared J Brown

October 16

Update for Nicole Marie Hilton

Nicole is not doing as well today as she was yesterday. Nothing specific has been identified, but there are signs she is struggling enough that it’s a concern. Prayers are needed tonight as much as they ever have been.

I remain full of hope that her role is to get better and continue her probation with us here, where the battle is still raging. I’m praying for God’s will and for what is best for Nicole, and every miracle that aligns with God’s will.

[JJ’s note: I didn’t indicate this in the post, but Nicole’s brother who is a ER Doctor had texted me to tell me he thought she was just waiting for me to get to St. George so she could say goodbye. I packed my suit for the funeral and bought a ticket for early the next morning.]

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Barbara Hilton

October 16 

Something HUGE is happening! . . . thousands are talking about this story. I am grateful to be a small part of the community of faith and prayers for Nicole. Many of you may be wondering why we as a family have been so open this past week regarding something so deeply personal as our daughter’s struggle with mental illness. We discussed it as a family and we came to the consensus that with Nicole’s life hanging in the balance, she is more concerned about being forgotten and having her life losing its meaning than preserving confidentiality.

The actual details of what took place on October 7th at 7:55 am have served Nicole’s purposes in an almost unimaginable way. In the last few days, posts on her personal blog https://healingwithchrist.com/ have had over 30,000 views. People all over the world are finding understanding and hope in her writings. A line from Nicole’s Patriarchal blessing reads:

“As you develop your gifts of communication using both written and spoken words, your influence for good will extend far and wide.”

God is leading people to Nicole’s writings who need it the most. Her influence for good is truly extending far and wide. I have had hundreds of people express to me how deeply and emotionally connected they are to Nicole’s story. I am grateful to you for your love, support and prayers. I can feel it. She is receiving the best possible care in the intensive care unit at DRMC. And so, because of this, I would like to share a tender moment I had with my daughter this morning…

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Jared J Brown

October 17

Nicole Marie Hilton update!

She’s doing better.

And I’m finally with her now, so I feel blessed.

Her breathing and heart rate have improved a lot over yesterday. She’s also less sweaty. She’s not posturing (arm movements) as much so they’ve removed her wrist straps. But she still is moving her arms a little now and then.

A few people have had dreams about her being in a happy and peaceful state spiritually. I believe in those dreams.

Thanks for your love and prayerful energy. It’s powerful.

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Jared J Brown

October 18

Nicole Marie Hilton Update:

Plenty of positive news. Prayer works.

She remains unresponsive and may stay that way for a while. The doctors don’t seem to be in a hurry to try to revive her and are focused more on letting her heal and keeping any infections at bay in the meantime.

However, before too long, they will take steps to try to revive her. Even then, it can take weeks before she fully returns to her senses. No one can predict the timing of it with any certainty. We are in a waiting game, but the waters seem calm at the moment.

She remains intubated and on the ventilator. However, her lungs have been working and healing. They have her ventilator on the minimal setting, because her lungs are working well enough. They need to heal, though, and she’s in the process of strengthening them.

They’ve removed a couple of her drain tubes from her surgeries. So she’s becoming less Borg-like.

Her heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen levels are all pretty steady. Her heart rate and breath rate are higher than a healthy person’s, but they are within reason, considering everything. Her blood pressure is steadily in a good zone.

Her temperature has been steadily above normal. This is to be expected simply from the inflammation from so many broken bones, surgeries, and other trauma. They are diligently monitoring her to ensure that her higher temps are not the result of infection or sepsis.

So far, there’s been no indication of infection, but they are constantly monitoring for this. They are keeping her on an antibiotic and keeping her temperatures within reason.

This type of thing can change quickly, which is why prayers were so instrumental earlier this week when things didn’t look as good.

She continues to use her arms occasionally in a sort of involuntary way, but it seems to be normal. She has not been responding lately to vocal commands when she’s asked to blink or give a thumbs up sign. I’m hoping this is because she’s busy elsewhere working on emotional and spiritual healing while her body does its thing.

Multiple people continue to report having dreams related to Nicole, some of them quite vivid. All of them see her in a very peaceful place. Others have interacted with her in dreams in a way that would indicate she’s aware, spiritually, of what’s happening around us currently. A friend dreamed about her in the future being completely healed emotionally, and helping others while in a wheel chair. Dreams are dreams, but they are part of the mix of faith and hope that is keeping us afloat.

I should note that both her nurses are phenomenal. They are an answer to prayers and just one more indication that Heaven has an interest in her survival and healing.

143Anessa Eveden, Larry Lunnen Gunn and 141 others

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Barbara Hilton

October 18, 2020, A note on Nicole’s bedroom wall….

139You, Derick Legg, Saunders Regina and 136 others19 Comments2 Shares

Barbara Hilton

October 18

I am overwhelmed at the love and support that is being shown to Nicole. Nicole’s HS graduating class of 2007 wanted to do something for her. This event is graciously being organized by Derick and Amanda Legg and Nicole’s best friend Ashley Davenport. Derick called me and asked if there were any special sayings that Nicole has that he could use as the main statement for the fundraiser. In Nicole’s room, she had hung on her wall the words “There WILL be miracles”. This is a line from the soundtrack “Prince of Egypt” Mariah Carey sings the song “When You Believe”. But the words in the song are “there can be miracles”. . . Nicole changed it to the more definitive “there WILL be miracles”!

Please feel free to share this event. We would like Nicole’s story to reach as many people as possible. If we can bring awareness to mental illness through Nicole’s blog https://healingwithchrist.com/ to someone else who may be struggling, it will be worth it. Thank you for your prayers – they sustain me. There WILL be miracles!

Nicole, Barbara and 51 friends

100You, Leslie Corley, Derick Legg and 97 others

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Jared J Brown

October 19

Nicole Marie Hilton Update, Monday Morning:

Nicole is making progress.

She is now beginning the process of waking up. It doesn’t look like it will happen quickly, but she is now nodding her head and shaking it in response to questions and squeezing hands when asked to more often. Her eyes for the most part still stare straight ahead, and she’s not blinking naturally, yet.

Her numbers are still not normal, but they are not bad and they are pretty steady. Her body temperature is good.

As she started to become more alert last night, she began gagging on the tubes going down her throat. I got them to remove a big temperature tube that not really critical, and that helped. She will need to remain intubated for a little while longer, while her lungs keep getting stronger.

Her bowels, etc., are doing great. Sat. evening her stomach was pretty distended from all the junk inside her, but that’s gone way down.

It’s a huge blessing that she is becoming more alert, but now that she’s alert, she is in more pain. They don’t want to overdo the pain meds, because she’s trying to wake up. So they’re trying to find that balance as she comes off the sedation.

My prayers are full of gratitude for the powerful prayers and faith of so many. There is no other explanation for her still being with us.

287Anessa Eveden, Larry Lunnen Gunn and 285 others

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Jared J Brown

October 20

Nicole Marie Hilton Update Tues Morning:

Slow and Steady

This is what it will take and what we want. There is no quick way to recover from this level of physical devastation, but she is recovering.

She remains only minimally alert. Now and then she’ll look us straight in the eyes, but then will go back to staring into space. But even then, she will usually still respond to questions by squeezing the hand or nodding/shaking her head.

