Monday, February 7, 2011

Uncle Red

My Uncle Red passed away early yesterday morning.

My heart just breaks for my aunt and my cousin.
Not even 2 years ago, my aunt lost her daughter to a rare illness called A.D.E.M. She became sick with the flu and didn't get better. Eventually she couldn't walk and became paralyzed. They took her to the hospital and the doctors there were absolutely horrid. They told her she had had a stroke. They did NOT give her an MRI. They based their diagnosis off of the paralysis my cousin experienced. My aunt and uncle debated moving her to another hospital so she could receive better care, even hiring an ambulance to take her. But when the ambulance showed, they said they could not transport her out of a certain mile radius and the hospital they wanted to go to was far away. My uncle was paying for them to transport her from his own pocket but they could not do it. A doctor from this horrid hospital, stopped my aunt and uncle and said "I could lose my job for this,  but if she were my daughter, I would put her in the car myself and take her to UCI" So that's exactly what they did. They loaded my paralyzed cousin into their car and drove the hour to UCI. When she arrived she was coherent, even telling her new doctors what had happened to her up until this point, with the illness and the paralysis. Her new doctors were absolutely appalled at her treatment at the other hospital and scheduled an MRI. But she could not get in for the MRI for a few days due to how busy that hospital was. Her doctors were upset with this but it was out of their hands. They had to wait. Within hours of being admitted to UCI, she wasn't acting right. She started saying things that didn't make sense. The doctors put her into a medically induced coma. Next, she wasn't able to breath on her own. They got her in to the MRI and found that she had some spots on her brain that they could not identify. They had never seen anything like it. The head neurologist was having conference calls with other neurologists from all over, trying to figure out what was causing these spots. There were a lot of possibilities but nothing concrete. They eventually had to do brain surgery to remove pressure from her brain as it had started to swell. A few days went by and my aunt had to make the decision to remove her from life support. There was brain damage due to the swelling. It was such a difficult thing for my family. My cousin was 40 years old. She lived with my aunt. They were roomies and did most everything together. My aunt and uncle had been divorced for over 20 years. My cousins death brought them back together. They have lived together as a couple for the last 22 months. They had plans to remarry.
Last week, my uncle had a heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital. He stayed there for a few days. They sent him home Friday night with strict instructions and medicine. They wanted him to exercise less. My uncle would ride his bike 20 miles almost every day. So they sent him home and my aunt was going to keep him down so he could recover. In the middle of the night, early Sunday morning, he didn't feel right. My aunt and cousin rushed him to the hospital. He had either a seizure or another heart attack when they arrived. They kicked my aunt and cousin from the room and tried to save him.
20 minutes later the doctors came and told them that he was gone.

When I found out that my uncle had passed away, I was (and still am) confused. He was just sent home. He was supposed to get better. Did the hospital send him home too early? Should they have done surgery to repair the aortic tear? I just don't know. I broke down when I got the call. It's like I can FEEL my aunts pain. Sometimes I feel like I am an "empath". If I think about something, I can easily put myself into the place of another and it hurts. It hurts bad. It's more than just sympathy or even empathy. I can't describe it. I don't know if this is a gift or a curse. It isn't something I talk about to most people because I don't want them to think I'm nuts. But I'm affected by tragedy way more than the average person. It consumes me. I can't watch the news because I can easily put myself into the position of loved ones that have been affected by something horrible and I can't sleep, I cry. I become almost obsessed with it. I can't stop thinking about what it must be like to be that person. It's hard to describe and like I said, it's more than just feeling sorry for some one. Or sad for some one. It's like I can actually feel their emotions.
My heart aches for my aunt and my cousin who have just lost their husband and father. They were just starting to heal from my cousins death. It's not fair.

Please pray for the Newton family. They need to feel comfort right now.

A.D.E.M. is a disease that attacks the myelin sheath of the brain. It is found most commonly in children. Especially after receiving vaccinations. It is a rare disease and extremely hard to diagnose. For more information CLICK HERE


Mormishmom said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you Uncle passed away. You and your family are in my prayers.

Jaime said...

I'm so sorry Cory!! Pray for opportunities to share your testimony with them of forever families. What a blessing of peace that is to us. I wish everyone had it. BIG HUGS!!!

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