24 June 2004
Children seem to amaze me with their sense of wonder and their spirit for life, even after suffering the tragic loss of their father. My children have been wonderful, they are so full of life and they help me go on every minute of the day.
My name is Trish and I live in North Carolina. I have two children with me, ages 7 and 14 - both girls. We are the survivors of a wonderful husband and father who passed away on May 30th from a brain aneurysm. He was only 43 years old. We had just returned from a dream vacation to Disney World where we had spent 7 glorious days together. After our return, we spent the day catching up on household chores, cutting the grass, grocery shopping, and doing laundry. We had a nice quiet dinner together, just to the two of us. We watched some television and went to bed. As my husband was kissing me good night, he fell over on me. I tried to push him off, thinking he was playing a joke on me, but when he did not respond, I ran and called 911. I started CPR and the ambulance came and took him to the hospital.
My sister-in-law came and she took me and to girls to the hospital. It was about 1:55 a.m. I registered my husband, and then a nurse came and took us to a private room. My children had left to return home with their uncle. The attending MD came and told us that he did not have a heart attack (my first thought) and they had done a CT Scan and that he had suffered from an aneurysm. They had called in the neuro doctor and he will be able to give us more information. They let us spend some time with my husband, he was hooked up on life support and had several IVs running. We spent about 30 minutes there with him and they moved us back to the little room. The neuro doctor came in and said that he has suffered from a subachranoid hemorrhage and that he did not respond to any stimulus and that he was not going to make it. Of course we asked if surgery could help, and he said no, your husband is essentially brain dead. Those words hit my body like a freight train. All I could think of was how was I going to tell my two children that their father was gone and never coming home again.
He explained they had to do one final test (a blood flow test) and we could decide from there what to do. I told the physician, that I did not want my husband to suffer, be in any pain and not to keep prolonging his body - if there was no life left in him.
They were moving my husband to ICU. There he was assigned two wonderful nurses who was comforting and understanding with me, my children and my family. I spoke to the nurse about my children coming to see their dad one last time. They were going to prep my husband for all his blood flow study in the nuclear science department - and she suggested I bring my children in before that. It was about 9:30 a.m.
My brother-in-law brought my two children to the hospital. I took them aside and decided the best thing I could do was to be completely honest with them. I gave them the option - letting it be their choice if they wanted to go back and see their dad. I explained the ventilator- IVs and they decided to go see him. We walked back to the ICU unit - and went into his room - he just looked like he was sleeping - my little girl - I lifted her up - she kissed her daddy and told him that she loved him. My oldest child, just stood there by his bed and cried. She did not want to touch her dad. One of the nurses came in and handed me his watch and told me that I had to remove his wedding ring. I could not get the ring off, I had to us saliva from my mouth to get the ring off his finger. We spent about 15 minutes in there with their dad and I took them back to the ICU waiting room. I spent as much time as I could with my husband - talking to him, telling him I loved him, I would take care of his girls, he was flying with Jesus and I would miss him so much and that he was the best part of my life. They continued to prep him for him for the blood flow test and I had to leave and return to the waiting room.
My husband's parents was being brought to the hospital by their daughter. They had about a four hour drive to the hospital. When they got there- he was still having the test done - the neuro doctor finally came and told us they blood flow test was negative and that he was gone. He was in a coma and that he had never responded to any stimulus. This was the final test to prove he was braid dead. They let us take his mother back to see him. His father would not come back to the ICU unit. They pronounced him dead at 1:40 p.m.
We had decided earlier on organ donation - I had called my brother-in-law previously and asked him to check on my husbands driver's license - I just had to be sure. I was right, that little red heart was on there. Me and my husband had talked about it before and thought that if the need every arose for us or our children- we would want to be able to find someone to help us - this was the best choice for all of us.
Me and my mother-in-law met with the Carolina Donor Services coordinator. She was very nice - she went over all the specifics and what would happen - and then we choose what we wanted to donate - we choose the heart- liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and corneas. After we signed the donor papers - the donor services took over my husband's care to get him ready for removal of the donated organs.
They did not take my husband into surgery to remove his organs until after midnight that night. We had all come back to my house - the whole day- process and everything seemed like a dream - like I was in some other world - that it did not just happen.
I allowed my children to pick the clothes they thought their dad would want to be buried in. We chose his G1 Leather Jacket - a nice polo shirt with a flying logo on the chest - and a nice pair of Dockers - and we put his glasses on him. We put back on his wedding ring - I gave his watch to his father - and we put his flying license in his pocket - he was so proud of it and he had worked hard for it. Also there was some nomax gloves in the pocket of the coat that he just loved.
It has been 21 days since we buried my husband, my best friend and my children's father - I think about him and how much I need him here every second of the day. I go visit his grave every single day - They say that time can make you feel better - I wish I had a time machine.
My children seem to go on - my little one still plays, sings and dances and my oldest still wants to shop for clothes and listens to her music. They have become my shining stars in my dark world.
© Copyright 2004 Patricia
All Rights Reserved - Fair Use acknowledged
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