Her “waking up” is going to be incremental and will take weeks and probably months. But everything is happening that needs to happen, so far.

They are removing a couple more tubes, but she remains on the ventilator with tubes down her throat. They have the ventilator on a minimal setting, but when they try to turn it lower, she doesn’t respond well, yet. So she’s still strengthening her lungs.

They’re finding a pretty good balance to maintaining her pain meds, but not sedating her so much that it works against her waking up.

The continuing concerns are her fever and high white blood count (WBC). A serious infection or sepsis could take her down quickly, but so far those have been avoided.

Fever and high WBC show up when there’s infection. However, they both also result from basic inflammation, and with so many breaks, fractures, major surgeries, injured organs, and a major spinal rebuild she is full of inflammation.

So the belief as of today that her fever and higher WBC are related to inflammation from her injuries. They have kept her on an antibiotic, and continue to switch that up to balance out their side effects.

Besides the outpouring of love and prayers, there has been a gigantic increase of folks reading her blog and finding understanding and solace from her story. Many people are responding who also suffer mental distress or have loved one who do. Many of them are responding very powerfully to Nicole’s story. Nothing would give her more joy than knowing this.

123Larry Lunnen Gunn, Lisa Nelson Sandström and 121 others

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Jared J Brown

October 21

Update on Nicole Marie Hilton, Wed Morning

A lingering concern and good news.

Her white blood cell count is still creeping up rather than going down. They removed her spleen on the first day, which along with all the injury would cause a jump. Two weeks later, though, we would want to see them decline. Still, they are not able to identify any specific infection, and her temperatures remain reasonable.

They are taking her in today to explore everything to try to figure it out.

Her alertness is not changing a lot, but it is still increasing. Her eyes stay open more and she’s more consistent in responding to vocal commands, so she’s increasingly here with us and aware. But she still mostly stares straight and doesn’t blink.

That said, her lungs and breathing had a very big jump forward last night. This morning they’ve turned down the ventilator a lot, and she’s tolerating it very well! This is big news, and we’re very happy about it.

If she can breathe on her own, that’s a big factor in being stabilized, and it could mean she gets her tubes out without needing a tracheostomy. That’s where they transfer her tubes from her mouth and set them into a hole in her lower throat. That’s pretty standard procedure, but it would be nice to avoid it.

Here’s the miracle we are praying for: 1. That her white blood count begins to go down 2. And that her lungs and alertness increase quickly enough that she can avoid a tracheostomy.

Her big jump in her lung improvement was a big part of that miracle already.

The biggest miracle is how many of you have been praying for her; it is why she’s alive today.

Many of you have shared what her story has meant to you. Those messages will be what pulls her through her long rehabilitation. Nothing boosts her spirits quicker than hearing that someone is being helped or inspired by her own struggles.

Thank you!!

145Donna Brown, Larry Lunnen Gunn and 143 others

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Jared J Brown

October 22

Nicole Marie Hilton update, Thursday Evening

Nicole is still doing ok. She is still not alert, but making the baby steps on the up and down path to healing. We credit this fact to the many, many of you who have prayed for her.

It appears that we’re moving out of the phase of keeping her alive and into the phase of waiting and supporting her as she slowly gains her full consciousness followed by lots and lots of rehabilitation.

Please don’t forget that she absolutely shouldn’t be here. We give full credit for this status update to top notch medical professionals, to your prayers, and God. God always wants to help us, but respects our agency and often must await an invitation to intervene. We know that your prayers created miracles, and they still will.

One miracle is this event posted below. Some wonderful people, on their own initiative, are creating a very meaningful event to support Nicole and help increase awareness of these types of mental health issues.

Check out the details if you would like to participate. I’ll be there.

Derick Legg is with Barbara Hilton

October 20

My classmates and I are putting together an event to try and bring awareness to mental health. This event will be held for Nicole Hilton who is fighting for her life right now! Please come and support if you can.

#thereWILLbemiracles

56Jennifer Drummy, Ashlie Davenport and 54 others

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Jared J Brown is feeling blessed

October 23

Nicole Marie Hilton update, Friday Night Live!

Only good news to report.

White Blood Count has dropped.

Respiratory and heart rate all last night and today, about the best she’s had.

Temps are lowest they’ve been: totally normal.

She is still mostly staring into space without blinking, however she now will lock eyes with anyone who approaches the bed, and she will hold their gaze.

Also, she has been fairly good at squeezing a hand (especially her right) on vocal command. But now she’s doing that more, and tonight the nurse asked her to move her arms and she moved them both on command.

Thanks for watching and caring. All the positive love is carrying her on its wings.

162Aaron Brown, Larry Lunnen Gunn and 160 others

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Barbara Hilton

October 25

Short update on Nicole:

Nicole is very stable, she is not able to be fully awake or alert at this time, but she does make eye contact once in a while and will squeeze our hand on command. It is difficult for her to maintain any alertness for very long, she drifts in and out of consciousness. I have such peace knowing that she is in God’s hands and that she has yet a great work to do on this earth. Her blog healingwithchrist.com has now had over 46,000 views in the last 18 days. People are being led to her writings who need it the most.

Nicole has been too weak to be weaned off the ventilator. Tomorrow she’ll have a tracheostomy placed. My husband and Nicole’s boyfriend JJ gave her a beautiful priesthood blessing this evening. She was promised that light would infuse her soul, that darkness would subside, and that those evil spirits who tormented her will be barred. We have had miracles happen every day, many that are too sacred to discuss, but we know Nicole will someday recover and will accomplish her foreordained mission on this earth.

We feel such gratitude and love for all of you who have expressed to us that they are praying for our daughter. Literally, thousands of people from all over the world are sending their love and prayers in her behalf. Thank you, and God bless you! #HiltonStrong

530You, Leslie Corley, Stephany Brisco and 527 others

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Jared J Brown

October 27

Nicole Marie Hilton, update, Tuesday Evening

Things are well with Nicole.

They have moved her breathing tubes out of her mouth and into a tracheostomy. This is a big improvement; it allows her to swallow, cough, and move her mouth, and we can see her face now.

While it’s small, her progress is clearly moving forward. Physical therapists come in each day and help her sit up at the edge of her bed, which is hard, because she has no back support.

Alternatively they put her in a special chair that allows her to sit up with more support, and she sat in that for an hour today.

With every move of her arms the therapists asked her to do, she was able to initiate the move herself, then they would support her through the rest of the movement.

The fact that she can follow instructions and intentionally try to move in different ways tells us a lot. It means she understands what’s going on, has the ability to initiate the exercise, and has the will to do the work.

While up, she was able to move her head back and forward and a little to the side, as well. They asked her to do a thumbs up with each hand, which she also was able to do on both sides.

She still does not blink, but once in a while she’ll close her eyes on her own now. However, if anyone is around, she’ll look at them, and she’ll watch the TV.

Her family decorated one of her doors with pictures of her and quotations off her bedroom wall. While she was sitting up in her chair, she spent most of that hour looking at that door, clearly looking around at different parts of it.

But just a while ago, the best thing ever happened. I was joking and goading her a little about smiling at me, and she clearly smiled at me! Not a huge smile, but definitely a smile. That was the first facial expression she has shown.

So a great day for Nicole. We know that even these small incremental miracles are supported by the faith and prayers of so many of you. We will forever be grateful for you all.

