I have asked myself this question over and over again inside my aching heart..."Why did she have to go"..."Why our Louise?" Louise was only 13 years, 5 months and 7 days and our firstborn Daughter (of 5) when the Lord called her home. I could never then and I could never now, understand what went wrong on that early morning, Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1993. You see, the Lord gave us a perfectly healthly looking child on June 18, 1980; oh so perfect on the outside, but yet she was born with a Heart Defect (a VSD at first, later diagnosed as "Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis after her last open heart surgery at 7 years old)...a defect that was in no means life threatening (just look at her smiling face...does that look like a child with a "health" condition)??
As the years went by, Louise lived a normal healthy life, just like any other child her age, she never let anything stop her from doing what she wanted to do. She loved everybody and never failed to show that love. She never had any problems learning anything she put her mind to and she always strived to learn more. She was a straight "A" student, she loved school and making new friends (she loved especially learning about all the "different nationalities"). She would go in for her regular routine checkups only to find that her heart condition was getting worse. She always wondered why these "defects" were taking place in her heart and she couldn't even feel it...never afraid to ask questions, because that she did, always a curious mind. Louise overcame two open heart surgeries (the first at the age of 4 and her last at 7 years old) and required a pacemaker after her last one because her heart was never the same. Her little "friend" went with her everywhere she did and she always loved telling about "her" (through her stories she'd write for school). Three months after her 2nd open heart surgery, she developed an unusual blood disorder (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura). Doctor's had no clue as to what brought it on (they thought at first she had developed "Leukemia"). This blood disorder involved her "platelets" and required hospitalization to receive "GammaGlobulin" treatments every month (for the first year or so, they were treating it with "Prednisone" to "boost" her platelets). She even went through an "experimental procedure" that imbolized her spleen and worked for awhile, until her liver started acting as her spleen and eating up all the platelets. Louise was a fighter and that she did...she fought any abnormality, any defect that was thrown her way...she never let anything get in the way of what she wanted to do in life. She was even chosen as a participant in the People to People Student Ambassador Program and had just returned from Western Europe (France, England, Switzerland, etc)4 months prior to her passing. She "had the time of her life" she had told everyone and brought back so many wonderful memories that we will always treasure close to our hearts. Yes, Louise was so perfect in every way imaginable, so I thought...but what happen?
When Louise came back from her 22-day "journey" from Western Europe (July 18, 1993), she began to "tire" easily. By the time she got home from school (she was so exhausted from carrying her backpack with her heavy books) she had to take a nap; she was even sleeping for longer periods of time. That's when we found out that her heart was weakening on top of her platelet count dropping from her blood disorder...her medication was increased so as to help her weakening heart, only to find out that it was too much for her to take. Doctors decided that this much "dreaded surgery" that they were postponing all these years could not be postponed much longer. The blood flow was minimal going through her heart and she needed this surgery in order to "feel better" again. She was originally scheduled for her 3rd open heart surgery for December 2, 1993...in which they were going to replace her damaged Aortic Valve with her Pulmonary Valve and replace her Pulmonary Valve with a Hemograft. Later it was postponed until December 16th. As time went by, Louise was preparing for this major event in her life. It was really strange now that I think about it, because she was more "excited" about it, than frightened (I was the frightened one). Excited, because she knew that this would be her last surgery she'd have to go through; her Doctor's were that promising (I do believe she knew in her heart too, that it'll be her last, because she was going "home").
As time went on...Louise was not feeling well. Her platelet count was dropping; so she was hospitalized on Tuesday, November 23 1993, because she needed a Gammaglobulin treatment for her blood disorder. It was really strange because that morning she had lab work done and was very persistent to be taken back to school because she had to "see" her friends and say "goodbye" to them as well as to her teachers (this was "days" before the Thanksgiving "break"). This just didn't make sense to me at the time, but it sure makes sense to me now. I believe Louise knew what was coming forth. That night before Louise went to Heaven, she was so sick with the vomitting from the medication and she was so tired (somewhat different reaction as she normally would have). She just cried telling me how "tired" she was and "WHY did God make her this way"...I felt so bad as I held my baby in my arms telling her how sorry I was that she had been born with this defect (nothing I did caused this, so I was told) and telling her that everything was going be alright. How I love her so much and would do anything to make her hurt go away. As she slept off and on, I sat there at her bedside and didn't leave for nothing (as I always would do when she was in the hospital). As night got later and later, I heard a voice telling me to "go home"...I just had to "go home"..I'd fall in and out of a deep sleep only to hear this voice..only to be awaken to see Louise was still sleeping peacefully (and it wasn't her I was hearing, but another "voice"). I just couldn't understand this, but decided I would go ahead and go home because it was nearing 1:00 a.m. and it was Thanksgiving morning and I knew she'd be okay and I'd be back in a few hours so to speak, to bring her home. I woke her up to tell her I was leaving...and that I loved her very much...she said okay, that she'd be fine. After the nurses checked in on her and everything was fine, I left. If I had known that my whole world was going to change when I walked out that door, I would NEVER have left...I feel that Louise wanted me to leave, she did not want me there to "stop her" from making her "Grand Exit"...this was her plan...and it went just the way she wanted it to (just like everything else did)...because shortly after....she went "Home" too...to her Home to be with her "Heavenly Father"...Louise passed away in her sleep several hours later.
To this day.....I still cannot understand WHY she went away...she knew we loved her very much, she knew that we'd do anything for her...she was MY life...I lived for HER!! She gave me the title "MOM"...she gave her father the title "DAD"!! SHE WAS THE "REASON"!! My whole life revolved AROUND HER basically! This pain is a feeling I just cannot comprehend. So much time has gone by and the feeling of pain is so deep inside that I feel as it was only yesterday (I can still "see" THAT DAY so clearly in my mind). I wish this pain would go away, but I know it will always be there no matter what. Louise touched so many lives in her short time here on Earth; she accomplished more in her short life than most people accomplish in a lifetime. Louise was SO SPECIAL to everybody...she had 'her own special way' of being SPECIAL...she was our JOY, our HAPPINESS and the SUNSHINE of MY LIFE!! Nothing or no one will ever take her place...until we meet her again in the Gates of Heaven...she will always fill that place in our hearts that she had filled when she first came to us on June 18, 1980.
I LOVE YOU MY PRECIOUS ANGEL....Always, Dad, Mom and Sisters