In LOVING Memory
In Loving Memory of our precious daughter Rebbecca ( Bec )
Born 11/7/1977 Passed Away 24/4/2008
Rebbecca suffered a severe Pulmonary Embolus developed from Deep Vein Thrombosis resulting from her injured ankle causing her to have a Cardiac Arrest which in turn caused the Severe Hypoxic Brain Damage.
She was not only our daughter, she was a devoted wife, sister and friend to Angela, Tanya and Emily. An aunty to Mike and Jake, sister in-law to Scott and a great friend and source of guidance to Craig, Emily's boyfriend.
She was the perfect daughter and wife, an inspiration to all around her and all who knew her, she lived life to the max no matter what obstacle was sent her way she overcame it, carried on with a smile and a laugh.
We love her from the deepest part of our hearts and she has left a hole in our lives that cannot ever be filled, she is greatly missed.
We all Love you dearly Bec and we miss you so much. You will always live on in our hearts and our memories.
May you be blessed with the wings of an Angel for this you now deserve.
"Some only dream of Angels I held one in my arms"!
If you would like to light a candle for Rebbecca please click here
Sharing a part of Bec's life
When I was 20 weeks pregnant my waters broke and was told I was going to loose my baby. I told God not to take my child, and miraculously she went full term. A bouncing bubbly healthy 8lb 13oz bundle of joy.
Bec always seemed to cop everything, at 2 years old she was bitten in the eye by a dog and had to have surgery to put in an artificial tear duct until her own grew back. At aged 3 years she was playing happily with some children when she fell over and broke her arm, tonsils removed at 5. In her last year of Primary School she fell and broke her ankle, months later she had to have a cyst removed from that ankle. In her early 20's she had the ankle reconstructed as it was never right after she had broken it.
Back in 2003 Bec and her fiancé started to purchase their first home. On 7th January 2006 her father and I walked her down the isle to marry her fiancé Mark, they had been living together just on 11 years. In January this year Bec was suffering severe migraine like symptoms in her eye, she was hospitalized and pumped full of cortisone for the pain and swelling. Later on that month she was diagnosed with MS and was in the very early stages and being monitored. Three weeks before Bec's death she tore the ligaments in her already damaged ankle, about a week after she slipped on the ramp going into the doctors and further damaged it. She kept complaining how much her ankle hurt but the doctor just gave her pain killers. On Tuesday 22nd of April 2008 Bec and her husband came for a visit. When I kissed her and hugged her goodbye I had no idea what lay ahead.
At about 2.30am on Wednesday 23rd of April the Police came and woke us to tell us our daughter had suffered a massive coronary and she was in the Dandenong Hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital's emergency department I expected her to be awake and on a drip, not lying there looking so sick, hooked up to a ventilator already in an induced coma. The nurses told us her heart had only stopped beating for around 4 to 5 minutes, which we thought it shouldn't be too serious. We were told she would be comatosed for the next 24 to 48 hours. At around 6.30am my two other daughters Angela, Emily and I headed for home and my husband John left to go to work straight from the hospital, being positive she was in good hands. My daughter Angela went to work but ended up coming home a few hours later as she felt too upset, my youngest Emily decided to go to work as she said she copes better whilst working, shortly after Angela arrived home just as I'd got off the phone to the hospital. I had been told Bec was getting admitted to ICU give it a couple of hours so they could settle her in, I was told that her heart had stopped beating for 40 to 50 minutes. I knew in my heart that this was bad news. When Angela and I arrived in ICU they told us Bec may have brain damage and they were trying to bring her out of the induced coma to which she was responding too slowly. We popped out for a short time so they could run some more tests.
On arriving back at the hospital car park we were greeted by my third born Tanya and her husband Scott, my eldest sister Olga and my niece Debbie (Olga's daughter). When we got into ICU, I was told Bec had fluid on the brain and the outlook was looking grim.
Later that afternoon Mark (Bec's husband), Angela, Tanya and I were called into a private room, the consulting doctor called us together to deliver the horrific, tragic news Bec wasn't going to make it through the night. Craig (Emily's boyfriend) arrived at the hospital, followed by Emily and John. We sat by her side hour after hour when eventually her blood pressure become unstable.
I was going to loose my daughter. I could hear myself screaming, crying uncontrollably - yes, this was a child my husband and I had bought into this world, raised and were now going to loose her.
That whole day into the night was so traumatic, so surreal - like this isn't supposed to be happening, not me, not my child, not to my family. We all stayed around her bedside throughout that night. We had a priest called in to read her last rights.
Late that night John and Mark gave consent for the Gift of Life people to take her organs as this was her wish.
At 12.40am on the 24/4/08 Bec was legally pronounced brain dead, the day after her Grandmother's Birthday, even though we knew deep within out hearts she passed away on her Grandmother's Birthday.
They kept her body warm until they found recipients for her organs. By the time they released her body and we could make funeral arrangements it was eleven days before we could lay her to rest. She came into this world on a Monday and we said goodbye to her on Monday 5th May 2008.
We had Bec's viewing so immediate family could say their goodbyes. I will never forget walking into the viewing room at the funeral home, seeing her laying there in her casket so cold, still, lifeless and just collapsing, screaming out No, No, No, not my child! My child, my flesh and blood was dead, gone forever from this earth. Never to hold her again, talk to her, we had no chance to say goodbye, tell her how much I love her, life is just too cruel!
Since that day my heart has been shattered, I feel empty, angry, have so much fear and anxiety. Nothing matters much anymore as life is so fragile and I don't trust it.
I know I still have three other daughters but a huge part of me died with Bec that day and I know they are missing a part of their mother. I miss my Bec so much as I know John, Angela, Tanya and Emily do too. I never realized till this happened how much love you have for your children. I would gladly trade places with her in a heartbeat.
