It’s difficult to let go

Joe returned to the hospital last weekend with uncontrolled bleeding. We ordered platelets from the United States and two days later, they arrived. Fortunately his bleeding immediately stopped.

Over the week, Joe continued to decline clinically. He had continuous fevers as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit and painful sores covering the inside of his mouth.

Most children with sores like these refuse any food. However, Joe did not want to give up any tasty treats. He would put a chicken wing or cookie in a small pocket with no sores on the left side of his mouth and chew on it for many minutes.

Early this morning, Joe started breathing fast and became much sleepier. I was called to his room and noted that his heart was getting weaker. It seemed that he had begun the dying process.

As I examined him, he suddenly woke-up and looked frantically around the room. He reached out his hand to touch his father and asked his mom to hold him. She got in bed with him and snuggled him tightly. Seconds later, he fell asleep.

I sat with the parents and talked them through the dying process for one last time. As I was describing how the body shuts down, Joe startled awake. He wanted a sip of water and needed to play with one of his toys.

Joe was fighting with every ounce of energy to stay alive and did not want to leave his parents. He was not ready to let go.

For the next six hours, he fluctuated in and out of consciousness. Finally, at 9AM this morning, he shut his eyes one last time and quietly passed away.

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2 Responses to “It’s difficult to let go”

  1. mercie246@yahoo.com Says:

    Tears come to my eyes Chris with every child who passes. My thoughts and prayers with you always. You are God’s angel

  2. Stephen Menzel Says:

    That sucks. Glad he was with his family when he passed.

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