Becca with Mommy

Rebecca Faith Barnes 

Rebecca was the light of my life, she left me way too soon.

On March 23rd, 1997 my daughter was sick. I took her to the Emergency Room and the checked her over, gave her some blood test, and told me that all though her White Blood Cell count was high, she only had the Flu. They sent us home with Prescriptions for Pedilite, Benydryl and Tylenol. After a few days, Becca started to act like she was feeling better, I was much relieved. My sweet baby was smiling and laughing again. So sweet. On March 29th, 1997, I woke up and went in to get Becca as I did each morning, and when I walked into her room and went up to her bed, right away I knew something wasn't right. She was laying in vomit and breathing very heavily and quickly, I picked her up and it was like I was picking up a board, she was so stiff. She looked as though she had a ring of purple spots on her forehead. I didn't know what was wrong or what to do, I was young and never experienced anything like this, I called my Parents who lived right down the street, they rushed right over, they heard the panic in my voice. We rushed Becca to the same Emergency Room in which I had her 6 days prior to this. As we were on our way I was looking at her rubbing her hair telling her that everything was going to be ok, and her eyes rolled in the back of her head and she went limp. When we arrived I went in through the Emergency Entrance for Ambulances carrying my beautiful daughter. As soon as the Doctors seen her they took her out of my arms and told me that I should of called 911. I stood there in shock, I didn't know what to think or do, I felt so empty. All I could do was look on as they swiftly walked away with my baby in their arms. They kept her in a Trauma Room right across from the nurses desk. At the time, the Emergency room was under construction, the room they placed us was in the area of construction, due to the condition of Becca they did not keep us with the other patients waiting to be seen. As they led us out I found the area where they were creating a window that would be used for Admitting future patients for care. It was an enclosed desk with a window with one of those holes in the glass so that you could either talk through it or listen through it. Well, I could see Becca's door from there so that is where I stood, I seen a nurse come out of her room and start talking to another nurse at the station, she said "Oh, that poor baby, she has Meningitis." I looked at my Mom and Dad and family and said "What the hell is Meningitis?!" They looked fearful at me and said "No, not our Becca!" I still didn't know what it was. I started yelling through the hole for someone to please come and talk to me. Finally, Someone did, The Doctor. He came out to tell me that he had called Cardinal Glennon Hospital, A St.Louis area children's hospital and that they are coming to get her Via helicopter,  I was in shock, I didn't know what to think, it was happening so fast, My baby girl was losing this fight, I felt it in my bones. I didn't know what it was and the Doctor tried his best to explain it to me. I still didn't understand. They took me back to see my baby girl, and what a change had occurred. She was so very hot when I kissed her cheek. I was crying so hard I could hardly see her, I told her Mommy was right here and that she was going to be just fine. I held her little hand and kissed her softly. What is going on? I asked God, Why is this happening to her? They soon told me that the helicopter had arrived and that I needed to go ahead at start over there because Becca would arrive before us. I wanted to go with her, they would not let me, they said it was against policy. I waited for her to be taken to the helicopter, kissed her and jumped in the Explorer that was waiting for me, my brother, We drove there, as fast as we could, arriving at Cardinal Glennon we were directed to a waiting room, I hated it, I wanted to see my baby. We were there 2-3 minutes at the most when a Doctor came in. He told us the Becca had died on her way here but they were able to revive her. He told me to follow him and he would take me too her. We got on the elevator and went to the third floor. They explained to me that a lot has happened since I had last seen her and that Becca wasn't herself. I said ok, but never was I ever prepared for what I was about to see. Oh my sweet Becca, she was Black and Purple from head to toe, she looked as though if I touched her she would burst. She was so swollen. I walked up to the bed, and kissed her cheek and started talking to her, telling her that I was there and that I would never leave her side and that I loved her with all my heart and how Mommy wished it was her so she wouldn't have any more pain. I rubbed her hair and couldn't stop talking, I had to find the right word to make this all go away. I told her "Tomorrow is Easter baby and you have a dress you are going to make beautiful, come on baby, get better for Mommy." She tried so hard to do her best. They told me I had to go back to the waiting room, they had more work to do to help my baby, so I went. It seemed like a lifetime before I heard anything again. I was called into the hall and was introduced to about 6 different Doctors, I only remember 1, Dr. Ream, he had been with Becca from the start upon her arrival at Cardinal Glennon.They told me that Becca was not winning this fight, and if she did how she would be, They told me that Becca would be a complete Vegetable and would live on an eating tube and respirator. She would lose her left leg, and possibly more limbs. She had  Fredrickson's  Water Hauser Syndrome, which was cause the discoloration and the swelling. She would never be the same baby I had known. My life shattered once again. All I could do was weep. They told me that Becca had died once again and they were able to revive her and that I should go back there and see her, I was more then willing to do this. I walked in and seen this baby and my heart was ripping out of my chest, I held her hand and kissed her I told her that I was sorry that I couldn't protect her from this, an dhow I wished it were me and not her, but all the wishing in the world would not change this situation. The Doctor told me that it was time for me to go back and wait. Wait for what? I silently asked myself. As I was leaving the room, these alarms started going off, I turned to go back to Becca's side but the Doctor stopped me and told an orderly to "get me out of there" He told me I had to go, that they were trying to help her and I would only be in the way, reluctantly I went. I was right outside the door when the Doctor came to tell me my Becca was gone. I became a shell, an empty shell that could not be fixed. I though I had cried before, but I didn't, not tears like these. They had me sign a paper, later I realized it was her death certificate, and permission for them to do an Autopsy. The Doctor told me that I could go see Becca one last time. I went back there, knowing my little girl was gone. My heart in a trillion pieces. I walked in to the silent room and there she laid, on that bed, it looked so big with her in it. The nurse picked her up and put her in my arms, the first time I got to hold her since that morning. I cried and rocked her. I didn't understand. I asked why. No answer came. I sat and held my baby girl that had made me that happiest person on earth, it was only natural now that she was gone to be the saddest. The nurse told me how beautiful she was as she touched her hair. "You want a lock of her hair?" Yes I did. It was all I could take of my Angel. They left me alone with her for a few minutes and when the time came that I had to go, I didn't want to. I held her tight. They had to take her from me, I was not going to let go willingly. I was a basket case. They told me I had to take this pill, to prevent me from contacting the disease and I refused. I did not want to take it. My brother told me I had to, he told me if I didn't take it he would shove it down my throat cause I wasn't thinking right. I did, I took their little pill. I wasn't happy about it, but I did because I wanted people to leave me alone. The ride home was fuzzy, I don't remember it much. I couldn't go back to our Apartment, so I stayed with my parents. We laid Becca to rest on April 1st 1998. I had my sweet girl for Eight months and seventeen days. not nearly long enough. Today I am grateful for the time I had with her. Becca taught me so much more them anybody else in my whole life. She taught me to never take for granted that someone will always be there, cause they may not. She taught me to say now what you feel, good or bad, do not put it off. And most of all she taught me the meaning of Love. Unconditional pure love. Rest in Peace my sweet Becca Boo.

Angie Satterthwaite