On March 3rd 2008 I recieve a phone call from my Dad telling me that my 29 year old sister was admitted to the hosiptal after suffering a mild stroke. The Doctor's found a small bleed on the back of her brain. I quickly hung up with my Dad and proceeded to call my sister to find out in detail what had happened. I immediatly called my sister and began asking all the question a normal older sister would ask. I asked her if she fell, or if she was in an accident. Of course the answers to the questions were no. She did say that she had a bad headache for about two to three days prior. So I just told her how much I loved her and that if she needed me I would fly out immediately. ( I live close to 2000 miles away). Around forty minutes after speaking to my sister I recieved another call from my Dad saying that my sister was gravely ill and that I needed to come out to Tennessee immediately. My sister had another stroke that cause a seizure and caused her to go into a coma. My heart dropped out of my mouth. To hear that your younger sister was gravely ill and would probably not make it was the worse news I have EVER heard in my life.
I flew out to TN the next morning. It happened to be the longest flight I have ever taken in my life. How could a healthy 29 year old women be gravely ill? Why was this happening to her? What can I do to help her? I pondered all this on that long flight. Finally after enduring hours of pure torture I finally arrived in Knoxville, TN. When I got of the plane my Dad and cousin where there to greet. On the car ride to the hospital I learned that they had transported my sister to another hospital of a type of surgery that is preformed when there is extreme clotting in the veins on the top of the brain. (best way to describe the surgery is that it is simular to draino and pipes. Except they have to drill a hole just behind the ear and flush the veins with a blood thinner like substance.) When we finally go to the hospital that transported her to my sister was just being wheeled out of surgery. The doctors asked for my sisters family to come over to discuss how the procedure went. The Nuerologist stated that it was a risky procedure and her survival rate was only 30%. He also stated that the next 24 hours were very important. That if she was going to make it she would have to get past these next 24. My sister being the fighter that she always was did just that. As the hours passed she continued the biggest fight of her life.
While I waited that night I got together with the different doctors and asked all those questions that had been on my heart all day. How could a 29 year old woman just have a stroke and be fighting for her life? The answers I got left me utterly amazed. Specialist after specialist told me that the only thing that could have caused my sisters strokes, seizures and coma was the birth control she was on for a medical condition. My sister was not taking birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy. She was on it for a non Llife threatening medical condition. Shortly after hearing this from the doctors I went back to sit with my sister. Just as I sat down my sisters heart stop and I was rush out of the ICU room where she had been since she had arrived.
My brother in law gave the go to restart my sisters heart and the doctors were successful. I could do nothing other than just sit there in complete shock. My baby sister was not going to make it. Now we had to make the decision would we have her heart restarted again if it stopped?? My brother in law, my dad and I made the decision to let her go if that happened once again.
Around 10-15 minutes later the doctors came in to see us to advise us that they were going to do an apnea test in the morning. This would determine if my sister had any brain function left or if she was as doctors say brain dead. It seemed like that night wouldn't end. I prayed to God to give us that miracle that we so needed.
Early morning came and before we knew it this young gentleman came into to do the Apnea test. There were only 2 family members allowed in the room. So we decided as a family that it would be my brother in law and I that would be in there for the test. I do have to say that was the longest 10 minute test of my life. They turned off life support then inserted a tube into her lungs that gave her oxygen to see if she would take a breath unassisted. I prayed and hoped that she would but as the 10 minutes came and went it was evident that my sister was brain dead. Just shortly after the test the doctors declared my sister brain dead and now we needed to make decisions. My Baby sister was gone and there was nothing anyone could do about that.
The doctors informed us that my sister was in such good health that they wanted us to consider donating her organs. We all agreed that we should and out of our sorrow another family's prayers were answered.
It has been 3 long years since my sisters death and all that goes through my brain every single day of my life is how can I sit back and allow other women to die due to birth contol. I have over the past 3 years talked to senators, wrote to the FDA but no one will listen to me so that is how this blogg came about.
Over the next couple of day/weeks I will go into detail about the types of birth control and their side affects. I will also tell you about that ingredient that tripples your risks for heart attacks, strokes and seizure. I refuse to allow another family to endure the pain that my family and I have went through. If you have a simular story or know of anyone willing to help me please have them contact me. Please help me on my quest to educated women on this subject. I love all of you!!!