On March 1, 2013, Kristen’s heart stopped beating. I had been asleep next to her hospital bed in the ICU when the medical staff woke me. Much of the text below comes from my personal journal dated March 3. This is part 3 of Kristen’s last days on earth.
3/3/13 — 1:21 a.m. Forsyth Medical — Neuro ICU Rm. 170
Friday morning was the scariest day of my life. I was sleeping in this very room when a commotion woke me up. It was about 6:30 a.m. and Kristen was unresponsive. I could hear her almost wheezing (very labored breaths) and then I heard the nurses calling out her name:
“Ms. Ross! Ms. Ross!!”
“Should we push the button?!”
“We have to intubate her.”
“Sir, you have to go.”
“Do you know what we’re talking about?”
I still wasn’t completely conscious. I thought I was having a dream, or a nightmare.
“You’re going to put a tube down her throat.”
[computer voice, “code Blue… ICU … code Blue … ICU]
I leaned against the wall outside Kristen’s room and watched the organized chaos unfold. I felt like I was in an episode of ER. I never saw so many medical personnel coming and going at one time. There must have been 15 people in her room. I could hear the medical staff doing CPR. Kristen’s nurse was crying nearby.
I was in shock. I never knew fear like that. I had to sit down. I found an empty chair and started texting everyone I could. It was Friday morning before everyone would be leaving for work, and I wanted everyone to pray for Kristen at that very moment.
The commotion subsided.
“Push the cancel button.”
The emergency was over.
The dr. on call found me and said he would need to put in a central line. I remember him saying that it is risky b/c it can pierce the lungs, but he said that was uncommon. I signed a consent form, and then Kristen’s regular doctor came to speak w/ me.
“We lost her pulse for 3 minutes, which is a long time, but it could have been worse. We’ve got her stable for now, and I’m pleased where her heart rate and blood pressure are. I would start calling family so that you aren’t all alone here. This isn’t a ‘come to the bedside’ call, but I would rally the troops.”
I went to the waiting room and called different ppl. I cried on the phone w/ Mom, and when I called the church. I felt so alone. I cried, wiped my tears, and cried some more.
My church family were the first to arrive. I broke down, completely sobbing, tears dripping on the floor. I broke down every time more people came.
“I love Kristen, and I don’t want to lose her.”
We all prayed a lot on Friday, and so many family members dropped everything to come and be w/ us at the hospital. It was a long day.
I found out later that Kristen’s lungs had filled w/ fluid. As her body shifted back to its pre-pregnancy state, fluid shifted to her lungs. She couldn’t breathe, and her heart stopped. It was completely unexpected b/c when the nurse checked on her an hour earlier, Kristen had been responsive. Thank God she was in the hospital when it happened.
I love you, Kristen. Please, Lord, have mercy on me. Heal my wife. Give her complete healing, and send her back to me to raise our children together. Amen. ❤ ❤ <3.