I’ll never forget that day. It was in February that my father told me my older sister might not be
coming home. I was home alone and had been since the very end of January. My dad called me from the Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado. It started out with what seemed to be a normal conversation.
“Hi, Dad! How’s Bridgette doing?”
“She’s still goin.’
Just had another seizure. We got some news today.”
“Oh, yeah? What is it?”
“Well, if your sister has surgery, there’s a chance she won’t make it.” I was eleven at this time, and I remember sitting down in a moment of silence. Then I quickly said, “Goodb
It all started when Bridgette was in her terrible two’s. She had been having problems sleeping during the night. She would wake up terrified, shaken, and crying for dear life. Everyone thought they were what my parents called “night terrors,” but aft er having these
episodes for quite some time, she was diagnosed with a brain disorder called epilepsy. Soon afterwards, my parents began doing research on it. My aunt was helpful because she also had epilepsy as a child, but her case terminated when pubert
y began. We hoped for the same with
It wasn’t until she started puberty, though, that the seizures hit hard. The stress of my parents’ divorce added even more aggravation. She’d been on medications prior to this phase, which acted like a barri
er, but they never stopped for an extended amount of time. The episodes became more frequent and uncontrollable. There were numerous times that she was taken to the hospital or rushed to the ER. She had also been flown out on Flight for Life to Denver, CO .
My family was being pushed to the limit. Dad had been off work for over a year, money was precious, and spending was to the point of restriction. We took turns staying up with Bridgette every night, holding her hand, and soothing her thoughts. Because B ridgette had a
seizure every three
five minutes, rest was slight. We had to sit there in the darkness, holding her shaking hand, and listening to the short, rapid breaths, followed by sobbing and a weak sigh of relief
only to be repeated a few short m
inutes later. By morning, we were tired and able to
recuperate, but she was always more than exhausted. She had zero energy and was almost considered handicapped. At this point, something had to be done. It had been over a year of constant seizing and rest
less nights. This was enough!
February was just around the corner and another hospital visit full of more testing was soon to come. The discussion of surgery had been brought about with Dr. Laprasurt, and he encouraged it. I was able to attend the “adult
” meeting with the doctor since I was her sister. My
father was discussing different issues with the doctor, as I was looking around fiddling with random items. When the word surgery was heard, I suddenly became alert, attending to the remaining conversati
“So what is it exactly that you will be doing?” asked Dad. “We will be having two surgeries. One will be to remove the scull to connect her brain to a machine, and one to remove the focus.”
“Okay, and she’ll be seizure free afterwards, right?” My fath er questioned.
“Well, yes. That is if she survives the surgery.”
My stomach twisted and my heart sank to the pierce of those wretched words. We were told her only options were to be crippled at 18 which would lead to death at 20, or surgery now with a chance of death. At this point my sister was tired of everything; she wanted the seizures to
stop so badly. So, therefore, she, my mother, and my father agreed to the proposal of surgery. The big day arrived on February 20th. The consent papers had been signed by my mother and father, approving the final decision.
lasted for what seemed to be forever. The waiting room was gloomy and stuffy. Several people were coming and going, while doctors entered the room to look for that one...
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