4 a.m. phone calls are never good. Already dressed from our late arrival home from the hospital, we made it back to the hospital in record time. Nurses had sent us home. They said we couldn’t stay in intensive care overnight, so against our best judgment, we left. Our son, Clifton had coded and they were trying to revive him. They did. He was only 3 months old. After that night, I never left the hospital again without him. I was too scared to leave my little boy alone again.
Nearly two years and several surgeries later he was growing, nearly caught up with his twin brother, Eric and only had one hole left to close in his heart. Clifton’s surgery was scheduled for August 12. His last one!
It was a simple procedure, he had been through so much already that nothing could possibly go wrong at this point. We were so excited. He would be home the next day. We were finally done with near death experiences, trips to hospitals, ridiculously large medical bills and continual battles with the insurance company. I couldn’t wait to get home and have a normal life again with Amy and Eric who had been staying at Grandma’s house for so long.
14 hours into what was supposed to be a 2 hour surgery, the nurse came to the waiting room to tell me Clifton wouldn’t make it off the table. Thank goodness my friend Debbie was sitting with me. I went to the chapel to pray.
My son did make it off the table.
Clifton died 6 days later due to other complications.
We went home.
4 am and another phone call. I raced to the phone, heart beating rapidly and answered with anticipation of a mistake. There had to have been a mistake. My world was shattered even further as I consented to the embalming my son. It was the funeral home.
My life was forever changed. Looking back over the past 20 years I realize I was an empty shell, only existing. It took a trip half way around the world to discover just how empty I had been. Life sucks if you let it.