TALK TO A
Established April 15, 1995
University of West Georgia Disclaimer
29 July 2002
Hi my name is Caren and I'm a 31 year old mum from Narrabri N.S.W AUSTRALIA... I'm writing this story in honour of my treasured 8 Year Old son Brandon who I lost tragically on X-mas 2001.
Our day started of pretty terrific the kids woke up at 4am and opened up Santa's presents. I had struggled to get the only thing they wanted which was this computer I'm working at right now as I write this. Brandon could not contain his excitement and had my brother setting it up at 5am. so he could to spend a few short hours on it before we saw my Dad for Breakfast. Then the kids had lunch with their dad, Rick, and all of his family. They arrived home at 2pm and were not expected till 4pm but at Brandon's request they had to come home. He got a new bike from them and could not wait to show me. He then spent 2 more hours on the PC.
When he got up to get a drink he suddenly screamed in pain. Brandon was a bit of a drama queen but he was really in pain. I assumed he was tired from his huge day so I gave him a aspirin and sent him to lay down in my room where it was quite dark. I believe he fell asleep for a while because I think it was about 40min before he woke screaming. My mum and myself ran to him and he was vomiting and saying strange things, things that made no sense. I assumed he had a high temp so we struggled to get him into the bathroom. He was very strong and fighting and if mum had not been there I couldn't have done a thing. As I sat him on the side of the bath he told me he was going to die. He was such a smart boy that he even knew his own fate.
We then drove him to the hospital and as we pulled into the emergency bay mum jumped out of the car screaming and Brandon turned to me as if to say goodbye. He looked into my eyes for the last time and then closed his eyes. I carried him in and within minutes his dad was there and just about every Doctor in town. They managed to get him on life support while they took blood and did all these test.
I assumed it was meningitis but they assured me it was not. They also thought maybe diabetes but blood test excluded that. They questioned me as to whether or not he would have taken and pills or poisons but he was too smart for that. They wanted to know if he had any sort of injury to his head but of course he had not. While all this was going the whole family had filled the waiting room and were in shock as only hours before he was doing all the normal things 8 year old boys do on X-mas day.
The hospital staff were fantastic and being a small town I personally knew all of them. They were having trouble stabilising his blood pressure and his pupils were fixed and dilated since he got there. There was nothing else they could do.
At Midnight the plane had arrived and flew me and Brandon to the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick were they immediately took him for a ct scan. Within minutes the professor was telling me that Brandon had had a massive brain bleed and that he would not pull through. They then rang my ex-husband and my mum while they were making the 7 hour road trip to Sydney and told them the dreadful news and to get there quickly. It was now about 2am and I had been awake for 22 hours. I was physically and emotionally exhausted and worrying now about them travelling. Rick and his sister and Brandon's best mate, his cousin Tully, arrived tired and in disbelief at around 5.30 am and Mum arrived at 7am.
We decided to donate Brandon's organs because he would have wanted to help people. He was a very caring little boy. At about 1.30 that afternoon we left Brandon with the very caring nurses who sat with him till surgery. I couldn't stay any longer I needed to get to my 5 year old son Dale and break his little heart.
It was about 5 weeks later that my Doctor received a letter from Sydney saying that Brandon most likely suffered from a ruptured AVM. They say it was massive and at the base of the brain stem so therefore inoperable. Dale is having a CT scan on the 9th of August hopefully to ease all of our fears.
Brandon was a great little boy missed by all of his mates at school. He played soccer and was also a Cub Scout. He was the brightest kid I knew and we miss him terribly.
Update: 11 Aug 2002
Hello again everyone, just wanted to let everyone out there in on some good news Dale had his brain scan yesterday and everything is fine, no abnormalities at all I may now get some sleep. Since I made his appointment 2 weeks ago I have been reliving the nightmare of losing Brandon. But thankfully now we can relax. I've decided to have a ct scan myself before the year is out as I am a migraine sufferer.
Thanks to all for the great support and emails.
Update: 27 Sep 2003
Just a short message to let all know that I am back on line.
There has been a few changes in my life lately Dale and I have left Narrabri and are now living with Mum in Muswellbrook. I transfered with my job and am now managing my own store. It's nice to be with my Mum again and I think at this point in my life it was a necessary thing.
This Christmas is 2 years since Brandon had his avm and sometimes it only seems like yesterday. But as they say life goes on. Dale has settled into his new school and really likes it.
Looking forward to talking to you all once again.
Update: 22 September 2004
Hello family, just thought I would let you all now that it seems dramas are following my family and hopefully from now on only good news will be shared.
Last October Dale was admitted to hospital with severe pains in his belly. They subsequently took out his appendix thinking this was the problem but infact it was a severe kidney infection. Once treated and well again we had to do further test to find out the problem. After a couple of scans all was revealed and it seems Dale has only 1 functioning kidney (quite ironic don't you think since his brother, Brandon, donated both his kidneys less than 2 years before). Anyway he should be fine and lead hopefully a long and happy life with just the one.
In May of this year we discovered that Brandon's and Dale's cousin, 8 year old Luke, has a brain tumor. They removed what they could and he is currently undergoing treatment and we are all waiting for great news.
Update: 7 November 2006
Hello family, well its been about 2 years since my last update so I thought I should let you all in on a good piece of news. Firstly let me say october 2004 I met a wonderful man and fell in love and moved to the coast, he has 2 great kids and life is just great.
Dale loves his school and has some great friends, Luke is still having some tumor problems but thankfully they have been benign. But still all that is not the best news. I have a new baby girl born in April, 2 days after what would have been Brandons 13th birthday. Her name is Lily and she makes me melt everyday. Dale is absolutly besotted by her. she has brought us so much joy. So Im actually looking forward to X-mas day this year.
Also there is a new addition on the Hannaford side in Narrabri. Baby Ashley was born in October and I know what a great impact his life will mean to my ex husbands family.
Thanks all for listening and I hope you are all findings little pieces of happiness in your lives.
Update: 3 April 2007
Lily is just about to turn 1 and Brandon would have been turning 14 the very same week, it will be a busy week for me this year as Lily's dad and I are getting married on her Birthday, so I'm hoping I won't have time to be sad on Brandons birthday this year as It seems to be the toughest day for me every year.
© Copyright 2002 Caren
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