Sometimes Moving Forward, Means Letting Some Things Go.

September 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm 1 comment

Amery and I had a discussion last night that ended in silence on my part. Silence as I realized we have moved in different directions. Silence since no matter how we talk about it, or fight about it, we can’t do anything differently. The past is gone. We have only today. So I believe my thinking has to change to accomodate that. We were watching a video posted by a friend on BC Children’s hospital. In it they are talking about allowing BCCH to do organ transplants. The mother of a 10 year old girl who had a heart transplant as an infant, in Toronto, Ontario. It was the hospital she needed to be to have this transplant, and her family had to live in a hotel for 6 months. The news story interviewd Dr. Ghandi, the doctor who repaired Daniel’s heart. He has improved heart surgery dramatically since he arrived at BCCH and we were blessed to have him operate on Daniel. Daniel’s surgery and recovery time was quicker than it had been 6 months prior to his surgery, because of Dr. Ghandi. I applaud the efforts of this family and Dr. Ghandi to open up BCCH to allow organ transplants and pray they accomplish their goal.
How does organ transplants affect Amery and I? Daniel had a repair and did not require a transplant. It came down to the fact that any infant recieving a transplant is due to another infant dying. We had wished we could have donated Matthew’s organs as he was in perfect condition. To know another child got to go home to their family even though we lost our child. To give a family the chance we never had. But in BC any person under the age of 18 who dies, no matter what, must have a mandatory autopsy. At first this upset both of us. We wanted to save other children through our loss. We were quite angry as we know personally, people who could have benefitted from transplants had our province had the availability for surgery, and the organs. It seemed we lost our chance to see our son “live-on” in another child.
After watching this video last night, we started a discussion that had to be ended before it got heated. Although I am still hurt by not being able to share our child, I have taken a different outlook than Amery. I can’t dwell on the fact his organs couldn’t be used. That is the past and I have to move on to the now or I will go absolutely crazy. He is still quite angry about it and doesn’t see why I am no longer angry and actually glad we did have that automatic autopsy. Without Matthew’s automatic autopsy, his death would have been documented as “natural” and we would have had to accept that, since we would have never really known. We wouldn’t have recieved the pathology report that documented that he had Effexor in his system and that it was a contributing factor. Without that information, we would have been in limbo with his cause of death. Unanswered questions, which I find disturbing in a circumstance with a healthy child. Healthy babies don’t just die. Like with Jacob, we would have had to accept the so-called “answers” to why that happened to him. I would have never seen that Effexor was a culprit. I never would have researched. I would have never found other families that have lost their child because of antidepressants. We would have never learned of the dangers, side-effects, and FDA warnings that were issued. I would probably still be on my Effexor as I would have never had the reason to look at my medication. More importantly, as I was on for 8 years and getting worse on them. I could possibly be dead today.
So I’ve mourned the fact we lost our chance to save other children through organ donation. But I’ve learned so much more. Because of his autopsy, I weaned my medication. I’ve saved my own life. My future children’s lives. And any future child who’s mother has listened to what I’ve had to say and has either weaned or not started antidpressants during their child-bearing age, if ever now. And unlike organ donation, I will never know how many lives Matthew saves. But I take comfort in knowing he has the potential to save many more lives than had we used his organs. I only wish it had been possible to do both.
I understand that moving forward means letting things go. I will NOT let his death as deemed “natural” go as it would be an injustice to my son and any future exposed children. But I can let the organ donation go since there is nothing I can ever do to change that and I don’t want to spiral into that darkness of “if onlys”. And since I can’t change it, I must accept what has been given to me. And like the saying goes, God’s plan is always the best plan.


Entry filed under: Congenital Heart Defect, coroner, Effexor, Infant Death, Infant loss, Pregnacy, psychiatry, SSRI, Transposition of the Great Arteries, Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Under Pressure Changes, they are a comin’!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Fellow Mom  |  September 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I hope that technology will advance to allow for scans that can determine cause of death immediately following death, enabling organ donation to be an option.
    Your story is heart breaking but you need to tell it. Many moms are advised to take medication for depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, and are told the medications are completely safe to take during pregnancy. Your experiences will make women consider alternative treatments and reduce the risk to babies to be. Thank you.


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