Eddies Last Breath

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is an essay on my little brother. Eddie passed away at the age of 16, from complications of his life!!! I love to tell people about him and how wonderful he was. I hope you enjoy this breif look into his life.

Submitted: December 15, 2010

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Submitted: December 15, 2010

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October 13, 2000

I stepped out of the elevator on to the third floor as I have done so many times over the past sixteen years. The big screen television in the play room just in front of me usually had a Disney movie playing for the kids who could leave their rooms to watch; today was no different. The three kids sitting on the floor in front of it were captivated and singing along with the Cuella De Ville song, word for word. There were two little girls in the corner, sitting at a small table coloring and laughing. The smaller of the two had on her P.J.’s , an IV hooked into her right arm, and she had long blond hair that was pulled back with a pony tail. There were dark circles under her eyes; I could see them from across the room.

Edward Lee Fine, Jr. was born September 3, 1984. It was almost three months after he was born before my sister, brother or I got to see him for the first time. Our Dad had taken us behind the hospital one night to look through the window Eddie had just been moved into; the hospital didn’t allow children in the NICU. I remember looking up at the second floor window where our mother stood holding what looked like a bundle of blankets wrapped into a ball. She held the bundle up to the glass and there he was. His head seemed larger then other newborns, his face was red and swollen; a tube was coming out of his nose, but I could see he had a smile on his face. Eddie was born with his umbilical cord wrapped tight around his neck; he had fluid on his brain and holes in his heart. Several weeks later, the doctors would tell our parents that Eddie had Down syndrome and Muscular Dystrophy; they told them he would not live to two years of age and he would never walk or be able to communicate with anyone.

Eddie was almost nine months old when he got to come home for the first time; at three he took his first steps and he really loved ridding the school bus. At fifteen he went through his twenty-third surgery; he had been in and out of the hospital his entire life, staying anywhere from a few days, to as long as a few months. The last several years that he visited the hospital, he seemed to have more complicated problems and more severe complications. The doctors on several occasions had called for a meeting with our family to discuss how we wanted to continue with treatment. They talked to us about having funeral arrangements ready and told us what to expect when it came down to his last moments of life. Each time we had these meetings; Eddie always seemed to make it through and get to come home. We had so many of these meetings that I had a “yeah, right” attitude about it all. I knew my little brother would make it through, and no one could tell me any different.

The current visit had lasted for almost two weeks; there was nothing different about this time then any of the recent times he had been here. Everyday after work, I drove to the hospital, rode the elevator up to the third floor, walked pass the nurses station, opened the door to his room to see this fragile little boy sitting in the hospital bed with tubes coming out of everywhere, it seemed, watching cartoon’s on the TV and having a big smile on his face, just as he did sixteen years ago when I saw him for the first time.

As I passed the nurses station this time, I could see that the door to his room was open; it felt as though it was taking me forever to get to the door, As I came to the doorway, I could see my mom standing beside his bed with her arms crossed staring at the gages on the breathing machine that was not turned on. Everything was in slow motion now that I had noticed the machine off; I was still in the doorway when my eyes shifted down to where Eddie was laying. I stood still holding my breath until I could see him breathing. His chest moved very slowly up when he took his breath; we both exhaled at the same time, but he did not take another breath. I held my breath again waiting and waiting but he never took another. My mom turned and looked at me, All I could do is point at Eddie and say “he’s not breathing”, “He’s not breathing” over and over.

This was our last visit to the third floor of the Children’s hospital that had become so familiar to us. Eddie was sixteen years, one month and one week old when our Lord and Savior called him home. Eddies last breath plays in my head like a video that has been put on replay, every time I think of him. Seeing his last breath is the most painful and the most emotionally scary thing I’ve been through in my life.


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