My Little Flower
by Lerato Maribe
(Johannesburg, South Africa)
My little baby Mbali (which means flower) passed away 2 months ago after a battle with Lupus Syndrome. She was only 2yrs old, but such a bubbly little intelligent madam. What started as pneumonia ended up as something more serious, something that turned my life upside down and changed it forever. I had never heard of Rheumatoid Arthiritis and Lupus Syndrome until Mbali was 2 weeks in hospital and not responding to the pneumonia drugs they were feeding her. She was in Peads ICU, getting the best care and treatment, but not getting better.
God sent us an angel in the form of a Doctor who had previously had a patient with the same signs my baby was showing. And that's when my daughter's journey home and my biggest nightmare began. She was in ICU but awake and talking. After 3 days of tests and bone marrow extraction, we were given the diagnosis. Looking at her when the doctor was talking to us, I saw she was fighting throughout and believed with me by her side, we will beat this.
Unfortunately by the end of that week, my baby was tubed and put on ventilator machine as her lungs had collapsed. Two days later, she had a cardiac arrest and crashed. Even though the doctor fought to get her back, things got worse. My baby's liver was next to fail, and she started to bleed non-stop by the nose and mouth. Next came the kidneys and then she started swelling up. Our Angel Doctor came back in and had a chat with us about dialysing her to assist her kidneys to release the fluids in her body. Risky as it was since she was still bleeding, we went ahead with it. Within a day, she looked much better and miraculously stopped bleeding. It looked like she was getting better and looking like her old self again. After two weeks being on the dyalisis machine, the doctor told us her lungs were fully recovered, so was the liver and the kidneys too, but our celebration was cut short when she told us she had severe brain damage and even if she does come through and wake up, she will never be the same vibrant and chatty little girl I brought to the hospital.
I remember going out, screaming and crying helplessly. I then asked God to heal my daughter for her, and not for me. I asked him to make sure my child is alright and at peace. The next morning at 07:45 my little angel passed on, looking like her old self again. On 05 October she would've turned 3yrs, and as we sang for her at the graveside, it felt like I had just buried her. The pain started from scratch. I'm hurting so much I never know how I make it through the day.
I made a promise to her on her birthday that I will work on accepting she had to leave so I do not make it difficult for her to do her Angelic duties in heaven, but it is so hard. I have started to slowly rekindle my connection to God cause I realise he is the only one who can help me through this. The pain will never go away, but I am prepared to learn to live with it and move on. I miss her so much.
I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what it is like to go through this horrific experience with a young daughter.
My thoughts have been with you these last few days. I had internet problems, due to the weather, so I only saw your message, but could not get it posted or respond.
There are no easy answers. I wonder if you might find helpful the information in the Trauma Healing section of the site.
A favorite quote of mine is from a Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, "Traveler, there is no path. We make the path by walking." So please let me encourage you to keep walking. Keep looking for hope and beauty even as you are honest and real with your pain.