296Aaron Brown, Anessa Eveden and 294 others

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Jared J Brown is feeling happy

October 28

Nicole Marie Hilton update, Wed Night:

Real quick here. We’ve been very focused on Nicole’s vitals and alertness. Meanwhile her poor legs have also been trying to heal from some serious damage. They found a blood clot in one of her legs today, because her mom who, is a nurse, called their attention to it. That’s now being treated.

Today Nicole waved to me with her hand when I asked her to. She also got one of her nose tubes taken out.

The biggest news is that she has gone all day without being attached to the ventilator and has had no problems with it. They have a tube just resting on her tracheostomy with some added oxygen, but she’s doing all the breathing on her own.

The miracles keep coming on, as though there’s an army of faithful who are praying for her.

Thank you.

I’ve been adding a lot of friends, so I want to call attention, again, to Nicole’s blog about her ongoing journey of healing from childhood trauma and the mental health challenges associated with it.

HEALINGWITHCHRIST.COM

Healing with Christ

by Nicole Marie Hilton

118Larry Lunnen Gunn, Michelle Olsen and 116 others

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Barbara Hilton

October 31

A quick update . . .

Nicole is now awake from the coma she was in, but she is experiencing what is considered ICU delirium. She can make eye contact with us and follow simple commands like squeezing our hand but not much more. Neurologically she is not intact. She frequently looks scared or anxious but has no way to communicate with us. It is difficult to know how much she understands. The CT scan showed a dozen small micro strokes, however, this does not explain her continued confusion and decreased neurologic state.

In our faith, we spend the first Sunday of each month in fasting and prayer. Tomorrow our family will be fasting and praying for another miracle. . . that Nicole’s mind be healed and strengthened, and that she will feel the peace and love of our Savior as she goes through the difficult transition of healing from her injuries. We invite all who feel so inclined to join us. As we combine our faith, there WILL be miracles!

I wanted to include a cute video of my daughter. . . After Disney’s movie “Frozen” came out, she dressed up in an Elsa costume and made me accompany her all over Saint George. At first, I was hesitant and a little bit embarrassed, but Nicole was totally in her element. We stopped at the Art festival where she was thronged by hundreds of children wanting their picture with Elsa! She absolutely loved bringing a smile to those kids’ faces. Then she had me take her to all the movie theaters in town. The children coming out of the movie were absolutely delighted and couldn’t wait to meet her. The movie theater management was thrilled with Elsa’s impromptu appearance and gave us free movie tickets. This is the magic of Nicole. . . #HiltonStrong

247You, Leslie Corley, Derick Legg and 244 others

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Jared J Brown

November 1 

Nicole Marie Hilton Update Sunday Morning

Last night they moved Nicole out of the Intensive Care Unit into a standard hospital room. The ICU was filling up, and they deemed Nicole to be stable. The new room is nice, and it has a view of the St. George Temple.

The family is praying and fasting today for her neuro state to improve. She is more alert and responding to commands as well as ever. She also closes her eyes now when she sleeps.

Although she can respond to commands, she needs to keep getting more responsive, she needs to get stronger with her lungs and using her tracheostomy, and she needs to have greater endurance to do physical therapy.

At certain times, she has looked panicked and worried, although that seems to be improving now. So we are also praying that she can be at peace as she continues to get back to being her full self.

Thanks so much for all your love and support.

182Anessa Eveden, Larry Lunnen Gunn and 180 others

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Jared J Brown

November 2

Nicole Marie Hilton, update Monday Night:

“Every Step is a Step Forward”

Nicole wrote that on an orange sticky note and kept it on her wall. Now it’s on the wall in her hospital room.

Today Nicole got some flash cards so she could try to communicate her needs better.

She stared at this one for a few minutes, and then I asked her if one of them applied to her. She pointed to “I can’t breathe well.” I asked a Respiratory tech to come and check out her stuff, and everything looked great. Then I asked the tech to explain the trach to Nicole and why it is so weird to try to breathe. She listened and seemed satisfied.

She probably had that thought in her head for the last three weeks.

So that was our first time where she could tell us what she really needed. That helps us and her feel less helpless.

Today she also started eating ice chips. She would hold the cup and lift it herself to her mouth. Her neck guard would get in the way, but without it, she could have done it herself.

These are some awesome baby steps in my book, and I’m feeling blessed.

Thanks for all the love and interest.

194Anessa Eveden, Larry Lunnen Gunn and 192 others

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Jared J Brown

November 3

St George Radio Station KDXU 94.9 has been talking about Nicole Marie Hilton today. This is what they put on their website.

890KDXU.COM

One man’s tragedy turns to healing as he helps another who is struggling – KDXU 94.9 890

Nicole Marie Hilton being rescued on Webb Hill, Picture used with permission by Jeff Basham 11/3/2020

When St. George resident Derick Legg heard of his high school classmate throwing herself off of Webb Hill on October 8th, he knew he needed to help her in any way that he could.  Legg’s own father lost his life after driving his car off that same hill in May of 2018.  Legg says he is not helping his friend to gain sympathy for himself, but the healing is definitely a side-effect of what he is doing to help. 

Legg contacted his other high school classmates, and it was decided that they need to help raise money for their dear friend who was now struggling for her life in local hospital.   It was felt that a benefit dinner and auction was the best way to help their fellow classmate and friend who has struggled with mental illness her entire life. 

This beautiful 31-year-old woman is Nicole Marie Hilton.  A woman who knows emotional pain all too well and has shared her pain with others in an attempt to help them deal with their own pain.  Her blog called Healing with Christ, My Journey between Two Trees, is an explanation of her own journey with mental health struggles and childhood trauma.  This blog has received 51k views since the accident, and hundreds have contacted Nicole’s family to let them know the powerful effect it’s had on them.  The web address is HealingWithChrist.com  According to Hilton’s fiancé Jared J. Brown she has a strong desire to help ease the pain for others that exists and wants to diminish the stigma that comes with the struggle of mental health issues. 

The fund-raising dinner will be held at 25 Main Café and will be open at 5pm on November 7th specifically for this event. The normal menu will not be served and a chicken alfredo dish with a salad and garlic bread will be served for $15.00 a plate.  You can use Venmo, cash or a credit card at the event. You will also be able to participate in a raffle and Silent auction.

57Stephany Brisco, Larry Lunnen Gunn and 55 others

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Jared J Brown is with Stephany Brisco

November 6 

Nicole Marie Hilton update, Thurs Night

First a few words about the election. Just kidding.

Nicole is moving forward steadily. Every day she is more alert and more mobile with her arms and hands. She is still not able to speak, and it’s still difficult to communicate, but we’re learning signs for the things she needs, she is using the cards more, and she doesn’t stare into space the way she did before.

Today she wrote her name, and it was legible. She did her physical therapy for longer than before, and she’s trying to communicate in a more complex manner. She answered correctly with hand squeezes about the year, her city, who the president is, and a few other things.

Last night she began to have what seems to be some realizations that something has gone very wrong. She has short bouts of intense anxiety, which get better pretty quickly when I explain things to her. She’s even asked for hugs during these bouts, which kinda breaks my heart.

She motioned to her lower body in a panicked way as if to ask why she couldn’t move her lower body. I’ve had to explain that she’s working on her upper body now, and lower body next. I’ve had a few clues that she may even be beginning to remember some aspects of her accident.

