04 Jun Margy’s Law – The Day Momma Died
If you or a loved one is in the final stage of life suffering from a terminal illness, one of the many things that you think about is whether or not to prolong your earthly life with artificial support. This is a tough issue for families to deal with. Many choose, after consulting with their family and doctor, to obtain a Do Not Resuscitate or “DNR” order. A friend of mine whose family had done this found out the hard way that this alone is not enough:
This is the raw emotional story that Christy sent to me. It touched my heart and I realized that this was something that was needed for so many families. A common sense solution that would take one more worry from people at a most worrisome and vulnerable time of life.
The Day Momma Died
We knew Momma would die sooner than later. We had plenty of time to be prepared, but we weren’t ready at all.
She was sick- pneumonia. We thought Alzheimer’s would take her to heaven, but pneumonia did it. So it was a surprise when she died. Little did we know the night of her death would be one of the most horrendous events of my life, the caretaker’s and Momma’s!
It did not need to happen in such a disgraceful manner. We should be allowed to die with dignity. The right to die without resuscitation. Everyone- Be sure you have your DNR or Living Will on hand, and in the hands of all your friends, taped to the refrigerator, on the mirrors in your bathroom and in all your cars. Make 100’s of copies and have it in your wallet, purse, and dashboard – give a copy to all you know! If you don’t have it in hand when you die you will go through hell. Plus those who care for you will go through hell, too. Even the one who dies suffers. Believe me. I saw it when Momma died.
The night Momma died I had been with her and lying down with her. I decided to go back to my house (next door) to get in my own bed. I thought I’d need to rest because I knew I would need it the next day. I thought we’d go to the hospital in the morning to combat the pneumonia. Right after I left, Momma died- she took her last breathe looking into Lila’s (her caretakers and friend) eyes. Lila called mom’s doctor- he told her to call 911. Wrong advice!!! The 911 crew came to Momma’s house. Lila called me- “Come Over”. I knew Momma was dead.
I walked in the bedroom- what I saw was the worst thing you can imagine that was happening. They were pounding on her chest- ribs breaking. Momma was cold. She had been dead before the paramedics arrived. But still, her face was contorted. I begged them to stop! “She’s dead! Don’t hurt her!” The crew of paramedics seemed to be like emotionless barbarians as they continued trying to resuscitate her. They had no feelings. They were going through the motion. A 95-year-old dead woman was being pounded upon. My requests were not answered. Then one of the Gorilla men said, “We can’t stop- the law-we must continue” unless you have a Living Will. Where was it? Why didn’t we have it? No one told us we HAD TO HAVE IT- I told them she had one- no good- Had to show it- NOW! They never said, “We’re sorry we have to break your dead mother’s ribs, bruise her.” Her face remained contorted- it worsened as they continued to ignore me and push her to breathe again!! We fled to the office- leaving Momma with those AWFUL MEN!!! One of the caretakers remained with her.
We couldn’t find it quickly! Called the secretary to tell us where it was! In a vault, in one of 100 notebooks-
Where was it!!
Those ruthless men were still abusing my mother.
We found it!!
We rushed home but Damn! Too Late! They had already put her in a ambulance and taken her to a hospital! A 20-minute drive to Marion to continue resuscitation!! My God- she had been dead for several hours now!
The Coroner was called. He had to declare her dead!! I’m in the cold waiting room at the hospital dressed in my pajamas with my husband and Momma’s loyal caretaker. Dawn comes. We still wait. The Coroner comes in. HE DID APOLOGIZE-
He asked did we want to see her-
I wanted to say goodbye-
I hoped she was at peace- away from those brutes-
I saw her. She had a pleasant expression on her face. Her countenance was not contorted.
I believe, even though she was dead- her spirit was still in her- upset and hurting while the unfeeling crew interfered with her going to Heaven.
What should have been a peaceful passage became a NIGHTMARE.
I want y’all to know- this can be prevented. Your doctors wont tell you but I will-
Keep a copy of your “Living Will” and DNR nearby, also get copies of your loved ones “Living Wills”- you don’t know when you’re going to die, no one does. It doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You can help others avoid this trauma.
If the 911crew had been concerned about anyone’s feelings- Apologized for disturbing Momma’s death- stopped the brutal motions as I begged them to stop, it would have been better. They didn’t. They wouldn’t even look me in the eyes.
There should be a way to get this message out to all!
I suggest a wristband, like the WWJ do? This would replace the copy of the living will or it could be a card the size of a driver’s license that would also replace the actual living will.
Please help all by making this process easer- and thereby make dying a more peaceful experience. I would not wish this terror I went through the night Momma died on my worst enemy.
Thank you all for taking this under consideration.
Christian Holliday Douglas
Margy’s Law Is a law I sponsored to help many patients and their families be able to convey to emergency personnel their wishes without having to think about paperwork in a tumultuous time.
DHEC has information on their website and has alerted EMS departments across the state to recognize the bracelets and to honor them.
Bracelets are available from StickyJ Medical and other authorized outlets. You must obtain a DNR order to purchase them.