My That Night


Saturday, November 11th was a normal day. Dax had gym. Xander had play practice. We hung out at the house. We spent part of the night at my parents house. Rory was skipping around the house, laughing, joking. We went home and Lance helped her prepare a small talk for church the next day.

Unfortunately, Rory wasn’t able to give it. She woke up Sunday morning and was throwing up. Lance had thrown up that week. Dax missed at least one day of school because he was throwing up. Rory caught the stomach virus.

She threw up every few hours for the next day and a half. But she was drinking, going to the bathroom. She didn’t have a fever. She was sitting up. She was talking. She wasn’t lethargic. Other than vomit, she was relatively normal.

Monday evening Lance went to pick up Dax and Xander from across town. Chiler was throwing up so he was laying on the opposite couch of where Rory was laying. I was at her feet. I’d rub them until she kicked me away. She was watching Angry Birds.

She sat up and laid back down then looked at me and said haunting words, “I can’t get up.”

I looked at Chiler and said, “We need to get her to the emergency room. Get shoes on.”

I ran threw shoes on and he helped me get her up into my arms. By the time we were in the garage, she was limp.

It was too late.

She died in my arms.

I wasn’t giving up! I told Chiler “We need to call 9-1-1.”

Chiler ran down the street, knocking on doors. “We need help! We need help!”

I pulled my phone out and talked to the operator. She wasn’t breathing.

I gave her breath. Watched her chest rise.

“I’m going to count with you as you do chest compressions. Count to 600.”

1, 2, 3, 4. You do it staying alive.

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. She’s not breathing. She’s not breathing. How is my daughter not breathing?

11, 12,… Neighbors arrive and give her a blessing.

20, 21, 22, 23 Her eyes are open. But not looking at me.

98, 99, 100…

“Give her another breath.”

With shaking hands, I lift up her chin with help from a neighbor. I give her two breaths. Her chest rises and falls. Rises and falls.

Back to counting. There’s a weird sound.

120, 121, 122. Emergency workers arrive.

They take over.

They kept asking me what happened, what was going on.

I don’t know, she was throwing up.

More chest compressions. Shots in her leg.

My neighbors tell me I need to call Lance.

Lance picks up. I say, “Rory might be dead.”

Awful words. I was pulled from my daughter with no response. I didn’t know what to say.

Neighbors called my mom. Who ran over. She called my sister. Who drove over.

They got her heart back for a minute but it kept leaving.

They transferred her to an ambulance that sat at the bottom of our street. A helicopter landed.

But the ambulance was shaking. Ambulances shouldn’t shake. She wasn’t stabilized. They were doing chest compressions again. The ambulance just kept shaking.

“Will your husband be here soon?”

I nod.

Lance and I run to each other.

They were waiting for him to arrive.

Our daughter had passed away.

We stepped up into the ambulance. Our sweet baby girl was incubated and still. She was never still.

We said goodbye.

The boys. We need to get them. They were in the closest house cuddled up on the couches with our neighbors.

Hugs. Tears. Disbelief. I took two by their hands. Lance took one. We went to my parents’ house.

That was the first of many sleepless nights.

We found out the next day after her autopsy. Appendicitis.