On one hand, this is stressful and shocking for her. On the other hand, there is no way she can really come back to being fully Nicole without these realizations. It’s a very difficult, but very necessary shift into her next stage of healing. It’s big news.

A trusted friend of mine has done something really wonderful. She put together a link where anyone who wants to can leave Nicole a short video saying whatever they would like to her. And then we can let Nicole watch them when we think it would be most beneficial. She’s seems to be getting into that stage where she not only can understand these messages, but actually could use the encouragement.

If you want to leave a message, please go ahead. We will use them carefully for her benefit. Thanks so much Stephany Brisco for putting this together!

VIDHUG

Hi everyone! We’re making a group video for Nicole Hilton and need your help. Please add your own video of uplifting well wishes and love below (it’s quick & easy) and you’ll be part of a memorable and meaningful surprise. Thank you!

118Leslie Corley, Anessa Eveden and 116 others

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Jared J Brown

November 7

Nicole Marie Hilton update, Sat Morning:

Nicole’s Dinner event is tonight in St George at 5pm. (No need to RSVP).

It’s $15 for the food. There is an online auction, and a bunch of awesome $1 raffles. You can also buy T-shirts and wrist bands. The funds raised, (even from the meal) will go towards Nicole’s recovery.

HUGE shout out to Derick Legg, a school friend of Nicole’s who dreamed up and organized this amazing Suicide Awareness event. Derek’s family has also been deeply affected by the issue of mental health and suicide.

Nicole update:

I walked into her hospital room yesterday and flashed her the “I Love You” sign with my hand , and she flashed it right back. Stopped me dead in my tracks.

As she becomes more aware, her emotions are becoming more raw, and she trying to ask more questions, mostly through gestures, but also by writing.

She knows she’s been in an accident, broken her neck and back, that she’s been fixed up, and that that her legs aren’t working.

she knows she had surgery on her stomach (her spleen was removed, etc.). And she knows the basic steps it will take before she can leave the hospital.

She recognizes her parents and me, but still no indication or what else she remembers. She desperately wants out of her neck brace and she’s very annoyed by the feeding tube in her nose and by her tracheostomy.

She tries to talk, and mouths words, but we’re not very good lip readers so it can be frustrating.

We’re entering a very emotional and frustrating part of her healing.

This is the best news ever! It’s hard, but it’s a sign of her progress, and there’s no path to true healing that doesn’t involve this stage.

So that’s our focus now, helping her emotionally transition through this recent trauma, and getting all the stuff on her head and neck removed, so she can talk and eat, again.

77You, Anessa Eveden, Stephany Brisco and 74 others

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Barbara Hilton is with Derick Legg and Micki Wells

November 8 

My husband and I need to express our gratitude for everyone who was involved in last night’s event for Nicole. It was absolutely amazing . . . We had hundreds of people there and felt so much love and support. Thank you Derick, Brandon, Ash Cat, and the PV HS class of 2007. Also thank you so much to the Legg family, they worked so hard to make this a beautiful event.

Thank you to 25 & Main Cafe… The owner donated all the food and it was absolutely delicious! 25 & Main has always been Nicole’s favorite place to eat – they have the best food and the BIGGEST heart!!! Thank you to all the businesses who supported this event with so many generous contributions. We are deeply touched by your kindness, love, and support. Thank you to the hundreds of friends, family, and complete strangers who showed up because they were affected by Nicole’s story. You are strangers no more, we love you and we are at a loss on how to properly express our gratitude. With all the chaos in the world right now, my heart is touched to witness such kindness, love, and support. Here are a few pictures from last night –

225You, Leslie Corley, Derick Legg and 222 others

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Jared J Brown

November 9

Nicole Marie Hilton Update, Monday Afternoon

Things have shifted forward in the last few days.

First of all, the benefit and awareness event put on by Derick Legg and his entire family was amazing. So many lovely people showed up, and others who couldn’t, have participated in the online auction. I think it was healing for the Hilton’s and the Legg Family to publicly air these issues. The Legg Family and other former classmates put a huge amount of energy into it.

I came back to Nicole after the event wearing a green Nicole Strong T-shirt. Green is for mental health awareness. She stared at it in awe, and she kept making me turn around a couple times so she could read what was on the back. The back has a saying she coined and keeps on her wall: “There WILL be Miracles”

I told her a lot of her friends were wearing these shirts to show their support for her. That really changed her. She actually had a rough night for the next four hours, because she was in some pain and just couldn’t get comfortable. A couple times, right in the middle of acting panicked, she grabbed me with both hands and just stared at the shirt, and made me turn around, again, so she could look at the back, again.

The next morning she asked me (through writing) what actually happened and I told her the basic story that she had been overwhelmed and attempted suicide. She handled it well, and then she asked questions about her legs and stomach (there’s a long set of stitches up her belly). She was not happy about this, but was actually very strong about it.

Today she asked more questions, and I told her about how her family had responded so quickly by coming to St. George and being with her.

I told her how her mother made the very courageous and inspired move to post the truth on Facebook. This got a very strong reaction from Nicole and she was obviously very proud of her mom and happy that she did that.

I talked about how her mom’s inspired move allowed me and others to talk openly about it, and how that led to so many amazing events and a worldwide show of love, support, and understanding. I talked about all your prayers and outpourings of love, and how it was a big beautiful miracle.

I showed her how many people had visited her blog, and her eyes got very large, and I saw my first involuntary smile from her.

Nicole was completely alert and aware of what I was describing. She had tears in her eyes, and a huge amount of love on her face. It was the first time I really saw Nicole, again.

I showed her some videos of people from the event who were saying Hi to her. She loved this. She got teary eyed when she saw that some friends from her support group had come.

In other news, Nicole is now drinking juice and herbal tea and eating jello. Soon she’ll be able to move on to even better stuff. She couldn’t be happier about this. This morning, she was literally holding tea in one hand and apple juice in the other, sucking alternatively from the two straws.

Yesterday, she wrote down, in perfect script, “Jaba Juice.” So now we have a goal, and I don’t think it’s very far off.

She’s also getting strong. She keeps grabbing the side of the bed and shifting her body to one side or the other. I try to stop her from doing that, because: broken back, but she’s able to do it, and then she asks me to shift her legs to line up with her torso.

It has been a difficult week for her, but the blessings have swallowed up the frustration. Blessings have come from God and from all of you. I’ve learned a lot about how much we can all be a blessing to each other when we focus on our own humanity and remember that the trials and beauties of this probation are something we all share.

243Nicole Marie Hilton, Leslie Corley and 241 others

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Jared J Brown

November 10

Nicole Marie Hilton Update! Tues Evening

Very hard to keep up with this girl.

Nicole is now eating regular food, and she’s talking. It’s not her normal voice, coming out of a trach, but she’s doing it.

She now has zero tubes in her. Not even an IV. They have a pick line in her arm, but that’s only for occasional shots and blood work.

She could not be happier eating real food, and it’s making her funny, again. I called her mom and asked her to pick up Nicole’s favorite rice pudding by Kozy Shack. And in her whispery trach voice says, “My man, delivering the Kozy Shack!”

