Given just two weeks to live, Prairieville woman enjoying “blessings” one year later

PRAIRIEVILLE — Julie Bourque stands as a symbol of unwavering hope.

A year ago, doctors delivered a grave prognosis, giving her a mere two weeks to live as her chronic kidney disease progressed to stage 4, the final stage before kidney failure.

“She was severely dehydrated and experiencing kidney failure,” recalled Ralph Williams III, Bourque’s father, in an interview with UWK last July. “The doctor at St. Elizabeth said if she didn’t come in, she would have died.”

Following a four-day stay in the ICU, Bourque was transferred to the Carpenter’s House hospice facility. Although she spent a week at Carpenter’s House, her condition stabilized enough for her to return to her parents’ home. However, the doctors delivered that disheartening prognosis.

Today, a year later, Bourque and her family continue to cling to hope and prayers.

  • Julie Bourque
  • Julie Bourque
  • Julie Bourque

“It has been challenging,” expressed Williams. “Julie has her good days and bad days. Yet, we cherish every single day spent with her and view it as a blessing.”

In the weeks following her hospital stay, Bourque continued to stabilize and surprise doctors, family and friends. Despite being confined to her bed, she pushed past the grim prognosis.

Williams says that Bourque still needs constant care and has to be turned in her bed every two hours, and the 40-year-old weighs only 35 pounds. One of her pastimes involves watching movies, including favorites like “The Minions.”

In fact, it was last summer that Universal Pictures and Celebrity Theatres helped make one of Bourque’s wishes come true with an in-home screening of “Minions: The Rise of Gru.” Since she was confined to her bed, she couldn’t go to theaters to see the movie, so Universal and Celebrity Theatres brought the movie to her.

“I am just so happy it worked out and that Universal jumped on board to fulfill Julie’s last wish,” Celebrity Theatres marketing manager Katie Valenciano said. “It says a lot about her true character and that it’s the simple things in life that bring true happiness.” 

Williams says that this outpouring of support played a pivotal role in maintaining Bourque’s positivity and resilience, extending her life beyond what doctors had anticipated

“She’s decided to be here, and she really loves the Lord, so whenever she does go she’ll be in good hands,” Williams said.

Read more of Julie’s Journey:

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About Daniel Brown 172 Articles
Daniel Brown is an award-winning journalist from Livingston Parish. Daniel began his career in Baton Rouge before working at television stations in Cleveland, Atlanta, Charlotte and Beaumont. As a newsroom editorial leader, Daniel has helped lead stations to regional Emmy awards as well as Edward R. Murrow awards for distinguished journalism. He is a proud graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University.

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