The day my sister died..... and was saved

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I want to go back in late 2001 and early 2002, when both of my younger siblings were sick in the hospital. My younger brother, James was almost five years old, and my baby sister, Bianca was not even 2 weeks old. I practically lived in the hospital every day to see my brother and sister. My brother has an auto immune disease called Henoch Shorlien Puppora Syndrome. With his disease his body attacks itself and causes him pain. He had red dots all over his legs and he could not walk, and if we did not bring him in the hospital when we did, he probably would have died. Because of the drugs he received in the hospital James got better, but we have to worry about his disease relapsing at any time, because if it does the odds of him dying are likely.
This story isn’t about my brother. It is about my sister who actually did die but was revived. My baby sister had Sepsis. Sepsis is when your blood poisons your body. You get sepsis from some infections. When Bianca was born, she was a healthy baby. My mom was sick when she delivered her. They kept my mom from my sister for 6 hours before my mom could feed her. Over that period of time we think my sister got weak and being a newborn with a tiny immune system, she contracted an infection. That infection poisoned her body. But we did not know it until the day we brought her home.
This was a happy day at first. We brought her home. I was getting used to her being there the very first hour we had her. I remember my dad changing my sister’s diaper and my dad explaining to me about her umbilical cord and how it would fall off in a few weeks. I remember watching her sleep in her car seat and rocking it. But then I as it got close to dinner time, my sister could not stop screaming and crying. Nothing my dad did could comfort my sister, and when she refused to breast feed from my mother, both of my parents became concerned. My parents kept an eye on her, and we noticed she became very quiet. Before we brought Bianca home she received an orange duck with a blue bill from the hospital. When you pushed the middle of the ducks belly, it would “sing” a song, with quacks. On our way home from the hospital that day while in the car, I learned that she really seemed to like this duck and I had no clue why as I held it over her head and pushed the center enjoying her smile and kick her feet to the silly song. Later that evening, when my dad went to change her diaper, I held her singing duck over her head but, she did not respond to the noise. My dad was worried and called my mother who jumped off the couch to see Bianca, and right after she saw her she told my dad to “get the kids in the car”.
My mom ran into the kitchen where the pink cheap free diaper bag we received also as a gift from the hospital was, while my dad was strapping me in my car seat, tan and black with a tiny black plastic cup holder and cereal crushed into the seat, from earlier that day, as I ate my fruit loops on the way to the hospital to pick up my 3 day old sister. Next thing I knew my dad was explaining to me that we were going to the hospital. I watched him strap my sister into her baby car seat that was placed back words. It was black and tan just like mine, only difference was the seatbelt straps had more padding. I hated that place. I despised that sentence. Any thought of the hospital enraged me and filled my stomach with fear. As my dad shut the car door I brushed my hand on my sister’s head. My mom dashed into our tan 1997 Nissan Quest, slammed the car door and in all panicked rush we drove to the hospital. My father speeding and getting frustrated at the lights. I could not stop staring at my little baby sister, looking at her tiny small body and her petite hands.
After my dad got my sister signed into the emergency room, we all went into the room where they weigh you, and take your temperature and give you your IV. I remember watching the nurse prepare her IV; she grabbed a bag full of clear fluids a tube and a large needle. They said she needed to get an IV. When they poked my sister’s hand, with that thick sharp needle she didn’t even cry. They couldn’t find a vein. So they tried her other hand. Same thing. The nurse said she was dehydrated. They looked at her feet, and the poked her, and they couldn’t even get it into my sister’s feet. This action of them prodding her tiny feet ended up making her cry. I will never forget that sound she made, it was so hoarse and weak you could barely hear her tiny whimper. I felt bad seeing her cry and angry at the nurse. I wanted to lunge towards her and stab her with the very needle in that she held in her hand. It infuriated me that she was tormenting my baby sister with it, stabbing her over and over. I wanted to stab it right into her foot to see how she would like it. That fat chunky saggy skin, high pony tailed wrinkly faced woman. Because my sister was crying a big vein in her head popped out. The nurse ended up inserting her IV there. I remember wincing and jerking my head away because I could not bear to watch. My dad went quickly to cover my eyes with his hand, but it was too late I saw. My parents took a few pictures of my sister in the hospital, and whenever I see that picture I cry.
Less than a day after they admitted my sister, they moved her to the intensive care unit. I remember how everyone was so close to each other. I saw other sick babies just like my sister and I remember the sound of mothers crying, the chocking sobs that couldn’t even be stifled by the beeps on the monitors. The sound of the rapid Spanish being spoken that I could not understand. My sister was in an incubator. I remember when I asked my dad what the little clear box with holes was and why she was in there. I remember all of the little wire things with stickers attached to her chest. I remember the thin, white, tiny, little sheet they called a blanket the pulled up to my sister’s diaper, which had the print of teddy bears playing with kites. My mom always stayed with my sister, while my dad took me to see my brother. That night I did not even go to sleep, and ended up staying in the hospital overnight. My mom sat in the seat on the other side of my sister’s incubator, watching her. My dad looking at the monitors while I sat there with my cabbage patch doll smelling the comforting scent of the vanilla that she smelled like.
Three days after my sister was admitted my dad picked me up from school early. We drove to that damned hospital and went right to NICU.My dad was holding my hand. I looked right at my sister. She only seemed to be doing worse. She looked paler and more fragile. My mom looked exhausted; her eyes were sagged as she could barely keep them open. She was slouched directly looking at my sister with a look of despair in her eyes. My mom was having this machine get breast milk for my sister. The good thing was she was starting to drink a little, but definitely not even close enough for one feeding for an entire day. The doctors were very concerned. I was there for maybe an hour when the drama started. My sister’s monitor that watched her heart rate and breathing was very low to begin with when we got there, but then it just stopped and I remember the sound it went. “BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP” and the line that appeared. I remember my knees collapsed under me, and the doctors ran in calling a code blue and the 3 doctors that rushed my mom, dad, and me out of the room, and they slammed the door. I remember my mom’s screams were the worst sound I have ever had to hear. The pain and anguish in her voice as she screamed “GIVE ME BACK MY BABY!” over and over again. I remember feeling dizzy and like I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. I remember my dad sitting in the tacky operating room chair slouched way over with his head in his hands looking dead. I remember the pain I experienced. I felt so empty inside and it was excruciating inside my heart. I felt so scared and wanted my sister to stay alive so bad. I did not know anything I wanted more than my sister. I was pleading in my heart that she would stay alive. My mother was sobbing and sounded heartbroken, eventually my dad got up and hugged her and went to hug me too but I pulled away. I didn’t want to be touched. I just wanted my sister, and nothing else.
10 minutes later, the main doctor taking care of my sister told us they saved her with the difibulator. I felt so numb and shocked by what just happened that I just started crying just like both of my parents. Eventually they let us go back to see my little sister and I was so relieved to see her and I was afraid that what just happened would happen again, to her or maybe even my brother. I wanted to see my baby brother so bad at that moment and my dad took me to go see him. That afternoon quickly turned into the evening, and this time my dad stayed with my sister while my mom took me home so she could sleep.
When it was time for my mom to pick me up from school she had my Legos that I always played with, and my Leap Pad Pro, with my favorite Leap book, the geography one that played all of the songs and fascinated me. I put them in my backpack, and after seeing my sister, I went to see my brother, and then I sat in the waiting room and played with my Legos. I only used the red ones because they were my favorite color. That was the day Dr. Ramirez; my brother’s main doctor started paying attention to me. He used to bring me paper and crayons, and sometimes my favorite snack, Oreos. He was very kind to me, but I think it is only because he pitied me because of my siblings and I hate the pity of others more then I hate the opinions of others.
Eventually, both of my siblings got better. It was months of living in that hospital, going to school and months of feeling nothing but emptiness and sadness. The whole experience of my siblings being sick has affected our family. My mother the worst. My mom has clinical depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder all because of these events. I think this experience has changed me too; it made me love my brother and sister more. It changed my outlook on life. This memory sadly is the one I always think about first when somebody asks me a question about my childhood. This is always going to be my most vivid memory.
I still remember the sights, the sounds and the smells of the hospital. Everything was one of three colors. White, light blue or teal. Everything had that tacky smell of sterilants. I remember the sounds of the beeping on my siblings’ monitors that read their vitals. I remember the cheap leather on the plastic orange chairs in the waiting room. I remember the walls of the waiting room stupid giraffes with their goofy smiles and mickey mouse with Pluto. I remember the little coffee table with all of the outdated magazines for house wife’s and sports magazines all published in Spanish, so I couldn’t even read them. I remember the hall ways. So long with white tiles. I remember seeing old people, pushed in beds passed out with needles in their arms. I remember the doctors rushing around so quickly sometimes them talking to the other nurses or doctors in Spanish. I remember visiting my brother in his room. His big white stuffed bear, he named baby bear. I remember the jealousy I felt that he had a TV in his room. I remember the mushy cafeteria food only fit for the elderly and their bowls. I remember the way the elevator took forever to go up but went down so fast you literally felt like you were falling. But most of all, I remember the day my sister died and was saved…maybe.





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