Jessica is never far from our thoughts, but we’ve been thinking and talking about her a lot over the past week. Last Friday, we had a meeting with Jessica’s cardiac consultant on Ocean Ward to discuss the findings from the post-mortem. We have now been given a more detailed report from this which is useful, although as we already knew, it provides no definite answers as to why Jessica died so suddenly.
We know from the report that she had three viruses which basically amounted to a severe cold. The consultant’s view is that her Fontan circulation wasn’t working as well as it could have done, probably due to the fact that her anatomy was more complex anyway, and that the viruses were just simply too much for her heart to cope with, causing her to go into sudden cardiac arrest. He reassured us once again that had we been in hospital at the time, the chances are that it wouldn’t have changed the outcome and that we did our best based on what we knew at the time. Although we didn’t really get any more information, hubby and I both found it helpful to be able to talk things through once again with Jessica’s consultant.
We saw the chaplain who used to visit us on the ward and some of the nurses who had looked after Jessica. They all expressed their sorrow at Jessica’s death and gave us hugs. It is clear that Jessica is very much remembered by the staff who looked after her and that she touched a lot of hearts. We were also given a card from Jessica’s original cardiac consultant who retired a couple of years ago. He had been told of her death and had written to us to express his condolences. It was nice of him to remember us.
The hardest thing was saying goodbye to Ocean Ward, knowing that we have no reason to return now. Ocean Ward has been such a huge part of Jessica’s journey. She always received such wonderful care on the ward. It may seem odd, but we always felt safe there – we always knew that Jessica was in the safest hands and there was such a wonderful community spirit amongst the parents on the ward. Everywhere I looked, the memories of Jessica were so clear. I could see her sitting in the bed in high care; see her pushing a trolley down the ward on her first walk after the surgery. I saw her in the playroom, happily playing with the toys. Her last thank you card was still pinned to the board on the playroom.
Walking away from Ocean Ward and all it represented felt like we were saying goodbye to Jessica all over again. Another chapter of our journey closed; another reminder that we just have the memories and not our beautiful girl.
We’ve also been focusing on Jessica in other ways this week. We had a couple of meetings with the woodcarving studio to discuss the design for her memorial and to provide photos to help them with creating it. We’ve also had a couple of visits to Jessica’s forever bed. It looks beautiful at the moment with all the fallen leaves covering it.
Things that have made me smile this week
- Visiting Father Christmas at Wyevale World’s End.
- Going for a lovely family meal at Brasserie Blanc.
- A family games evening trying out some new PlayStation games.
- Sophie’s delight at having Auntie Maxine come to stay for a few days.
- Introducing Maxine to geocaching.
- Thomas signing ‘milk’.
- Doing Christmas crafts with Sophie.