Nikki Ainsworth, a senior at Oregon City High School, is organizing an auction fundraiser to support the widower and two children of a Clackamas Town Center store manager who died from serious illnesses following her experience in the Dec. 11 mall shooting.
Vanessa Ogden, Ainsworths manager at Justice Clothing in the mall, protected several customers during the shooting. Ogden graduated from OCHS and was named valedictorian in 2002.
Ten days after the shooting, on Dec. 21, Ogden was admitted to a hospital after suffering from between 60 and 70 mini strokes. She was 33 weeks pregnant. A week after being hospitalized she gave birth to her second daughter, Georgia.
The fact that Vanessa was able to give birth naturally while unconscious was proof that miracles are possible, Ainsworth said. Georgia is now home with her 18-month-old sister, and she is healthy.
After two months in the hospital and being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder, Ogden suffered respiratory arrest and lost all brain function on Feb. 11.
She was a fighter and beyond stubborn, but on the 14th, (her husband), Doug, was faced with an impossible decision: to take Vanessa off of life support and let her pass or to keep her alive without brain function, Ainsworth said. Vanessa Ogden was an extremely talented, loving and joyful woman who was a hero to many during the Clackamas Town Center shooting, a wonderful manager, and a caring mother and wife.
Ogdens life support was disconnected on Feb. 15 while she was surrounded by family and friends.
The fundraiser in Ogdens honor will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at OCHS, 19761 Beavercreek Road, in conjunction with the first all-school talent show starting at 7 p.m., and the money will be put into a trust fund for her two young daughters. The auction will be a public event, open to the school and community at large.