Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sometimes, it Really IS More Complicated

In yesterday's newspaper, there was a front page article on Nathaniel's death and the amazing decision his parents made by donating his organs.  Because of his organ donation, three people are alive today.  After reading the article, I was completely in awe of Nathaniel's parents and Nathaniel himself.

According to the newspaper, they still aren't 100% sure what caused his death and are awaiting autopsy results.  However, in February, he had febrile seizures,  which are normally harmless and are caused by a fever. He recovered from the seizure in February.  However, he had a seizure at school last Tuesday. Because the doctors weren't able to keep his body temperature and oxygen levels stable, his brain swelled and he died.

I can certainly understand now why the daycare director answered me the way she did.  As far as she knew--there was a seizure.  Besides, I am sure she has very little experience in dealing with an issue such as this, even if she had coaching from the corporate attorneys.  The teacher who witnessed the fall with me really IS in Belize and won't even find out until tomorrow that Nathaniel died.  Now that my conspiracy-theory imagination is on idle, I do understand that it was much more complicated than a fall.  

I decided to send them a sympathy card.  By the way, have you ever bought a sympathy card?  I spent 30 minutes in the card aisle at Target tearing up and trying to choose the card that sucked the least.  In the end, I wrote them a note sharing my last memory of Nathaniel from the perspective that he was an amazingly tough kid and that it was a testament to them as parents. I didn't go into detail about the fall--I just didn't see the point.  The seizure would not have been caused by a fall.

While I can at least sleep at night now, knowing that the daycare wasn't trying to do a massive cover-up, it is still really tough to imagine that these sorts of medical tragedies happen.  It's tough to imagine the hell the parents are going through.  But the silver lining in this very dark cloud is that there are two children and an adult alive right now because of his gift.


M&Co. said...

Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

That must have been difficult, writing the letter. Just writing a cover letter is torture for me. I can't imagine how heart wrenching it is to write such a sympathy card.

I hope you feel at peace with your decision in what you shared with his parents. I'm sure they will appreciate your memory.


Lumpyheadsmom said...

I'm glad you got answers to your questions, and a little peace of mind. I'm not a fan of sympathy cards in general, and usually end up writing condolence notes on blank notecards (or, if I have it, simple black-bordered stationery).

Arwen said...

I am glad the mystery is revealed as well.

HeatherK said...

Actually, seizures can be caused by falls/head traumas and those who have had earlier ones are more predisposed to this. I only know all this from research I did when my then 3yo had one last summer.

But sadly, that is all besides the point. Rest in peace, sweet Nathaniel. Three lives live on with joy from their sadness. *hugs*

kimmyk said...

i was going to say what heatherk said.

seizures can be brought on by a trauma to the head or a fall. very likely case honestly.

i always wondered why my parents didn't donate rusty's organs when he died. he could have saved so many children, but i guess at a time of grieving some people don't think about those things. i think that's pretty great that his parents saved other childrens lives. so much to give.

bless his lil' heart.

Misfit Hausfrau said...

Certainly seizures can be caused by a fall. However, a ferile seizure is caused by high fever.

red pen mama said...

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry you were so closely touched by this. I am glad that you can lay your worries to rest, and that N's parent were brave enough to donate his organs. What a difficult time for them. I hope they are able to... I don't know. Find solace in their grief through themselves and their families and friends. I think you did the right thing sending a card. It helps those of us who lose children that those children be remembered and acknowledged -- at least D & I feel that way.

By writing about this, you have shown a lot of courage. It's good to know I have such a caring friend!


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

The whole thing is just awful. How are the girls handling it?

Kia said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. this whole thing reads like something out of a Jodi Picoult novel. Seriously. Wow. Sounds like you've handled it all the best way possible...

Misfit Hausfrau said...

The girls don't even know that anything happened. That has made things easier.