I bought her a Jamba Juice (totally legal) and she said, “Let’s Celebrate this with a kiss and Family Guy.” (The true version of this quotation was even funnier, because she used the secret name of the Jamba Juice, which isn’t very appropriate).

It’s still hard for her. Today she wanted to go over the details of her suicide, again, and it was very, very hard for her. She’s realizing more and more that she’s a paralytic, and she shed more tears over that today.

She keeps realizing, all over again, that her legs aren’t a part of her the same way, and that’s very tough each time.

But again, that was overridden when I reminded her of all the many miracles and prayers, and how God had taken over where darkness left off to make something important happen.

I had to help her realize that she would be in a wheel chair, and this realization hit her like a ton of bricks. But then she wrote (didn’t have her voice valve yet), “noooo wheelchair, I’m going to bounce back!”

And we decided that was our goal.

I taped up a Nicole Strong T shirt up in front of her bed with the back facing out where it says “There WILL be miracles.” She loved that.

At one point today she was in the worst pain she’s experienced in the hospital. Even during that pain she texted, for the first time, a couple of her friends.

When that pain reached its worst, she asked, “Am I hurting this much because I jumped?” I told her no, and that she was hurting so much because the nurse didn’t give her pain meds before physical therapy (which I had asked her to do).

So a mixed bag, but the very best kind. With so many good people sending their goodwill and energy Nicole’s way, the blessings overflow.

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Jared J Brown is Feeling Happy

November 13

Overdue Update for Nicole Marie Hilton, Fri, Evening

Sorry for the delay. Had some work in Las Vegas. Continued progress and blessings. As a result of some dogged determination on her mother’s part, Nicole was allowed to be wheeled outside today and see her family for the first time in a month. Her brothers came into town with most of her nieces and nephews.

They had to do it in two covid-safe groups of ten, but they all got so see and talk with Nicole, and they were all sporting her green shirt. Even the two dogs were sporting Nicole Strong T-shirts. We wanted to invite her other close friends and loved ones, but the hospital was adamant that we couldn’t. Afterward, Nicole kept repeating: “that was amazing, that was amaaaazing.”

She’s become more comfortable with the speaking valve on her trach, so she says what she wants now. What a blessing.

Today, she asked me to tell her a more complete story of her suicide attempt, so I did. She remembered events a few days before the incident but was very interested in the details leading up to it. I let her know that it was her father who was first to get to her at the bottom of the cliff and that her parents got to the scene in time to save her. She seemed moved by the fact that her parents were leading the rescue and that her brother Levi, an ER doc, was in St. George within two hours.

She enjoyed hearing again, about the outpouring of prayers and support from so many. It very quickly shifted her energy to one of light and positivity. She asked me if she could get a green T-shirt, and I answered “nope.”

Soon she will need to go into a long-term acute care health facility. All the regular ones do not allow any visitors, family members, or companions to come with her or even visit her. We’ve been very, very concerned about the emotional impact it would have on her to be alone for a number of weeks, especially as she’s facing the likely prospect of a never walking again, along with the trauma of knowing what brought her there. She’s had past traumatic experiences related to being alone in hospitals.

The hospital staff has found a good facility in Bountiful that may have a space for her next week, that would allow me to be there, and that would be covered by her healthcare. So we’re praying for that, and are very grateful for this prospect. She would stay there until she’s ready for hard core physical therapy back in St. George.

The blessings keep coming. We’re very grateful.

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Jared J Brown is with Nicole Marie Hilton

November 17 

Update for Nicole Marie Hilton, Tuesday evening

Entering the next stage

Floating on 1000 prayers, Nicole is alive and well.

We give full credit to our heavenly father, but know that often he acts upon our faith. We will never be able to thank all of you enough for giving us your faith and this beautiful miracle.

On Thursday Nicole will be transferred to Provo for acute long-term care which should last for 3 to 4 weeks. Because of Covid, she will not be allowed any visitors at all. But she will have access to her computer and her phone and we will all be with her that way.

We were hoping for a hospital in Bountiful that would allow visitors, but there will not be any openings in time. However we feel because she will have access to the Internet and all of your comments that have been sent her way this last month, she will have plenty to read, to think about, and she will feel your love.

I hope you all understand that your hundreds and hundreds of positive comments and expressions of love will now become part of her positive programming from the light. Your words will now serve to reprogram her against all that the dark side has taught her.

She left words on her blog to inspire some of you, and now you have left words to inspire and lift her up. This is how it should be. We are all here on this earth and to some extent fallen, but we do have a father in heaven, and especially we have each other. And we’re all in this together. I’ve never known that as much as I know it now.

Because she is beginning to be able to communicate herself, although only to a limited extent so far, I don’t need to speak for her as much. However, I will share the things she puts on her page, and keep you updated as to anything significant happening in her progress.

Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey, and because of all of you, it’s just beginning.

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Jared J Brown is with Nicole Marie Hilton

November 18

Update for Nicole Marie Hilton, Wed Night

Great news!

Road Trip from Utah to Virginia

Nicole will NOT be moving up north tomorrow as planned. That means that for at least a little while longer she can stay in St. George and be visited by her mother and me.

It turns out that every acute long-term care hospital in Utah is filled. Also she had follow-up surgery on her ankle today, which became more complicated than expected. It will require some follow up surgeries. For both these reasons she will be in St. George for at least a week.

And now the hospital informs us that by that time she may be advanced enough in her healing that they can keep her here for physical therapy.

We were so disappointed when she couldn’t go earlier to the Bountiful hospital, but little did we know that God had better plans for her.

Nicole is doing great. She still struggles emotionally now and then but recovers quickly and again remembers or learns again how much love and support she has behind her.

I’ve lost track of how many miracles have gone her way, and we owe all of you so much gratitude for your prayers and support. It’s been unimaginable.

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Jared J Brown

November 21

Update for Nicole Marie Hilton, Saturday evening

She’s struggling, but she won’t slow down.

I’m grateful to be on earth with so many wonderful, supportive people.

Nicole has progressed so quickly that the hospital has now decided to move her into the rehab wing possibly sometime next week. This, instead of being up north for a month in a hospital that would not allow any visitors. There have been miracles.

It’s been a hard few days for her emotionally as she considers her situation and faces the road ahead for herself. When her mother or I are not with her, she sucks it up and does the things that need to be done, but when we visit her, during the three hour-long visits we are currently allowed, we can tell that she is feeling a bit overwhelmed.

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Nicole’s Memories from the other Side of the Veil
Jared J Brown

November 23

Today, I’m grateful for this unsinkable lady.

Nicole Marie Hilton wanted to see what it was like to sing through her tracheostomy this morning. It’s was funny and awesome.

#givethanks

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Jared J Brown

November 25 at 2:15 AM

I’m grateful for light and knowledge.

Their opposites are darkness and hopelessness.

Abuse sows darkness and hopelessness. And invariably abuse leads to addiction which serves to self-perpetuate despair.

Any organization that brings children and vulnerable people together has the potential to be corrupted by abusers and perpetrators – even good organizations and churches.

Too often, leaders of groups have put the protection of the organization above the protection of victims of abuse, sometimes because of ignorance and sometimes because of culpability.

I’m grateful that more light and knowledge is being shed about abuse and addiction than in the past, and that society is becoming more aware. Abuse survivors have a better chance of being understood and supported rather than being isolated and shamed.

