I wonder is it is wrong to believe in death. Death is seen by most as a bad thing, the ending of life, but is it a bad thing or can it be merciful? I, unlike some, believe that death is a good thing. Under certain circumstances death is a release from suffering for the sick and their families.
Working in both a nursing home and a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) I have been able to truly appreciate death after a prolonged illness. Its a little harder for me to say I appreciate death in the NICU; but I do. I wish all the babies could go home to their moms and dads and live long and normal lives, but some don’t. Some are left vegetables hooked up to trachs, is a tube placed down the baby’s throat to help him breathe, or a g-tube, a tube placed in his stomach to feed him. These children aren’t children. They don’t run around outside, they don’t get to ride their bikes, or go ride the school bus for the first time. This is not a life, its a prison within them. I find it hard to be happy for these children who will never know anything else but the bed they always lay in.
Nine months she had lay there, nine months of praying and. After nine consistent months of Abby lying in the crib with little comfort from what was around her. Every day she had heel sticks and IV sticks. She spent hours in everlasting seizures, hearing nothing but doctor’s voices and alarms telling the staff her oxygen level was dropping or her heart rate was up. For nine months she suffered in bed fighting for her life. Doctors came in daily with something new to try, knowing that her chances were not good at all. Knowing when to stop in the NICU, when to let nature run its course is a very thin line, between not doing enough and going overboard.
On the day that Abby died she was surrounded by those who loved her. Doctors let her mom and dad take Abby outside for 25 minutes the Thursday before she was to be taken off the vents. Her parents at last were allowed to bring their daughter outside nine months after she was born. She Lasted 8 hours before dying.
A week after Abby passed I worked a night shift; we were getting twins from the Outer Banks. I was in the back pods receiving baby “b”; she was 600 grams and born at 23 weeks gestation. Her vitals were weak and every time the nurse would touch her the heat for her hands would burn her skin. After 20 minutes the doctor called it; knowing that no matter how hard he tried she wouldn’t make it.
Death is something not to be convinced of as a good thing, too many people have experienced it in a tragic way. It can only be perceived as good through experience.
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