DENIED PROPER MEDICAL TREATMENT,
MOM’S LIFE WAS SNATCHED AWAY
Editor’s note: In the Bible – John 19:25 – Jesus hung from his “deathbed.” He told his beloved disciple, which many believe to be John the Evangelist, to “behold your mother.” Scripture tells as that John took Jesus’s mother Mary into his own home, as his own mother, and cared for her for the rest of her earthly life. Recently we were reminded of this Bible verse when Jane, a nurse and a devout Catholic, recounted for us the story of how her family took her own mother into their care and fought for her dignity and life.
Late on a Friday afternoon in July of 2019, my 89-year-old mother suffered excruciating pain. When the ambulance was called for her, she requested “the silent approach” so the EMTs drove her to the emergency room with the sirens off. Once there, she waited patiently without the aid of pain medicine. The doctor did not detect any signs of pain, however, when my mother was asked if her pain level was above “10,” her response was “Yes.”
My mother had her full mental faculties. The ER doctor said her white blood cell count was up. Because of this, I suspected a urinary tract infection. Another concern I had was that the wound in her leg might have been infected and was possibly sepsis. Mom felt very sick, too sick to go out, but she endured in the hope of proper attentive care and treatment.
According to the ER doctor, the reason my mom was admitted to the hospital overnight was because she was dehydrated. However, she was left all night on the fifth floor without IV fluids, pain medications or regular necessary medications. Looking back, it reminds me of when Jesus was stripped of his garments!
For thirty years I had avoided the hospital and its elevators and high stories due to a local earthquake I had experienced. However, when I learned that hospice was coming to consult with my family, I overcame my nightmares, the earthquake, and my claustrophobia, and trusted in the miraculous grace of God in order to be with my mom.
When the hospitalist came, our large family made it clear that we wanted what was best for mom. The words “comfort and care” were used. I felt unable to state it, but what I wanted was “Gods’ birthing process.” In other words, I wanted the plans that God had for her to come to fruition. In the middle of the night on Sunday she begged, “HELP ME!” As I listened to her cries, I didn’t know it at the time, but I needed HALO.
It was obvious that her kidney function was poor. The neglect made it worse. Despite suffering renal failure for over 10 years, my mom heroically fought for her life! The hospital snatched it away from her, put her on hospice, and sent her home unable to speak or swallow.
We were never told she had a bad UTI. No antibiotic was given! My mother and her family were in a very vulnerable space and were taken advantage of. We came for hope and the preservation of life as much as possible until a natural death. Instead we were given a death sentence and written off.
Life is precious and so was Mom! She knew the exact time and minute each of her 10 children were naturally born. In a similar way, we wanted her death to be on Gods’ time, not Hospice’s time! My mom was “born” to eternal life at home, at 8:30 Saturday morning, July 27, 2019.