Like most organizations today, my own church has been trying to adjust. In the same month that Nicole attempted suicide, my church’s magazine had a special issue focusing on abuse and addiction. I’m grateful for the Liahona Magazine for attempting to shed significant light and knowledge on this most important subject. These are some of the articles in October’s Issue:

Preventing Abuse

How can we experience the healing power of Christ?

Hearts Pierced with Deep Wounds: Understanding Abuse in the Family

Recognizing Emotional Abuse

Abuse Awareness

Agency and Addiction

Healing Power of Christ

You Can Find Freedom

Is Addiction the Same as Rebellion?

7 Tips for Overcoming Pornography Use

Helping Loved Ones through Addiction without Enabling

Supporting my Mom on Her Journey to Sobriety

Addicted? You still Belong in the Gospel

How I Found Healing from Sexual Abuse

If You’re a Victim of Abuse

LDS Addiction Recovery Program

#givethanks

CHURCHOFJESUSCHRIST.ORG

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Jared J Brown is with Nicole Marie Hilton

November 27 at 10:57 PM

Thankful for a sweet Thanksgiving

Nicole Marie Hilton was allowed to drive an electric wheel chair outside completely on her own, and her only complaint was that it was too slow.

The hospital has a big beautiful zero scape garden with running water and a winding sidewalk. She spent more than an hour basking in the sun, and her mom brought the dogs.

Every day there seems to be a new small step, and every step is a step forward.

#givethanks

#nicolestrong

#ThereWillbeMiracles

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Jared J Brown

November 30 at 12:57 AM

Nicole Marie Hilton Update, Sun night

Nicole is doing quite well. She confronts her new realities with short bursts of mourning followed by focusing on her blessings, her miracles, and the flood of love she’s receives from all of you.

Today she was able to drive herself outside into the sun to see her doggies. So much good comes from her bears and the sun.

She’s progressing everyday with baby steps and now controls her own lift system that lifts her out of bed onto her chair and back.

Also here’s a link of Lisa Hopkins Seegmiller performing O Holy Night with beautiful images. She included an image of Nicole and Barbara Hilton in the hospital together. It’s a beautiful and inspirational performance.

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Jared J Brown

December 2 at 11:59 AM

Today is Nicole Marie Hilton’s Bday

I posted the VidHugs many of you left for her and she’s watching it now.

She is doing very well. Her short term (day-to-day) memory remains foggy, but her long term memory is strong and she remembers her friends and past experiences.

She gets stronger in her therapy every day. She’s not able to do it all yet, but she’s learning to roll over, shift from her bed to a chair with help, sit up and hold her balance, and use her hands to move her legs to where they need to be.

Her paralysis begins just above her belly button. But this allows her to use her stomach muscles to sit up and shift forward and backwards, etc. she’s learning to use her arms while sitting and maintain her balance.

Her goals are to be able to sit up and use her arms freely while holding her balance. She’s made serious progress on this. Sitting up by herself is a goal, and a biggie is shifting her own body around using her arm strength.

She’s getting there.

Yesterday for the first time they put her in a manual wheel chair and she was able to move all the way down the hall under her own power. Of course she was complaining about how slow she was moving, ha ha. She is strong of will.

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Jared J Brown

December 2 at 11:34 PM

Nicole had a wonderful Birthday today, partly because I brought her a Firehouse Sub for lunch, but mostly because she felt the overwhelming love and support from so many of you.

She literally couldn’t keep track of all the love coming her way in cards, videos, gifts and comments. She wants me to thank everyone for her, because she didn’t have the time or energy to even begin responding to everyone.

But she basked in the love, and this love is overpowering any difficulty or negativity that she may be facing.

I’m learning that when we come together in love, it really is bigger than anything else we may confront. This is being indelibly imprinted into Nicole’s heart, mind, and spirit. And it’s changing her.

I have no words to express what it all means to this her and her family.

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Jared J Brown

December 3 at 9:10 PM

Nicole Marie Hilton’s dear cousin Ben wrote and performed this piece which was inspired by and dedicated to Nicole.

Give it a listen. It’s beautiful.

There Will Be Miracles – Beni Thomas

Donate to help Nicole: GoFundMe

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Jared J Brown

December 4 at 10:03 PM

Nicole Marie Hilton update

Pretty awesome physical therapy today with Nicole. She really blew me away.

Everything is still incremental and a struggle, but she was doing new things.

After laying her on her side, they would roll her almost on her back but tell her to reach her top hand forward and roll over more onto her stomach. She did this multiple times without help.

Also from a sitting position on the side of the table they had her leaned over on one shoulder, so only her legs and hips were in sitting position.

Then by pushing her arms down, she inched her body all the way up to a sitting position all on her own. She did that a couple times, as well.

To be honest, I’m not sure where all this came from. Yesterday she could never have pulled this off.

She seems to be on some kind of shortcut route on everything she’s doing.

#nicolestrong

#therewillbemiracles

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Jared J Brown

December 6 at 1:22 PM 

Today’s therapy for Nicole Marie Hilton Sunday morning

She was making this up as she went along.

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Barbara Hilton is with Nicole Marie Hilton and 4 others

December 6 at 9:28 PM 

I want to thank this incredible group of people. On November 7, one month after Nicole’s accident, Derick Legg, his family and friends and the class of 2007, organized a benefit dinner for our daughter. It was a wonderful event, there were hundreds of people involved, there were dozens of businesses throughout our community that participated. The restaurant 25 and Main, provided all of the food and put on an amazing dinner for everyone. We want to thank all of you so much. Derick presented Nicole with an envelope filled with over $9000! This will go a long way financially in helping us build a handicapped accessible bathroom and bedroom on the main floor of our home. Thank you everyone for your kindness and generosity. #HiltonStrong

185Nicole Marie Hilton, Derick Legg and 183 others

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Jared J Brown

December 7 at 9:35 PM 

Nicole Marie Hilton had another great day of therapy.

There’s this vid below, but she also did something completely new and surprised everyone. After rolling onto her stomach, she was able to push herself up (with plenty of help) onto just her knees and forearms.

But then she was able to hold that plank position completely alone for almost 5 minutes – even while rocking back and forward the whole time.

They asked her if she was tired after about a minute, and she adamantly said “No!” And she just held onto it forever. I think she was so happy to be off her backside for the first time in 2 months that she wasn’t going to let it go.

It was a big moment and they were all pretty happy. I have a short clip of it, but she thought the position looked way too embarrassing to make public.

She’s so thankful for all the cards and even gifts she’s gotten. She can’t respond to everyone at this point, but she desperately wants to thank every one of you.

Today she received a very cool metal cup with “There Will be Miracles” written in it from Janessa Wait designs. Could you let me know if you sent that to her? She loves it but we don’t know who sent it. Thanks

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Jared Brown

December 25, 2020 at 2:58 PM 

Merriest of Christmases!

Nicole Marie Hilton is alone today in her hospital room. Because there was Covid in her wing, they’re keeping to patients isolated through Christmas.

Nicole was also a hospital patient two Christmases ago—or at least she played one on TV (YouTube) with the Tabernacle Choir and Kevin Sorbo.

That’s not her in the image below. She’s the gorgeous actor in the hospital gown also with a newborn baby toward the end of the video.

