On the evening of the 24th of July my husband and I received a call from my mother in-law. Our niece Candace, 18 years of age, had an aneurysm burst in her brain. She had been at her boyfriends and was making hamburgers for dinner when she complained of a headache and went to lay down. Her boyfriend brought her two Tylenol. Fifteen minutes later he checked on her. She had thrown up and he cleaned her up and let her sleep. Fifteen minutes later he checked on her again only to find her tensed up, blue and not really breathing. She was then rushed to the hospital.
Things did not look to good. they would be performing surgery. When brought in she was a stage 4 coma. Three is brain dead and 15 is conscious. Candace survived the surgery and was upgraded to a stage 8. There were still many things that could go wrong. however day by day Candace was making small progress. She opened her eyes, she could squeeze your hand, one day she itched her eye. After about a week and a few days she actually would do sign language to communicate with my sister in law. They upgraded her to a stage 10.
Candace's friends and family came to see her in ICU often. They would speak to her and tell her how much they loved her. Sometimes she would become over stimulated and her intercranial pressure would increase and we would have to leave her be for awhile. Finally it was decided to wean her from the respirator.
August third was an exciting day. They had sat Candace up in a recliner. My sister in law had to cut her hair as it was waist length and in a huge rat nest. She had started to whisper now since they had taken the respirator out of her mouth. Then early Saturday morning tragedy struck. Candace's lung had filled with fluid and she went for three to five minutes without air. Her blood pressure dropped and she relapsed now at a stage 3 coma. Brain dead. Her family was notified and we all went to the hospital. they kept her on the respirator to harvest her organs. The next day her liver and pancreas were donated to one person and her kidney to another.
Funeral arrangements are being made and we are all devastated. Candace was only 18 with her whole life ahead of her. She was a very fun loving young girl with lots of friends. She was homecoming queen in 1999 for her school. Sometimes we all wished that Candace would take life a little more seriously and become more responsible. However now we are just thankful that she lived life to the fullest and had as much fun as she wanted to considering her life would be over at the very young age of 18.
Candace we love and miss you and you will be forever in our hearts and memories as a beautiful young woman.
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