Mom passed on Saturday at 3 in the afternoon

Mom was in the hospital with what was thought to be congenital heart failure. By Wednesday she was looking good, but the swelling in her right arm had not gone down. She and I talked about this latest trip to the hospital, just a few days after the last, but that everything should be alright. Her spirits were good.

On Friday I spoke to a doctor who told me it was a blood clot in her right arm that was the trouble. Blood thinners should help, but they wanted to be conservative since her platelets were low as a consequence of her chemo.

I called to check on Mom Saturday around 1 PM and heard that she was in ICU.

This was a shock. While she has issues she was dealing with, her Doctor sounded confident with me on Friday.

I ran to ICU and got there around 2PM.

It turns out, around 6AM Mom was having difficulty breathing, they did a CAT scan and found another blood clot, this one in her right lung. They asked her if it was okay to temporarily be intubated. Mom has been in this situation before, and so she said yes.

By the time I arrived, Mom was looking like she had on other ICU trips, drugged, but stable. I held her hand as the doctor on staff told me what they would like to proceed with. Mom became agitated, possibly hearing me and the doctor discuss these things, possibly just because she was snapping out of her medication. They gave her morphine (which they had done countless times before on other trips to ICU) and she calmed down. The doctor and I talked for around 2 more minutes before her stats went haywire and alarms started ringing. I remember one doctor asking this doctor if she needed help and she said yes, get everyone. Someone pulled me away and asked me to go to the waiting room.

I was there for 10-15 minutes when they called me. They told me there was no heart beat, that they were keeping her alive at that point with CPR. They asked if I wanted to be in the room with her.

Within seconds of my arriving one doctor said he felt a faint pulse and I grabbed mom’s feet and demanded to her that she stay. The staff worked for 15 or so more minutes, with me present, but she was gone.

A nurse told me it was like she had waited for me to arrive, and then decided to let go.

I’m coming out of the daze of the day and am waking up with a million questions and what-ifs. I don’t know how many of them are coming from my head, and how many from my heart.

Thank you everyone for your support, your thoughts and prayers.

15 responses

  1. Hi Karl, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I know she hadn’t been well. Mark wanted to know if it was okay to go to services and when they are settled, we will see you then. Hugs and love…

    -The Gardners

  2. My thoughts are with you, brother. You need anything taken care of here and I’ll do whatever I can.

  3. Karl – Oh my God man, I am so sorry for you and the loss. I can’t begin to imagine how this feels for you and Dante right now. I’m not there in Philly anymore I moved the beginning of October to Canada or I’d come by your house but if there is anything I can do or you just need someone to email I’m here

    Prayers,

    - Steve

  4. Karl,

    I was hoping not to see this as I visited your blog to keep up with your mother’s progress. I am shocked and saddened for you and your family. You are all on our thoughts down here in NC. Please share these thoughts with Dante too.

  5. Hi folks,

    Mom wouldn’t want some kind of protracted mourning for her, so I’ll be back soon.

    (steve – I removed yr email addr, will email you man)

    Thanks everyone for the well wishes for our family.

  6. I’m *really* sorry that we missed you yesterday. We had already left for work and school when you called. I collected that message later in the day. If there is anything that we can do, even if it means just visiting, or an in leiu of flowers, please let me know. I don’t actually have your email or numbers (except for caller ID), and will try calling later today if I can. I wish you well and I am sorry for your loss.

    -EG

  7. Karl,

    You email me when you are ready, don’t feel obligated to anyone or anything but your family right now. We’ll all be right here if/when you need us.

    Steve

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