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Jared J. Brown is with Nicole Marie Hilton

December 26, 2020 at 2:25 PM

I was able to surprise Nicole Marie Hilton today for Christmas! Her quarantine ended, and I flew back to make full use of it.

I enjoyed a couple weeks with my daughters for Christmas back in VA. Now I’ll be here to see her through the rest of her hospital stay and to help her transition back into the world.

She’s doing very well, and has been lifted up by all the cards, gifts, and love from so many old and new friends. Thank you all for supporting her so much!

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Jared J Brown is with Nicole Marie Hilton

Nicole Marie Hilton update, Monday night.

Because of Christmas and the weekend, today was the first day I got to see Nicole doing physical therapy, again.

She was also able to go from sitting on the side of the bed to getting her legs up onto the bed by herself. These things were really difficult for her, but she did them.

Every day her memory gets slightly better, and she becomes a little more like her core self. It’s incremental, but it’s always forward.

At night sometimes she confronts her difficult situation but moves through it pretty quickly. During the day she stays strong and keeps all the staff laughing.

This evening, she had her neck brace off for just a minute while we were reading together. And boom, I was reminded about her natural beauty.

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Jared J. Brown

Update on Nicole Marie Hilton: First Week Home

Nicole has been posting updates on her site, but I realize those weren’t all made available to the public. I’ll see if we can make those public.

Nicole is doing very, very well, and it’s been very, very busy. First there is big time construction going on at her house. Her parents are completely rebuilding the basement so that her sister in law can live there with her two daughters and be her CNA, or caretaker. They are also completely building her a new room with its own wheel-in bathroom that’s completely handi capable. It will have its own wheel chair entrance, but I built a temporary ramp getting her in the front door for now.

Also, different family members have been coming and staying for a few days so that they can finally spend time with her, again, after three months. She has loved seeing all her nieces and nephews and spending time with them.

The first week has been a huge learning experience for her and the rest of us. We are learning all about lifting, bathing, cathing, transferring, positioning, medicating, etc., in a house that is very non-handicap ready.

Slowly, we’re figuring it all out. Nicole’s been to a movie, to the pool, to the park, walking the dogs, to Harmon’s, and to lots of follow up medical visits. She also has specialists come to the home for different things. It all tires her out very quickly, but she’s getting a little stronger every day, and she’s doing quite well emotionally.

Sometimes, but not often, she breaks down mentally for just small moments, but her ability to fight through those moments and find her strength and light is actually better than before this incident.

The online musical and awareness event put on by her cousin Benjamin Anderson for her was amazing. She’s continued to be strengthened by watching it. There is much advice and beautiful music for those who are struggling emotionally in that program. I strongly recommend it for anyone experiencing this type of trouble.

Nicole continues to use the thousands of comments you all have left for her on FB and in cards and messages as a source of light and strength. Last night she was feeling overwhelmed, but then spent a few hours reading over the comments and messages and was completely lifted up. Thanks again for all the love and support.

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A Mother’s View

Loved ones suffer alongside the survivors of trauma and abuse and in some ways can be co-victims. Often, parents are innocent bystanders who feel powerless to help or even understand their struggling child. These parents also need to know that it’s not their fault and that they are supported and understood. The level of helplessness and despair felt by the mother of a suicide victim is unimaginable. Their voices should also be heard.

[Posted by JJ Brown]

The Links below show Nicole’s mother going public about her co-struggle with Nicole’s mental health challenges.

A Public Plea for Prayers from Nicole’s Mother
Waiting on the Lord
Good Times

JJ’s Thoughts on Mental Health and Suicide

I am JJ Brown, Nicole’s boyfriend. I wrote this on my Facebook to help others understand how Nicole and so many others could be so afflicted with the mental health issues they face. It is a complicated issue. My summary does not tell the whole story, but it tells a part of the story the medical community is not equipped to explain.


My Facebook Post on Mental Health and Suicide:

I believe these types of mental health issues are the same as a computer virus. A computer virus is an outside force introduced into the system. It self-operates, it protects itself, and it even self-perpetuates.

It feeds on fear, shame, pain, trauma, and anxiety. Therefore, it must induce thought patterns and behaviors which keep the programming fed inside its host (victim).

Each virus has been concocted and perfected by the dark side. It is introduced during times of vulnerability such as trauma, abuse, illness, sadness, or great fear.

All forms of abuse or trauma provide an opening for infection. It is especially effective against children, who are still learning how to think or feel and who must decide whether they are safe in this world.

Eventually, no perpetrator is needed. The learned behaviors and thought patterns take over, inducing ideas and life choices to produce feedback from others and from themselves that confirm what all the voices have always been telling them.

People from all over the planet have a very similar experience, with the same exact thoughts attacking their mind. That’s because it is the same program that is introduced globally. There’s a dark program for every form of addiction, and for the various forms of trauma and anxiety.

I understand that science can’t contemplate the concept of dark programming. For this reason, Science will never fully understand.

Science may observe the changes in levels of cortisol, lithium, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins; all of which can both result from and impact emotional health. Dark programming can take advantage of existing mental health issues. Very often, though, it initiates the trauma which is the root cause of the illness and a vector for its dark programming.

Nicole has worked incredibly hard to process her trauma and abuse. She has accepted it and healed a lot from it. She has given value to her true emotions related to the actual trauma, and focused on the fact that while those feelings were real, they are related to the past and no longer useful to her present life or her future. She has made great progress and has seen miracles in writing in her blog and sharing with other survivors.

Nothing was externally amiss for Nicole. She was not filled with shame. She was loved and supported. She believes in God and Jesus Christ. She listened to the recent Church Conference and knew some of those talks were for her.

A hundred times, she had felt these feelings before. She has gotten much better at quickly grabbing onto resources such as blessings, scriptures, and prayer, etc. to get back to herself and to put the dark program behind her.  

But this particular, sudden attack simply wouldn’t go away, in spite of a great deal of prayer, blessings, love, nothing could shut down this program of thoughts and feelings running like a torrent in her psyche.

Free will is not relevant at times like this.

When you are in a burning tower and your only options are slowly burning to death or jumping, this is NOT actually a choice. Anyone who’s been through this will tell you it is something that happens to them, it’s not something they choose.

Her normal pattern is to feel these emotions and then, using her tools, she gets back to herself, again, and goes forward in all her light and strength. She is the most (sometimes painfully) honest person I know. But Wednesday morning she lied to her mother, calmly telling her she felt much better, and she slipped out of the house. It only took about ten minutes before her mother and I, over the phone, decided that she wasn’t actually OK. That ten minutes was not enough to catch her, but it was just enough time to save her life.

Nicole’s Brother, Ben, put this video together for Nicole after her attempt

Christ is always there. Sometimes we find him at the top of the cliff, sometimes at the bottom. Failing that, we can find him in the world of Spirits to continue our healing.

We are grateful that Christ was at the bottom of the cliff and that she’s still here to heal. Her life plan has always been to help others who are suffering to feel understood and to help their loved ones understand them better. It seems that this is God’s plan for her, as well.

The day before the incident, Nicole received blessings which repeated three ideas a number of times: 1. The dark side could not afford to allow her to complete her healing and pursue her life’s purpose, 2. that Heaven would protect her, and 3. that in spite of the viciousness of this attack, this was a sacred moment and had a great purpose.

