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My Daughter's Death Saves Five.

Ah! Ambrosia! I went to have my two week massage this morning and it relieved some of the tight, painful muscles. The shoulders aren't burning at the moment.

This may seem a strange title for this section but here is the story of my daughter's sudden death, her organs were farmed to help families waiting for replacement organs to keep them alive. I hope many of them are still living. The only way I could deal with the loss was to think I now had five daughters instead of one.

Stressed and tired, I quickly kicked off my shoes to crawl under the covers of this strange bed. Cold. Freezing cold. The chill on my clothes from where I walked through the fierce wind blowing around me, when I stepped out of the hospital to walk the short distance to where I was booked to stay.

I shivered. No warmth in the sheets to warm the body. But I would need a fire to bring heat to the core to send warmth spreading through the body. Dread of the unknown he;ped keep the coldness flowing through me.

Then I had a visit from my daughter's spirit in the dead of night shortly before midnight. She had come to say farewell. The tide turned. A white light calling her to a place where the pain didn't reach.

When the call came I rished out into the whistling winter night to reach the hospital. On reaching the Intensive Care Unit, the silver foil blanket told the full story. Machines were working to keep her organs functioning but life seeped from her body. Her spirit had left her to go on its journey of peace.

By the coming of the sun, I had to face the truth for real. My daughter declared brain dead due to an unknown, untraceable tumor behind her brain. Her future ended at the age of twenty-two.

The tumor was an unexpected answer to why she had collapsed. She had not been sick. On the Saturday, a headache began and became stronger on the Sunday, and late in the afternoon she walked out the door to take some videos back to the shop. She got as far as the car shed when she screamed and collapsed to the ground. My father rushed out to see what had happened and found her. He helped her up and sat her in the nearest chair. Spoke to her only to be stared at and not to be spoken to. I received an urgent call to come into town to find out what had happened.

I did a fast 7km trip over gravel road to reach the home of my parents. When I arrived I received the shock of my life, the daughter I once knew was a stranger. She didn't speak, or couldn't speak. I could see she knew who I was and she followed my directions. A pillow she cuddled to her chest as though it was a shield and wouldn't let it go. I helped her into the car to take her to visit the doctor but the surgery had closed. So I decided to take her to the hospital which was usually half an hours drive. This time I broke most speed limits but did drive with due care and attention to other road rules. I kept watching for any changes in her condition and talked to her but no answers were forthcoming.

We arrived at the hospital, I parked as close as I could to the emergency department for a short walk to the entrance. I went to the triage nurse to explain the problem and the first thing they wanted to know is if she used heavy drugs, illegal ones. I told her no. She lead us to a room to be seen quickly by a doctor ahead of all the other patients waiting to be seen.

The nurse had just left the room to find a doctor when she took another convulsion and was falling from the chair to the floor. I tried to hold her so she wouldn't hurt herself on any items in the room on her way to the floor. I yelled for help and withing seconds the room was full of doctors and nurses, who helped me lower her to the floor. When the turn was over she was lifted to a bed and taken to the emergency area where they started to do tests. I had lost her a little more. She didn't answer the doctors or nurses. She cried out when they did test. All tests showed nothing. She was then taken to Intensive Care and hooked to a machine with many leads and tubes.They tried to stabilize her condition. From a scan they found her brain was surrounded by fluid, which caused the pressure to build in her head. Medication was used but the fluid kept building.

On Monday night the plan was to fly her to another hospital where there was a specialist for what they thought was her problem, and also she had to have special dye to have the CT scan done because she had an allergy to Iodine. A plane was booked. A pea soup fog had closed in making the drive to the airport spooky with the lights flashing. The driver could do no more than about 15kph and stay on the road. But when the plane arrived the pilot was unable to land, we had to return to the hospital.

The next morning another plane arrived to take her to the hospital. Due to the toy plane size of the plane there was only room for her to be placed in the body of the plane, the pilot and doctor. I had to catch a normal service plane a few hours later. I arrived at the hospital, went in search for her to be directed to the room she was in. The nurse had just taken me into the room and I knew by her breathing she had gotten worse. The nurse was about to walk out of the room when machines went wild. Doctors and nurses came to work on her then realized I was in the room. I was quickly dispatched to a waiting room. To me it felt as though she had waited for me to arrive before taking the next turn on the road to no return.

She was quickly brought back and hooked up to a machine to do her breathing then rushed out to have the special CT scan. Again nothing showed up to tell them what to treat. They could not operate because they didn't know what they were dealing with. All they could do was try to drain away the fluid with medication. But this didn't work. By now, normal life was no longer a viable option because she wouldn't not have handled life as a vegetable.

That was not a decision the family had to make. Test were done on the Wednesday morning to show that she was brain dead and the machine was the only thing keeping her organs working, once it was turned off she would have died. So keeping her tied to the machine in hope that all the specialists were wrong, was not an option. I had to be the one to listen to the doctors and heed their advice. Being a alone parent, and the natural father not in the picture to help with the decision, I did what I knew she would have wished for herself.

The doctor and nurse asked about donating her healthy organs, told me how this was done and that no one would ever know that they had been farmed, because no evidence would be visible. I had a short time frame to make this decision so action to call in the specialist team to be alerted to fly in to farm the organs. The people who were to receive the organs had to be located and in hospital before the organs arrived. I knew this is something she had agreed to if anything happened to her. The decision made.

The doctor did his part of the arranging while the nurse chaplain made arrangement to hold a special bedside service. The nurses in the room gathered around the bed while the service was being held. Then I had to ring home to tell my parents, children and other family she wouldn't be coming home. Later in the afternoon my parents arrived with a family friend, who were allowed to go in to say their good byes. At 6 P.M the operation began to retrieve her organs.

The only way the cause of the problem for her sudden illness was solved, was when the autopsy was performed did they find the tumor hidden down deep behind the brain. My daughter should have been here for her 42nd birthday this December.



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