Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Worst Day...Ever

Monday was a bad day. Emily continued to have bleeding problems from the ECMO and her lungs were still not able to their job. It was clear by early morning that she was not going to last much longer on the ECMO and something would need to be done. We had a very long talk with the doctors about all the options and the potential complications with each. They also gave us the option of lettering her go. It was the worst decision I have ever had to make. We decided that we could not quit on her - she hadn't quit on us - so were going to try anything that would give her a chance.

At about 11:30am they took her to surgery and removed the ECMO and put in another type of cardio pump. This pump does not supply oxygen so her lungs, that were already stressed, would have to do the job. By about 8pm it was clear that this last hope was not working. Her lungs couldn't cope with the stress. In addition she was having a lot of bleeding that they could not control.

Emily passed away at about 9:30pm last night. She put up a huge fight and the medical team did everything in their power but she was just too sick.

Her mom and I are making funeral arrangements and I will post them here as soon as we have them worked out.


Tim Kulinski said...


I have no words to describe how bad I feel for your loss. My family is there for you & yours...

Tim Kulinski

jennie said...

Dear Brightwell Family,

Our hearts go out to you and your entire family. You are wonderful people, and we are so terribly sorry for your loss. May God grant her peace.

The Sweilem Family

Lonnie jordan said...

It is not length of life, but depth of life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Robert has been my friend since the 7th grade. We grew up together. I was there when he met Kathy… I was in their wedding... I have known Emily since she was baby

Robert, his family and I have journeyed through our lives together. Nearly 30 years of history with Rob and his family made us closer than brothers. A family; I have felt their happiness… have felt their anger… their joy and the fear… Now I feel their loss as my own.

Emily Brightwell was a bright soul and will be deeply missed.

My deepest sympathies to Rob and his family

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your lost. I took care of Emily a lot at PCH prior to her heart transplant and was there the night she coded last week. Emily is one patient who I will never forget. She was always upbeat and had a positive outlook no matter what was going on. I am sure to touched everyone she came in contact with. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Deb RN

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. Emily was a great influence on my daughters in the neighborhood from the first time she came over with Kelli. The neighborhood will not be the same. May you and your family be blessed at this time. Know that you are in our prayers
Kandie Davies and Family

Anonymous said...

Robert & family,

We are sorry for your loss...words aren't enough to describe how courageous Emily was, nor how loved she was, nor how great your loss is...

Our deepest sympathies,
Tom & Becky Opalka

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of Emily's illness and passing. I have read her father's posts and my heart goes out for her family. Emily was in my 6th grade class at Sundance Elementary School in Peoria. I remember well her wonderful personality, cheerfulness, and joyful spirit. She truly was a joy to others and her memory will always bring a smile to my heart.

Mrs. Lezlee Becker

MeredithMatt said...

emily was one of my best friends at camp del corazon and I can't believe she is gone. I have some really doog pictures of her. if you would like them here is my emial address. daphniebabe623@msn.com

thank you so much for raising such a wonderful girl, i will never forget her.

sincerely, meredith matt

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for writing so late, but I had no idea. I was a counselor at Camp del Corazon (Slim) and I absolutely adored your daughter. She was a vibrant person and so much fun to be around. I was really happy for her at camp this past year when she was moving on to the next stage of her life, graduating from camp, going to college. A friend of mine JUST told me the news. I wish there were words that would help console you and your family on this terrible loss. I know there arent, but know that the rest of the world shares your sadness. She will be sorely missed. May God look over you and your family.

My condolences.

Rob Ray
(Slim to Emily)