Chapter 2 - Back to the Fetus Excerpt and Video Interview
Click on picture below for video interview - Chapter 2

Kerry was an MVA (motor vehicle accident)

victim in her late twenties and had been at

WeCare for a couple of years. Her  pick-up  truck

had  collided with a telephone pole, she wasn’t

wearing a seatbelt, and now she was permanently

and severely brain damaged. Keeping her alive

was a tracheostomy attached to oxygen, and she

was a "Tube Feeder" (feeding tube only). Her non-

focused eyes constantly rolled around, she rarely

slept, and could no longer move, speak, or swallow.

To prevent seizures from her massive head injury,

nurses pumped in round-the-clock anti-seizure

medications through Kerry’s peg. (Medications

are liquefied and infused through the stomach

tube for people unable to swallow).

 

Even though her immobile body was frequently turned and repositioned, Kerry suffered from rotting stage IV Decubes.  The young girl was a Full Code and had stopped breathing on two occasions. Jan, an evening shift RN, proudly told me that she was the one who had performed CPR twice and brought the girl back.  But I was disgusted, not impressed. Kerry’s teeth resembled caramels, her eyebrows grew haphazardly, she had visible hair on her chin and legs, and her long mane was out of control. An adult-sized diaper contained her spontaneous urine and feces. Even though her mind was gone and the only ones aware of her unkempt appearance were others, I couldn’t believe she’d want to live like this.  The helpless girl would live another two years and stop breathing three more times.  The last time Kerry was resuscitated, she’d ended up in ICU dying shortly afterwards of violent, uncontrollable seizures and exsanguinations, (spontaneously bleeding out of orifices) at the same time enduring chest-pounding CPR. Anti-seizure medications only work for so long. According to nurses caring for her, Kerry’s final moments of life were brutal and agonizing.

 

It’s understandable why families don’t want to make a young person a DNR.  But if people saw what went on behind the scenes of hopelessly afflicted loved ones, they might change their minds.  We show more compassion for stricken pets than we do our own family.  Kerry’s inevitable fate wa

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s prolonged, inhumane, and tortuous.  Hospice is an alternative to the insanity of protracted suffering. These organizations offer a family-centered approach to the end-of-life. Patients maintain their dignity and are kept comfortable by use of medications or other means. Hospice nurses care for patients at home or in a facility that provides a home-like environment.