This I Believe

Samantha - La Grange Park, Illinois
Entered on October 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family, illness, love
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I Believe

I believe in miracles and the power of family.

I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was in the living room, when my mom came in and told me that my aunt, her sister in law, had just been taken by ambulance to the emergency room. With a worried look on my face, I asked what had happened, knowing that my aunt hadn’t been feeling well prior to that. My mom told me that she had four brain aneurysms and that two of them had burst. Explaining further, she said that an aneurysm was a bulge in the blood vessel, much like if you over inflate a tire. It gets bigger until it finally bursts.

We were calling my uncle every few hours, trying to find out what my aunt’s status was. She had to undergo a lengthy operation on one side of her brain to stop the bleeding. The next day, they did the same thing accept for on the other side. As she was waking up from the anesthesia, the doctor told us that we should expect some complications because her condition was so severe. For the next couple of weeks however, everything seemed to be going well. My aunt was talking again and joking around. She was even planning on ways to escape from the ICU. Although things were looking up, it didn’t last for very long. Complications started, causing the doctor to put my aunt into an induced coma. When they were trying to wake her up from it, she didn’t. After hoping and praying that she would wake up, she continued to stay in the coma. Soon after, she was moved to another hospital where they take care of people on respirators. After weeks of constant hoping and spending days and nights at the hospital, we experienced our first miracle. Even though she didn’t wake up yet, she was a little responsive and was able to swallow a little crushed ice that the nurse gave her. Although it may not seem like a big deal, it was. It meant that my aunt would be capable of swallowing, and will be taken off the feeding tube. The second miracle occurred a couple of weeks later. My aunt finally woke up from being in a coma for over a month.

For the next few months, she kept getting stronger while still at the hospital. She started walking again and was able to comprehend what people were saying to her. She couldn’t talk but was able to communicate what she meant by nodding or smiling. For the past three years, my aunt’s condition has been getting better, but also getting worse. Due to infections they had to remove the frontal bone. She can’t talk due to partial brain damage but can somewhat understand what you are saying to her, walk with help and even knit.

The part that I remember most about that summer is that we traveled to Rockford twice, sometimes even three times a week. Although we couldn’t physically do anything, just moral support meant a lot to my family. It’s a miracle that my aunt is even alive today, and we are all very happy for that fact.