The Emergency Room
The ER doctors were assessing my mother’s condition, while I sat in the waiting room and filled out a form asking me to list the history of present illness that took place earlier in the day. I explained everything that happened, prior to moms condition, except for the 4 hr. window, between the time I left her around 6:00 p.m. and the time I received Glen’s inconceivable phone call and arrived back at her house a little after 10:00 p.m. Only my step family could fill in that 4 hr. section, but none of them came to the hospital or called to see how she was doing.
I now know that someone, purposely altered my ER hospital statement and added a blatant lie that my mother complained of headaches during the card games, which was absolutely not true. The 3 page statement of events I filled out, was torn off the Knox Comm. Hosp Medical report and replaced by a condensed, revised and incorrect version. Why would someone write up a false statement, unless they were covering something up? Who revised my original statement of events anyway? And who had access to this information? I’d sure like to know.
My brothers finally arrived at the hospital and gave me some comfort. After a couple hours of waiting, a Dr. came to me and asked, if my mother had fallen and hit her head? I said, “No”. Surely my stepdad would have told me if that had happened. That question raised the first red flag and still haunts me to this day.
Then the Dr. said, “the examination ruled out stroke and heart attack”. I was relieved to hear that, but didn’t realize her condition was much more serious, I still had hope they could fix her.
My brothers and I waited a couple more hours and then came the bombshell. A Dr. appeared and explained to us that they were going to rush mom to Riverside Hospital in Columbus. I ask if I could ride with her, they said, “no”.
Pat took Mike and I back to mom’s house so I could retrieve my car, then Pat went home to get some sleep. Mike and I headed for the long hour drive to Columbus. It was in the wee hours of Monday morning and was starting to rain hard. Mike and I braved the lightning and thunderstorm. It was difficult driving, trying to see through my tears and heavy rainfall. We arrived at the hospital and went straight to the emergency room.
A member of the staff took Mike and I directly to a small curtained enclosure, where mom lay on a breathing machine. She was still incoherent and in critical condition. Mike and I were so thankful to be with her. Hours went by and we just sat there waiting. I held moms pretty manicured hand, as I listened to the dreadful sound of the machine, pumping air in and out of her lungs.
I watched the same dark colored blood, aspirating up and down, in the large tube leading down mother’s throat. It looked so painful, the blood alarmed me and I asked a nurse if she could do something about the blood and make it go away, I didn’t want it to get in her lungs. The nurse attempted to adjust the machine, but it didn’t change at all, I think she did it only to pacify me.
It was evident that mom’s condition was irreversible and the staff was politely allowing Mike and I to absorb the situation and spend what little time we had left with her.
After approximately 10 hrs. of sitting in waiting rooms, a neurologist finally came to Mike and I and explained mom’s options. He told us that moms brain was swollen and bleeding, he said he could relieve the pressure, by drilling a hole in her skull, but she was brain dead and would remain brain dead even after surgery.
Mother had a Living Will and it specifically stated that she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means. Obeying mom’s wishes, Mike and I left the room and gave the hospital permission to remove her from life support. Pat arrived just as they unhooked her, he came out of the enclosure crying. I went in and held mom’s sweet head close to my chest, I kissed her and told her she could go now, she exhaled one last big breath of air and died.
At that moment, I should have been getting her ready to go sign documents with her lawyer, instead I was getting ready to go to her funeral. She was only a few hrs. away from changing her “Will”. Not one person in my step family called to see how she was doing. The tiny kind hearted woman had been betrayed by people she trusted.
Exhausted, Mike and I left the hospital and headed for home, to break the sad news to the rest of the family. We went to tell Glen first, he was sitting on a kitchen chair, in the hot sun, in front of the garage, not on the comfortable swing on the shaded porch. Beside him stood two of his sons, as if they were on guard duty. Pat had already called Glen and told him that mom died. Glen and his sons intentionally, blocked Mike and me from entering mom’s house.
It was very obvious that we were intruding and not welcome there anymore. So we left.
It was 1:00 P.M. Monday afternoon, Aug. 20, 2001, when I finally arrived at my home in Utica. I called moms lawyer, T. Garrett Ressing, in Mt. Vernon, Oh. and cancelled her 1:00 P.M. appointment.
I tried to sleep but my thoughts kept focusing on mom. We had plans to go to California and visit my daughters and she’d just gotten her passport to go to Thailand with me and visit my son. We were also working on a business venture together and as soon as it got on the market, were looking forward to taking all her great-grandchildren to Disney World. She was such a dynamic little woman. I couldn’t imagine living in this world without her. Mom had a beautiful, kind, generous ‘Spirit’ and helped so many people in her lifetime, including Glen, myself my brothers, my sister, her 11 grandkids, Glens grandkids, great-grandkids, neighbors and even some of her renters. She made it possible for all her grandkids to go to college. She was truly an Angel.
As I lay in bed, I reminisced about mom’s childhood, a poor little hillbilly twin from a large family, reared in the hills of W.Va. with no electricity. They had to walk a half mile for water and had to use an old double seated outhouse. She married my dad at the tender age of 16, he was 27. She had 4 little kids by the time she was 24 and almost died giving birth. She only weighed 92 Lbs.
My father didn’t make much money, times were hard, when we were growing up. If we ran short on food, mom always did without. With these thoughts weighing heavy on my mind, fatigue finally took over and I fell asleep. When I woke up, a couple hours later, I wished this had all been a dream. Then reality kicked in, I didn’t have much time to think, I now had to prepare for my mother’s funeral.
My sister Anna was in Chicago, when I called and gave her the bad news. She said, ‘They killed her didn’t they?” Anna has always been insightful and a very good judge of character. She relieved me when she said she’d come home and help with the funeral arrangements.