Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Truth

For the last 16.5 months, I've been having an internal battle with myself. I've wanted so badly to call the nurse that was by Erik's side that fateful day in November and ask her what happened. And because I knew the assistant coroner that pronounced my son, I've also wanted to call her and have her tell me EVERYTHING. I never got the courage to actually do either of them though. I refused to get Erik's autopsy report from the Funeral Home because I honestly knew that I couldn't handle the truth of what really happened that day. After talking to the ENT doctor on Sunday, all of that changed. After I posted the blog yesterday, I learned the truth. The rest of today's blog explains what happened to my sweet boy. It is raw and real and extremely painful. You have been warned.

This is what I learned about the day my sweet boy got his wings: (my source of information shall remain anonymous)

This is honestly what I know about that day. I spoke with several of the nurses when you and Kyle went back to say goodbye to Erik. They were upset and I guess they needed someone to talk to so I asked them what happened and did Erik suffer. They told me that once the EMS loaded Erik into the ambulance Erik started to panic, his breathing increased and he became unresponsive. Due to the swelling they called ahead and the flight nurse joined the ambulance and they were instructed to head straight for the closest hospital. By the time the ambulance got to the hospital Erik had lost his pulse. The doctors were not willing to give up, and they had called all available staff to assist, so that by time Erik arrived at the hospital there were approx. 15 staff waiting to help him. They intubated him (put a breathing tube down his throat into his lung) and made a incision between his rib space for the chest tube. They were still continuing CPR while everyone was working on him. They gave him shots of epinephrine to try to start his heart and used an AED to try to shock his heart into beating. They worked for almost an hour to try to save his life but the oxygen they were using to keep his brain from dying was seeping into his chest cavity and wasn't escaping from the chest tube. The pressure from the trapped oxygen compressed his heart and lungs and the blood from his chest cavity essentially caused him to drown.

After Erik was strapped on the backboard he was only aware of his surroundings for approx 5 minutes. Once they laid him down the air filled his chest cavity and the blood filled his lungs at a faster rate. Erik panicked not because of pain but because he couldn't breathe. He lived approx 10 minutes after that. By the time Kyle arrived at your house to pick you up, Erik had already passed away.

After the hospital pronounced him dead. A nurse stroked his hair the entire time they were trying to save him, and after he passed another nurse stayed with him until you arrived. From the time he arrived in the ambulance until you arrived there was someone with Erik who's only concern was being a comforting presence.

Those woman cared for Erik like a mother, because they knew that he needed. Even after his death they refused to leave his side because they knew that's what a mother would want for her child. They wanted to make sure that during this he was never alone. Before you arrived they tried to clean him as much as possible to make it easier on you and Kyle, and even though they had to leave the medical equipment in place, they tried to make Erik look like he was sleeping.

I really don't know why I needed to know this, but I did. I guess being a mother, I felt like I had to know. Could I have went the rest of my life not knowing? Absolutely. But being the hard headed person that I am, I just couldn't let it go.

Rest in peace sweet boy! I know you're having the time of your life up there, but I sure do miss your sweet smiling face and your tender kisses. You are and will always be my only sunshine!


Holly said...

I'm so sorry. As a mother, I know I would want to know too. I can only imagine how knowing this makes you feel. Sending you lots of love.

Anonymous said...

I don't have anything profound to say really but this is heartbreaking. As I was reading this I got chills first and then the tears came. It truely breaks my heart. And even though we really don't know each other in some weird way I love you and your little man. I pray for you all the time. I just wish I knew what to pray for. I guess I will just keep praying for God's guidance and strength for you to take it day by day. Just know he has touched my life beyond belief.
Jennifer Davis Lindley