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June 8, 2004



I received a phone call that morning at work. Thank you God, that my cell phone was on and that I answered it. The assistant principal of the school where my son was taking a summer school PE class was on the phone. He told me W had had a "seizure." After my expression of shock, I immediately began telling him about W's heart condition and the names of his doctors. In the middle of the recitation, I asked, "Is he conscious?" The principal said he was. I asked if I should come to the school or were they going to take him to the hospital. He said he would check. He called right back and told me to come to the school.

My working companions were so kind. This was only my second day on this job, but they immediately began calling my patients to cancel therapy for the day. They offered to drive me, but I insisted on driving myself. About 5 minutes later, I was on the road. I was constantly praying that this was no big deal, that maybe he had just had heat stroke or something. I called B and told him what happened. As I reached the school, I received another phone call. Thee principal said they were transporting him to the nearest hospital, about 2 minutes away. I actually reached the school in time to see the ambulance leave. I called my husband and said the plans had changed; he needed to meet us at the hospital. Thank you God, that I was able to reach him and he got there so quickly.

I went to the emergency room and asked the old man at the desk about my son. A few minutes later, a lady who identified herself as the social worker came out. "My son was brought in with a 'seizure'. Can I see him?" I asked. She said, "I'm afraid it's a little more complicated than that,"she said. She took me into another room. A police officer was there. My first thought was that he had been in some sort of fight, and that he was in trouble. But he never got in fights. Now I realize that they probably had to consider that he might have been on drugs.

She continued. "When he had the 'seizure', his heart stopped." I was in shock. I had just taken a health care provider CPR class, and I knew this was very bad. Soon Bruce arrived. I explained what happened. a clerk came by to have Bruce fill out forms. The police officer quietly asked me questions. Apparently one of his friends was there with him in class and went to him when it happened. She and her mother came to the hospital and sat with us. There was waiting and worrying. The social worker went back and forth to bring news, but there was none except. "they were still working on him." I called work. My boss asked what she could do, and was my younger son taken care of. I asked her to call my sister in law to go and stay with A. Thank you God, that she was home and able to do so.

The hospital chaplain came by, and asked us what he could do. I begged him to pray for Will. I told him where we went to church and requested they be called. I wanted everyone I knew to pray for him. Meanwhile, my boss had called our church, since we went to the same one.

Finally, the doctors came out to see us. There was an ER doctor and a cardiologist. They gravely shook hands with us, and told us they could not save his life. Bruce and I clung to each other. Thank you God that we heard this together. I screamed "No, he cant be dead!" and cried harder than I ever had. Bruce cried as well. Eventually, we went to go see W's body. I remember that his face was practically purple, and that a tube was in his mouth. His eyes were partially closed, dark and lifeless. But he was my boy. I hugged him and told him I loved him over and over. Bruce cried and spoke to him.

I called my boss and told her what happened. I remember saying, "Oh L__, he DIED!", and the word was like a cry. I called my sister in law and asked her to bring A to the hospital without telling him what had happened. I just kept calling people because I didnt know what else to do. When A came, B sat him on his lap and told him what happened. A cried as hard as we did. We took him in to see his brother. I can't remember what he did or said.

More people started coming. The youth minister from our church, the pastoral care minister, and the couple that had hosted Will's teenage church group all came. They were very comforting. B's brother came. W's friend that was with us started calling his other friends. His best friend and her mother came. This young lady did not want to go see W at first, but A persuaded her to go in. W's friend called his girlfriend's family. They were on their way to Kentucky for a vacation, but they turned around immediately and started driving back.

We seemed to stay there forever. The social worker told me that the medical examiner had been notified, and that they probably would want to do an autopsy. I talked to many people on the phone. The medical examiner called and asked questions. We decided to wait until they came to get his body before we left. We went in to see W several times. A went in once by himself, and I could seem him saying something to his brother. I asked my brother in law several times if he would help me plan the burial arrangements, even though he agreed the first time. B's parents offered their family plot in Arkansas, but B and I wanted him here with us. A cemetery can be seen from the highway as you drive north from our town, and B said that would be a good place.

Finally, we realized we had to leave. Our youth minister said he would go and tell one of W's close friends about what had happened. I really don't remember where everyone else went. Somehow, I drove myself and A home without falling apart. I think B's brother and his wife came over to stay with us for a while but I cant remember. I think someone brought us dinner. I think I called lots of people. I remember talking to the medical examiner, who confirmed that W had died due to heart failure from his heart condition, aortic stenosis. I really can't remember any more.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
daisydumont
Jun. 18th, 2004 07:30 am (UTC)
i hope you don't mind that i added you to my friends list yesterday, having seen a comment you left in seraphimsigrist's journal. gurdonark's journal had news of your son's death two weeks ago, and i've felt sad for you ever since. my heart-felt condolences to you and your family.
lonestarslp
Jun. 18th, 2004 07:39 am (UTC)
Any friend of GurdonArks...
is always welcome!
gurdonark
Jun. 18th, 2004 09:30 am (UTC)
We did come over to your house that afternoon.

I know that I got to the hospital some time between 12:30 and 1.



lonestarslp
Jun. 18th, 2004 01:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for helping me fill in the details.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )