May 27, 2014

Goodbye Gabriela

I've spoken much about my sister here over the past month or two. 

For anyone just coming to my blog, let me give a quick history. 

My sister had had 3 kidney transplants in her 42 years of life. She got sick as a baby (9 months) and her life has been a nearly constant struggle since then. Her body has gone through dozens of surgeries (transplants, organ removal, hip replacement, etc) and she had to take dozens of medications over the course of her life to keep herself alive. 

Unfortunately those same medical miracles that kept her alive for the past 4 decades also destroyed her. 

On March 28 she went into the hospital due to an obstructed bowel. She got to go home on her 42nd birthday on April 1st, but returned to the hospital on 7th. 

She has now left Cedars Sinai Medical Center, but unfortunately it wasn't to come home - at least not the physical home she shared with my parents (and myself until my recent marriage). 

My sister passed away on May 21st, 2014 at 7:10pm (PST). She had been sedated due to the trauma her body had been going through and the anxiety that being intubated caused. She did not know she was going to die. She thought this was just another surgery she had to overcome. 

She was a strong person and fought her entire life. When she was 9 months old the doctors told my parents she had 10 hours to live. Thanks to her will to live and my parents dedication to her she lived well beyond that.

I'm writing this from an airport in Argentina during my honeymoon. Before we left for Argentina (where my entire extended family lives) I went to the hospital for a meeting with the doctor's. There they told us what we already knew... she would die. The surgeon told us that there was nothing she could do anymore. 

After the meeting I went to my sister's room. Her eyes were open but she wasn't there. I spoke to her and I cried and I told her I loved her (even though we haven't gotten along in the past decade). She took care of me growing up (she is was 12 years older than me). I said my goodbye's knowing I would not likely see her again. Although I left the US knowing she would die, I was not expecting it to be so quick. 

Unfortunately, on Monday the 19th when the doctors went in to wash her abdomen they found that she had several hemorrhages and that her liver had given out (due to being fed via IV since she could not be fed directly to her stomach). They gave her a week to live. On Tuesday they gave her a few hours. Finally, on Wednesday, they removed her ventilator. She lived for an hour past that. 

She is done suffering and she lived far past the lifespan she was given as an infant. I am sad, my family is sad, and we are suffering. But I believe she is with us as all our relatives and loved ones are. 

Rest in peace, Gabriela. We love you.

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  1. My heart hurts for you, sweet girl. I'm thankful you were able to say goodbye.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. But be glad in the fact that she is no longer suffering, no longer in pain.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family, and I hope you will still be able to enjoy your honeymoon.

    P.S. I'm here if you want or need to talk.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss hun. At least you were able to say goodbye. Sending hugs to you and your family.