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A Gruesome Way To Go

My sister-in-law suffers from Mitochondrial Disease. She had various symptoms throughout her life but they were all misdiagnosed. However, she had three children and the last of the three children was sick from birth. It took about 2 years for the doctors to finally diagnose my niece. Since Mitochondrial Disease is hereditary, my sister-in-law was finally accurately diagnosed.

Also around that same time, my sister-in-law’s mother suffered a stroke while in her early 50’s and was diagnosed with the same disease. Over the course of the next year, my niece died from the disease a week before her third birthday. My sister-in-law rapidly got worse. Today she has a completely non-functioning gastro-intestinal system (she’s fed through a series of tubes that go directly into her belly), she is weak to the point of using a wheelchair, and she is legally deaf (a result of the antibiotics being pumped into her a few years go when she was placed in a  forced coma for a month to survive). It’s a rather depressing story, but this past weekend it got worse.

Her mother went to bed on Saturday night and woke up around 2AM to discover that she bad been bleeding for who knows how long. She was able to dial 911 but it was too late. By the time the ambulance arrived she was dead, surrounded by unbelievable amounts of blood on the bed and on the floor where she was found. From what I’ve been told, it seems that something went wrong with her feeding tubes and she started bleeding to death in her sleep.

My brother said the bloodshed was so massive that the bed had to be tossed and the carpet had to be ripped up.

What a tragic way to go. The worst part is that she woke up; she couldn’t have just slept through it. I can’t imagine waking up in that state.

She was only 59 years old.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Jeffrey on February 20, 2010 10:51 am

    Karl, Sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. My heart goes out to you, your brother and his family.

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