She Wasn’t Breathing; Her Heart Stopped

Taylor and Jaimie

This is part 3 of Taylor’s story. If you missed them, check out part 1 and part 2.

When I returned to the BMT floor, I learned that Jaimie’s lungs weren’t working correctly.  There was talk of moving her to the PICU. I texted her, telling her she had nothing to worry about, that the nurses were super nice and she would always be monitored – they were there to help her.

Jaimie stayed in the PICU longer than expected. Her lungs had fluid in them and she had a breathing tube; she was miserable. Then, they sedated her and put her on an oscillating ventilator.  I wasn’t allowed to see her.

After many long nights in the PICU, she wasn’t getting better.

Many tears and long discussions later, her family had to discontinue life support. They pulled the plug.  She wasn’t breathing; her heart stopped.

I was in shock. I couldn’t produce tears. My friend had lost her battle after a long fight.  Why did she get so sick? I wished I could trade places with her. No one should ever have to go through this horrific disease.  I wanted to see her; again the doctors said no. I wanted to say goodbye – but I realized she wasn’t gone. She will always be loved, and she will always be close to my heart.

I wear her cancer bracelet on my wrist, along with the bracelets of other cancer warriors. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of her courage and strength.

I still wasn’t allowed to leave my BMT room, so I unfortunately missed her funeral.  She was cremated and her family spread her ashes in different places. Her mom told my mom she would like us to meet up when I’m feeling better, so I could spread some ashes, too. I was so touched.

Rest in peace, Jaimie.

Written by Taylor Lieber

Taylor, 19, was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in October 2012.  A little over two and a half years later, she was diagnosed with secondary high-risk AML. This week, Taylor writes about her good friend Jaimie and their transplant experiences.