Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Last 24 Hours

Not my last 24 hours: Amanda's.

Tuesday night, before Alastair went to bed, we had our last Skype call. Alastair and Amanda had a great time praying, and I went and fetched the kitties for Amanda to see.

A couple hours later (probably around 11:15 EDT), she called me, and we talked for about 15 minutes. The conversation was lighthearted, upbeat, and fairly mundane: she wanted me to return to Texas on Friday, we chatted about BSG (she had The Cable at MDAnderson and got to see the finale), and she told me she was feeling pretty well.

At some point in the night, she started experiencing dizziness and apparently vomited. By the time her dad got there in the morning, she was sitting in the bathroom with her head in her hands and very out of sorts. The staff helped her back to bed, where she sounded very groggy and couldn't get comfortable.

She raised her hand, and her father took it. They held hands for several minutes while she faded away.

A medical team rushed in and could not bring her around. They rushed her to the ICU where she was intubated, and had Ed notify me and Leigh to get on a plane.

A CAT scan was performed at some point and revealed she had bleeding on her brain. Her platelet counts had gotten so low that her blood vessels simply failed, and the bleeding put pressure near her brain stem, cutting off vital functions.

We arrived in Texas 5 hours later, and after almost 90 minutes of waiting were taken to her.

Her body was still functioning, but Amanda had long since left. It took over an hour to get the doctors to sign orders to remove life support, and once they did, she died almost instantly (10:15p).

Her parents and I were by her side.

Manda's not sick any more.


For those who are curious, I will leave her blog up. I might disable further comments, but I imagine I'll ultimately merge her posts and mine, cut it to PDF, and make it available to anyone who really wants to revel in all that pain.


dianarchie said...

Adrian, Thank you so much for posting this! I know it's probably easier for you to do this rather than repeat yourself 50 million times, but you didn't have to do it at all! (and you know it would be 50 million due to the lives that she has touched!) She's a special woman and a great, great friend! I'm very honored to have known her and bless to have you guys in my life! Please know that we are here if you need ANYTHING! Diana and Archie

amy =) said...

y'all have been in my thoughts a lot lately. i never knew amanda, but she seemed like a really nice person. i admired her strength and courage and will continue to pray for you and alastair. i was very sad for you both this morning. i had hoped things would have a happier ending, but i'm also glad that amanda is whole now and not in pain. i can't imagine what you are going through and i know that i can't say anything to make it better. god loves you and so do i

apadams said...

Thank you.

deborah Hubbs said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. As you said she isn't sick any more. She has touched many lives. Her ability to express herself in the written word has helped many othes who were dealing with life's hardships. You, Alastair and both families will be in my prayers.
Thank you for this posting.

Jayne said...

Bless your hearts. I never knew any of you- I'm just a Pajiba fan and fellow blogger- but I've been crying and sharing Amanda's story with everyone in my office this morning. Thank you for writing and all the best to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. You and your family are in my thoughts. I am so sad for you all.

cindy said...

I really appreciate you leaving Amanda's blog up. I've been reading from the beginning since yesterday - I have previously only read for about a year. Your wife was an amazing spirit, and I say that as someone who only knew anything of her through internet postings and her blog.
Bless you and your son, and find solace in each other.

Jen said...

"make it available to anyone who really wants to revel in all that pain."

It was not her pain that drew us to her; it was her strength, her humor, her determination, her faith, and her hope. That is her legacy, and I pray that one day you'll find strength and joy in reading her words, knowing that she touched so many hearts.

Jay said...

I'd never ask, and it wouldn't be my place to anyway, so I appreciate your letting us know what happened.

All I'll say is that I don't need to just *believe* in survivors and the continuance of life, because I already know firsthand.

Lainey said...

Amanda touched my heart with her determination and humor. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I hope you and Little A know how very much she meant to so many people.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are holding up. I cannot even imagine how tough this must be. To be honest, I don't even want to try to.
I can only wish you the best from here on out, because if there really was any justice in the world, you'd never have to do a damn thing you didn't feel like doing. Take care, pRH

grant(urismo) said...

Death leaves a heartache
No one can heal;
Love leaves a memory
No one can steal.

Adrian - My thoughts and heart go out to you and Little A.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. I am just so sorry. I've lurked here for almost a year and watched you guys take on this terrible illness. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


dammitjanet said...

Adrian, my heart goes out to you, your son and your family.

Doran said...

Thank you for allowing us to share in the fond memories we all have. You and your family are in my thoughts.

b said...

Thank you Adrian for being so open about all of this... I only knew Amanda through Pajiba but she was definitely a force to be reckoned with there - So funny and sweet, and we all miss her very much. All my love to you and Alastair.

Anonymous said...


I worked with Amanda for a couple of years at COne in Richmond. She was a very smart, upbeat and always had a smile. My heart goes to you and her family and son. I hope that you find peace and comfort in your family. I am sorry about the loss.