September 15, 1980 - June 20, 2002
Kevin was born on September 15, 1980. He is my middle child and the one that made me the most exasperated. I wrote in his eulogy that even though I loved all of my children equally, we were the closest as he always needed me the most.
His childhood was pretty usual.
He excelled at baseball and hockey, was a great left winger and went to a high school that specialized in the Arts, as my Kev was also a gifted musician. When he played his guitar downstairs, I didn't know if it was him or his CDs playing. We used to call him "The noise". He never did anything quietly. It is really quiet around here these days.
There is a lot that I could write about his life story; I don't have space for it all. I could never convey what a great person he was, how we all felt about him, there are not enough words. I will tell you about how he died.
On Monday, June 17th, Kevin left work with a backache, I took him to the clinic where the Dr. on call prescribed some pain killers and muscle relaxers. On June 19th 2002, I came home from work. Kevin was vomiting. It was about 5 P.M.
I called a special number for medical info. here in Canada. The nurse on the line spoke with Kevin and I both, and asked me to take him to the Dr. or clinic. In retrospect, I wish I had asked her what she had suspected. I took him to the ER.
When we got there, we waited 3 hours until the Dr. came in. Kev was running a temp of 104 F, he was vomiting, had a sore back, a headache and couldn't tolerate the light. He made me turn off the overhead light. The nurses gave him Tylenol. His temp went down a couple of degrees. He was so sick. He just wanted to go home. He wanted a drink of blue Gatorade. At last the Dr. came in. He checked him out and told us that there were about 6 young people in there with the same symptoms, it was probably the flu.
Advocate for your children
On the way home we stopped at 7 11. We got his Blue Gatorade drink. To this day when I see a blue drink I lose it. He couldn't open it. His hands were very weak. I didn't know this, but this is also a symptom of meningitis.
He went to bed. I made soup and ginger ale. He didn't touch it. During the night he was sick a few times. I got up, brought him more Tylenol. Later his brother told me he had to open and pour his drink for him. Kev's hands were paralyzed but I didn't know this. Aaron feels guilty that he should have driven him in right back to the hospital then and there. We all have our demons to live with.
A couple hours later, at about 5:30 A.M., Kevin came to my bedroom door. He was covered with what I can explain as, broken blood vessels under his skin. They were purple and it seemed multiplying before my eyes. I called 911. They put me on hold. I hung up and called 3 times. They took 15 minutes to get to my house. My husband was standing out on the corner in his underwear, waiting for them.
They worked on him for awhile- started an IV. We left for the hospital with me riding in the front of the ambulance. The driver was unfamiliar with our area and didn't know the way to the hospital. They told me he was having an allergic reaction to something. They left me pacing in the hall. I saw two nurses stop and open the door where they were working on him. They were both wide eyed, one with her hand over her mouth. I knew it wasn't good.
Another one came out and told me that I should speak to him as they were going to intibate him. There were about 15 people working on him at this point. They handed me a mask, which I promptly handed back. I had taken care of him during the night, and if I was to have meningitis, I didn't really care. If my child was to see me one last time, it would be my face, not a mask. On the front page of all of the local newspapers were the last words I spoke to my son.
They ushered me to another room and where Kevin's dad, his wife, my husband and Kevin's brother Aaron and his best friend Darryn were waiting, they put us in the "Quiet Room". I knew right then that it was all over. The moment they intubated him, he went into cardiac arrest and they pronounced him after working on him for about 1/2 hour.
No one else was allowed in to go in to see him and my ex husband actually went back to the hospital later that day to see him but was told, that he couldn't and that Kevin's records were all sealed by the coroner.
At the funeral home, I requested a closed casket.
If anyone wanted to see him, it was allowed after visitation hours. I couldn't stand there all day and look at my son in there. I never did view his body as he was cremated and I knew that if I saw him, I wouldn't let him go. Mostly everyone else said their goodbyes to him, and I know that I did the right thing. I am glad that I don't have that final memory to keep. I have enough nightmares already. My family said he looked angelic. His hair was cut nicely and he had just a hint of his goatee. He had on his step father's best black suit. His hockey jersey was draped over his casket as well as his Montreal Canadien flag.
As I am writing this, it is three years, one month, two weeks and one day ago that we lost our precious Kevin. It is still a struggle to get through the days and nights. I am not sure how we are doing it.
If anyone would like to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.