We have been married for 24 years. We have 5 kids: Josh, Jacki, Jaycee, Amberly & Elizabeth. We also have 5 grandchildren: Ezequiel, Tatiyana, Anaya, Zemicha & Zariah. Zariah is in heaven watching over us for now. We have 5 tiny Chihuahua's, a cat with a never ending supply of kittens and a never ending line of strays brought home by the little girls. We are doing our best to muddle through on this rollercoaster called life!!
I have had a lot of people email me about Zariah so I thought I would tell you all a little bit about her. Zariah is my granddaughter, she lives in Heaven. She was born November 12, 2007 and at birth was not breathing and then lost a heartbeat. The medical team worked on her for 11 minutes with CPR and finally got her going. She scared us all out of our minds! After we all started breathing again we started taking pictures of her and didn't stop until her death 2 1/2 months later. Zariah was (well maybe that should be is???) a beautiful baby! She was so sweet and cuddly even as a newborn. She never cried, she ate great and her favorite place was laying on someones chest being held. At almost 3 weeks old she started to cry and vomit her formula. At first we thought she just had a upset tummy, happens a lot so we were not alarmed. We gave her a little pedialite and watched her through the night, she never did get a fever so we kept thinking her little tummy was just upset and maybe she had some gas because she was curling up her body in obvious pain. The next day we decided she needed to be taken to the ER so we went to the hospital just south of us. They took some blood and said they would get back to us, they also thought she was just a little gassy. All day she cried and we just could not console her. It got to the point that we felt she was in too much pain and something else HAD to be wrong! That evening we took her to another hospital just to the north of us and they drew more blood and then did a ultrasound and said they felt she had appendicitis and they wanted her sent to Primary Children's Hospital for surgery because she was so small. So on the night of December 5, 2007 (my husbands birthday~ that really sucked!) she was taken to Salt Lake. At Primary Children's they decided to draw even more blood and were assured that the baby had not been abused in any way to cause her discomfort the doctor came in to do a CAT Scan before taking her to surgery. After those tests were done the doctor told us that she didn't have anything wrong with her appendix, but that he was admitting her to the NICU because they thought she had some kind of blood disorder. We had my brother in law come and give her a blessing and we felt it helped as she did perk up a little the next day. During the next few days while they decided what to do and tried to get a biopsy on her tiny body her abdomen grew so big, it looked like she was pregnant. FINALLY they decided to take her into surgery and do an exploratory to see what they could figure out. After surgery she came back to the NICU with a HUGE bandage over her tummy and the doctor told us that the acids in her stomach had been so bad that her stomach and intestines were too swollen to put back inside her so they were outside of her body in a pouch under that bandage. From that point on we could not hold her anymore which was one of the hardest things about her being there, no way to comfort her. She also started filling her diapers with blood and throwing up blood so they thought the acids were causing more issues for her and she was given a lot of blood to keep her alive. They finally decided that she had developed ulcers from her medications and that was causing the blood loss so they gave her a different kind of medication that helped it for a while. After 2 more surgeries the surgeon told us that she had a Kapisoform Endothelioma that started in her pancreas, but was quickly moving to take over her kidneys, intestines, bladder and that she would need chemotherapy and radiation to give her any chance of living. We had another blessing for her and put her in the surgeon and God's hands (my sister's father in law came to do this blessing and he brought a man I didn't know with him, I found out later that he was made the new president of the LDS church, how cool is that???) I usually don't talk about religion because my family has many different religions in it and it usually ends up in an argument of some kind, but the members of my family that are LDS and the rest of us all believe in God and we feel that our prayers, fasting and blessings made it possible for us to have a little time to spend with Zariah. For the next week she went once a day over to Huntsman Cancer Center for her chemo and radiation. She got so sick, her platelets dropped dramatically and she had to be given blood transfusions several times a day for weeks. She had a few more minor surgeries and at one time her heart stopped in surgery and another time her lung collapsed, but she kept holding on. She was on so much morphine to keep her comfortable that she could hardly stay awake, but when she was awake she would look at you with these big beautiful eyes that seemed to be so wise and we all felt she was communicating the best way she could. Since her first surgery she had been on a breathing tube and couldn't make any sounds, but just having her stare so intently at us, we knew she was having some good contact. She kept blowing out IV sites so she was taken into surgery again to have a main line put in and after that we could at least hold her foot or hand without hurting her. She got an infection that caused her white count to go sky high and they couldn't figure out what it was from so back into surgery she went and they found a staff infection. Through all this she hung in like a trooper, smiling with her eyes whenever she would wake up and see one of us there! The chemo and radiation were given a low chance of working well, but we held out hope for the 2 weeks after that at the next scan she would show signs of improvement. Unfortunately they doctor did not give us good news. Her final scan showed that the tumor had overtaken most everything in her body, including her lungs and if she was taken off the machine she would not be able to maintain her breathing on her own. On January 25, 2008 most of the family came to the NICU, they moved Zariah into a private room, took us all in there and closed the door. Two of the best nurses ever, Cori and Nicole went in with us, Cori wasn't even on duty and she came in to help us and let me say that having nurses that REALLY cared about our baby and her comfort made all the difference!! So back to my story, Nicole and Cori worked together to lift Zariah and all the tubes and machines she was hooked up to and let each of us have a turn to hold her again before she passed away. We had a lady from the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep foundation come in and take pictures for us (and she wouldn't even let me pay her! If you ever want to look at donating someplace special I suggest you go to their site!) Cori & Nicole helped us dress her in her Christmas dress and then let Jacki hold her as they unhooked her machines, took out her breathing tube and she took her final breath. Those pictures mean the world to us and I can never thank them enough!! So that is when the angels that had been cradling Zariah for us, took her hand and led her home to Jesus. It is really hard for me to get into much detail now, but while it was all happening I kept a site on carepages.com up to date and if anyone would like to read the whole story and see the pictures of our angel just go to carepages.com and her page name is Zariah111207. The pages are set up to read backwards to you have to go to the end and go back to read them the right way.
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