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Ouisa's Angel  

Ouisa's Angel Nathan

Ouisa's Angel was lovingly created by Nathan's 6 year old sister and is a depiction of her beloved brother.  It hung in our kitchen for many years after Nathan's birth.  Ten years later at the age of 16 she wrote the following:

The Worst Day of My Life

    The worst day of my life was the day that my younger brother, Nathan was born. Nathan had Vasa Previa, a condition that causes babies to bleed to death when their motherís water breaks. Nathan bled nearly to death before my mother went to the hospital. He died the next day. This day has haunted me since.

    My mother woke up with blood on her one morning. She did not know what the problem was, but she knew that it was serious so she was driven to the hospital by my father. There, she had to get an emergency C-Section to deliver the baby. Nathan was born but he had to be resuscitated. He had major blood transfusions and the doctors said that he was brain-dead. He would probably die within the next twenty-four hours.

    My parents brought me and my older brothers to the hospital. I was only six years old and did not really know what was going on. I was only told that I now had a baby brother and he was very sick. I did not know the full extent of his sickness. We went into a private room with Nathan and held him and took pictures. My grandparents and aunts arrived and held him as well. I did not hold him; I was scared to do so, so I just watched.

    We were there all night. Nathan died the next day, in my motherís arms. His major organs had shut down, such as his kidneys. He was cremated and his ashes were spread in the Atlantic.

    Nathan had Vasa Previa, a condition which the baby develops while in the womb. The cordís blood vessels are tangled, so when the birthing process begins, the pressure breaks these blood vessels and the babies bleed to death while still in their mothers. The only cure for Vasa Previa is to be scanned for it while pregnant and if they have it, have a C-Section before labor begins. The baby is completely healthy when it is born if it has a pre-labor C-Section.

    Doctors usually do not scan for this condition. They only need to do one more test, but they do not. There are even risk factors for Vasa Previa, such as multiple births. Doctors are often not educated on this condition, which has near a one hundred percent mortality rate if not detected before labor. The doctors need to scan for it.

    The worst day of my life made me realize how short life is. One has to live life to the most because they never know when death is coming. It made me a better person because it made think about other people and how they feel. I usually think things through before I do them, just to make sure that I am not hurting anyone else. It made me care about helping other people. My mother started a foundation for Vasa Previa and I like to help with that by making more people aware of this condition. It has made me a better person overall, despite the sorrow.

    My little brotherís death hurt me very much. However, it opened up another door, an opportunity to become a better person. It made me think about people and understand all that they are going through. I miss Nathan very much and now I remember his memory by helping my mother teach others about Vasa Previa so eventually, Vasa Previa does not kill babies anymore.

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