Early yesterday evening, 3 January 2015, we watched our oldest daughter finally give up her strong fight against so many medical issues and struggles. Heavy bleeding into her chest cavity that would not stop and three cardiac arrests, have given us all a roller-coaster of a ride the last two days. She has had to fight all her life, since the age of 11, dealing with each new problem with such strength. She had made it very clear to us at various times in more recent times that she would never want prolonged “heroic measures” performed if she was ever in that position. The last thing she wanted was to live the end of her life, be it weeks, months or even years, in a state where she had to rely on others to do every single thing for her, with absolutely no quality of life at all. So, after many detailed discussions with all her doctors, surgeons and specialists, nurses and a social worker, we all agreed that we must let Fiona die the way she wished, peacefully, in no pain and with dignity.
Having said that, I have to add that the whole staff in the Intensive Care Unit pod at Foothills Hospital worked so hard to turn things around for her, but there were just too many health problems that, understandably, got in the way. The staff could not have been any more caring and thoughtful. Our heart-felt thanks to them. We, her family, thought and dreaded that this day would eventually come.
How Fiona will be missed! She inspired so many people with her amazing persistence to “keep going” despite the endless difficulties in her life. Though she could feel “down” at times, she had a good sense of humour. Her heart was as big as the world – she always wanted to help people in any way that she was able, especially children, from a young girl in Africa to enjoying filling a backpack with school supplies for a school child in our own city. We knew, too, with complete certainty, that she would wish to donate any part of her body that might help someone else. Unfortunately, this was not possible due to the possibility (and uncertainty) that she also had rheumatoid arthritis. She has also always agreed, along the journey of her life, that when asked if she would be willing to let doctors and specialists share her information about the genetic disease she lived with, her answer was always a very willing "Yes". She has kept a careful record of each step along the way for years, and we know that this would include valuable information for the medical people, that could help others. Willing and thoughtful to the very end.
Tagged: , Rest in Peace , RIP , Fiona , our daughter , end of life , sadness , grief , loss