My Angel Baby Ella
by Deborah Champagne
(Beaverton Oregon USA)
Click on each photo to enlarge
I just want to put into words what I hold in my heart for my precious Granddaughter, Ella Louisa Rockwell.
Ella came to us on March 5, 2010, and sadly left on September 7, 2010. That was only five weeks ago. She was six months, two days old. I never knew that love for a grandchild could completely fill my heart and soul like it did. In only six months this little girl wrapped herself around my heart so tightly, that I will never be the same.
The despair that I see in my son's and daughter-in-law's faces completely devastates me. But I too am despairing, and would have done anything to change what happened. Ella was born with a congenital heart defect, Truncus Arteriosus, and DiGeorge Syndrome. The Truncus is sometimes a result of the DiGeorge, and both are very rare. I ask myself, why Ella? I know that children are born every day with life threatening issues, but you never really think about that, until it happens to your baby. I will never again take a healthy new life for granted, and I empathize with other families dealing with the same problems and heartache that come with a sick child.
Ella had open heart surgery at four days, to make one repair. The other repair could not be done until she had a chance to grow, gain weight, and become stronger. She had numerous ups and downs for the next couple of months, but was finally allowed to go home. She had a feeding tube, to make sure that she would get the calories she needed. She seemed to thrive, and gained weight at a good rate, several ounces a week. Most of her trips to the ER were for re-inserting her feeding tube, as it didn't take long for her to figure out how to pull it out. :) She had a minor hospitalization in July, for four days.
Things were going quite well, but then all of a sudden, she started crying, and would not stop. She and her parents had no sleep for quite some time. She was finally re-admitted to the hospital, where after three days, she had a cardiac arrest. There are a few more details, but I won't go into that. She was brought back, but as a result of the arrest, she suffered strokes, brain damage, and seizures. Despite this, she seemed to do ok, but when she was weaned off her meds, the siezures started up again, and a Cat Scan revealed massive bleeding in her brain. That was the beginning of the end. There was no more that could be done. She was removed from life support, and passed away the next day, in my sons arms.
I will never forget that phone call. Every time I think about it, my heart actually flutters. I am so proud of my son and daughter-in-law. Ella had the most loving, doting parents that I have ever known. She was a lucky little lady. Definately a "Daddy's Girl". My heart aches for her Mommy and Daddy, I hope they find at least some peace. I hope I do. I know it will take time, a lot of time, but Ella will never be forgotten. She touched many people, all over this country. We had everyone we knew praying for her.
To Ella, Grammie loves you so much, to the moon and back, and I will always remember the last time I saw you, and spent time with you, holding your hand. You are my love, and always will be. Missing you baby girl. Grammie