This is one of Nicole’s blog posts that I wrote regarding Mary Magdalene and what we can learn from her experience: Mary Magdalene’s Strength

The 7 Steps of Healing with DID

Here is a useful description of steps of the healing process for those with DID. Sometimes healing involves fusing the various alters, but not always. Elements of each step can bleed between these steps, and elements of the early steps will still present themselves even during later steps. Each step can be messy, but this outline helps me recognize that messiness can actually be evidence of healing.

Click to access The-Seven-Steps.pdf

Faith

By Nicole Hilton, August 17th, 2020

            I don’t think I’ve talked about it before on this blog, but I have a sleeping disorder. It started in 2018, when, for a whole week, I literally couldn’t sleep. I ended up in the psychiatric hospital and became a zombie, living in a perpetual death-like state where I couldn’t even muster the strength to close my jaw or blink. This was among the most horrific things I’ve been through, along with being in a padded cell for four days, breaking my back, and my childhood trauma. It created a new fear in me that outstrips all others—the fear of not sleeping.

            They finally found some sleeping meds that worked—after 8 days without sleep. But, a year later in 2019, I overdosed on them when I tried to commit suicide for the third time. I was in a coma for a couple of days in the ICU, and after I woke up I ended up in the psychiatric hospital again (for the 11th time…). They had to change my sleeping meds, and finally (after a lot of stress and worry), we found the meds I’m currently on.

            But this year, those meds stopped working by themselves—and I got hooked on Ambien. Then I got used to the Ambien—it didn’t put me under immediately any more. But I still have to take it to get sleep. Much as I try, I can’t get off of these meds (for now). I’ve had a couple more 5 to 6 day stints of sleeplessness—one recently where I had all this subconscious fear push me to be constantly rocking back and forth or walking up and down stairs, for days at a time. I have ended up in the ER around four times in the past two months. To be so exhausted you feel like you’re about to internally combust from lack of rest, but not be able to rest is the most unbearable thing in the world.

            So, I’m facing this Goliath. I’ve had to face it every night when I lay down in bed. I have to do my best to keep from falling into the cycle of worry that I won’t sleep, which just creates, further, a lack of sleep.

            In this constant struggle with quieting my fears every day, I’ve been hearing about dreams people have been having—dreams about an economic collapse that is purportedly going to happen in September.

            Now, I’ve had too much experience with dreams and visions to write these off. All the signs I’ve been seeing are too coincidental to be a coincidence. And if these so-called “prophecies” are true, I’ve been worrying…what am I going to do without my meds? The prospect of going 8, 10, 20 days without sleep has been looming ahead of me like a black hole, sucking away any joy I feel in the present.

            My mom says, don’t worry, have faith. The usual. And it never had any effect on me. I’d just try to put my worries out of my mind, or rationalize them. Surely the supply of medications won’t stop?

            But tonight (and this is why I’m writing), I had a small glimpse of faith in my heart, something that started to transform my fear. I felt it deep down in my soul. This deep knowing said: I’ve been through the worst before, and I’ve made it. God is aware of me, and He is in the intimate details of my life. The day of miracles is not passed. I have mustered up a mustard seed’s worth of faith even during the most horrible suffering known to man-kind. And I can do it again if that is what’s required. During my greatest trials, I have had the faith required, and I have met God. The CORE of me—who my SPIRIT is—will NOT change. And no amount of suffering can change that.

            I’m far from living and breathing this—having these truths become a part of me to the point where I’m fearless. Can you imagine walking through life completely fearless? Certain parts of me have experienced this for a few days to weeks at a time. I wonder, though…why can’t I feel that way now? Regardless of how far I have to go on this road to recovery, I had to write and acknowledge: I had a particle of faith tonight. And that’s the kind of faith that moves mountains.

            So what are your fears? What threatens your peace? And how do you exercise faith to overcome that?

September 9th, 2020

            I have an update. It’s been slowly growing, like a little sapling inside of me…but I no longer have this overwhelming sense of doom when I think of an economic collapse or my meds being taken away.

            What helped that seed of faith to grow were, of course, the basics. I’m studying the scriptures everyday, I’m praying morning and night and any other time I want to feel connected, I’m receiving blessings (from a priesthood holder from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and I’ve been going to Institute, which is like a Sunday School class during the middle of the week.

            All of my sloppy attempts at learning have somehow congealed together to create the ah-ha moment I had today: faith isn’t the foolish path. It’s the wise one. And I need more faith. And this faith…it can be a choice! As soon as I realized that, it was like my core personality (the one who is always positive and spiritual and funny all of the time) met me halfway, and said, You’re getting there! You’re learning what I had to learn. And this new knowledge? It’s actually sweet. You can settle into it. To be a person of faith doesn’t mean you are going to be suffering day in and day out. It means you are going to have your feet planted on solid ground and hope in your heart no matter what happens to you. And what you suffer will actually be LESS, not more, than you would have without the faith.

            These realizations are HUGE for someone who has been a victim of Satanic Ritual Abuse. We survivors have been groomed to believe that having faith in God is fruitless. But I—and my Core—are here to tell you: it’s not fruitless. It’s where the safety and hope are. It’s where the ability to weather the storm lies. It’s where God is, just waiting with outstretched arms. It all begins with faith.

The Patronus

By Nicole Hilton, August 6, 2020

The Mind is a battleground between Light and dark. The dark side uses abuse and trauma to overtake the mind and turn it into a killing field, destroying all hope, empowerment, self-worth, and light. Agency is neutralized as the victim’s mind is flooded with a torrent of dark choices. For survivors, hope must be rediscovered, empowerment must be relearned, self-worth replanted, and the Light reached for against a current of despair.

            Yesterday I finished (again…) the book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. In this book, Harry learns to conjure up a “Patronus”—a pure force which drives away “dementors”—creatures of darkness which suck all the happiness out of life.

            It’s a good thing I was reminded of Patronuses, because I was attacked by Satan while getting ready for bed last night.

            His insidious thoughts assailed my mind—you are a shadow of your former self. When you asked your mom to remind you of positive things about yourself tonight, she had to scrounge for ideas. You are useless. You aren’t of any value or worth. The heavens have forgotten about you…

            The attacks were so intense, I felt the weaker parts of my personalities (which are all fronting, by the way—a side-effect of the integration process) start to give in and believe these lies.

            I started crying, but then some part of me decided to grasp onto a truth from the light. I said out loud, “I am still the girl Christ showed the entire universe to. THAT is who I am. Get thee behind me, Satan, for I am a Daughter of God!”

            As I said this, the darkness around me lessened. I thought back to my experience with Christ and what it had felt like to see the universe. The memory was shiny and bright—a truth just waiting for me to utilize. I grasped the implications of the memory—I thought about how this experience had to mean that I am a key part of God’s plans. I refuted every one of Satan’s lies with this truth, until the darkness was completely gone, and I could breathe easy again.

            It may be obvious to some of you reading this, but wielding truths in the face of darkness is an absolutely new idea to some parts of me. Trauma survivors are programmed to feel powerless.

            I think it’s important to gather the truths which can fuel our proverbial Patronuses, which drive away the darkness. We all have these truths—perhaps it is the knowledge that another person loves us, or it’s an experience we have had, or it’s something we have achieved. We can rely on these truths to be a shield to us just like a Patronus.