Thank you for taking the time to read a glimpse of the life and death of my beautiful daughter Bec ( Rebbecca )
Bec's Sharing of herself to Others through Organ Donation
Letter received from LifeGift dated 7th May 2008
Bec's heart was successfully transplanted into a middle-aged man who had been unwell for some time. He is recovering well and plans to be discharged home into the care of his wife and child within the coming days.
The recipient of Bec's lungs is also a middle aged man. His transplant surgery was successful and he is recovering on the ward. He has a large and supportive family.
The recipient of Bec's liver is a middle aged man who had been unwell for a long time. His transplant surgery was successful and with family support, he is making a steady recovery on the ward. He is very emotional about the gift he has received.
Bec's pancreas was donated for islet cell transplantation. The recipient is a middle aged female who has recovered well and has since returned home to the care of her family.
The left kidney recipient is a young girl who had been on dialysis for more than 2 years. Her surgery was successful and she has since been discharged home. She is looking forward to returning to school.
Bec's right kidney recipient is a young woman who had been dependent on dialysis for nearly 10 years. Her transplant surgery was successful and she is making a steady recovery at home with her partner and son.
Both of these kidney recipients are looking forward to life free from the constraints of dialysis.
Australian Organ Donor Register
Bereavement centre's rely totally on donations, so they can be there for people like my family and I and so many others who need the support and comfort during their darkest hours. If you wish to donate to any one of the centre's please feel free to contact them directly.
Your support will help guide and light the way for the many like ourselves who are lost in the darkness of grief.
The Compassionate Friends is a bereaved parent and sibling support and information centre Grieving...Healing...Growing Bereaved parents and siblings sharing real grief issues
If your parent or friend has died
Many tears, you will have cried
But if your child is taken away
Tears will last, forever and a day
If you have a moment or two
I will try and explain to you
Why we will never be the same
And yet we are normal, not insane
To bury your mum or your dad
Is always so extremely sad
But in your heart you always knew
That this is what you’re expected to do
A child should live to say goodbye
To the parent, when they die
Should the child be first to go
A parent's blood, stops its flow
Their heart is shattered deep inside
Wishing they too, could have died
A broken heart is slow to mend
When it shatters, that’s the end
Parents learn to live each day
Hiding their true feelings away
Knowing people don’t understand
Why they need a helping hand
If you should be skinned alive
And this pain you do survive
You will know we walk each day
With our skin all flayed away
Grief is but a stabbing pain,
That pulls your heart apart
The memories they come and go,
Leaving tears as they part
You have a hole which once was filled,
By the one who touched your soul
But now all that you have left
Is a space no one can fill
No one can understand your hurt,
And what it does to you
Yet so many will be quick to judge,
Thinking they are the expert.
The friends you have they disappear
For fear of what to say.
But all you need is an ear
In case you have words to say
You must be strong, you must move on,
Its all you'll ever hear,
But if they could see and take on your grief
Would they be so quick to speak?
For grief is but a stabbing pain
That pulls your heart apart
(Written by Emily de Groot) Bec's bereaved sister
FRIENDS SUPPORT GUIDE
For those of you who have lost a loved one, especially a child, you will relate to the following list of 10 things to guide your friends through the tough times. Please share this information with others so they will know not only how to act... but most important, too act! Don’t avoid us!
By Virginia Simpson
1. I am not strong. I'm just numb. When you tell me I'm strong, I feel you don't see me.
2. I will not recover. This is not a cold or the flu. I'm not sick. I'm grieving and that's different. I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my loved one. Rather than recover, I want to incorporate his life and love into the rest of my life. That person is a part of me and always will be, and sometimes I remember him with joy and other times with tears. Both are ok.
3. I don't have to accept the death. Yes, I have to understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are just some things in life that are not acceptable.
4. Please don't avoid me. You can't catch my grief. My world is painful, and when you are too afraid to call me or visit or say anything, you isolate me at a time when I most need to be care about. If you don't know what to say, just come over, give me a hug or touch my arms, and gently say, "I'm sorry." You can even say, "I just don't know what to say, but I care, and want you to know that."
5. Please don't call to complain about your husband, your wife, or your children. Right now, I'd be delighted to have my loved one here, no matter what they were doing.
6. Please don’t say, “Call me if you need anything.” I’ll never call you because I have no idea what I need. Trying to figure out what you could do for me takes more energy than I have. So, in advance, let me give you some ideas:
a. Bring food
b. Offer to take my children to a movie or game so I have some moments to myself
c. Send me a card on special holidays, birthdays (mine, his or hers), or the anniversary of his
death and make sure you mention his or her name. You can’t make me cry. The tears are here and I will love you for giving me the opportunity to shed them because someone cared enough about me to reach out on this difficult day.
d. Ask me more than once to join you at the movies or lunch. I may say “no” at first or even for a while, but please don’t give up on me because somewhere down the line, I may be ready, and if you’ve given up then I really will be alone.
7. Try to understand that this is like I’m in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language and have no map to tell me what to do. Even if there were a map, I’m not sure I could understand what it was saying. I’m lost and in a fog. I’m confused
8. When you tell me what I should be doing, then I feel even more lost and alone. I feel bad enough that my loved one is dead, so please don’t make it worse by telling me I’m not doing this right.
9. Please don’t tell me that I can have other children or need to start dating again. I’m not ready. And maybe I don’t want to. And besides, what makes you think people are replaceable? They aren’t. Whoever comes after will always be someone different.
10. I don’t even understand what you mean when you say, “You’ve got to get on with your life.” My life is going on, but it may not look the way you think it should. This will take time and I never will be my old self again. So please just love me as I am today, and know, that with your love and support, the joy will slowly return to my life. But I will never forget – and there will always be times that I cry...