Posted by: Debra | January 8, 2015

Little brother

Get well soon

This is the card that my caring middle child made for his big sister Olivia today.

Olivia is very unwell.

She is suffering pneumonia and she is not responding to treatment so her immediate future is very uncertain. On the advice of our hospice, we spent some time with our little boy today, despite having not left Olivia’s side for 72 hours, and helped him make Olivia this lovely card. He took it her her hospital bedside and proudly handed it over telling her he loved her. Despite Olivia’s glaring disability, he has always loved her unconditionally. Unquestioningly in fact, with complete acceptance. It’s both heartbreaking and wonderful.

We’ve known Olivia will have a short life since just after her birth, this fact has caused us much pain and we’ve been faced with some challenging situations over the years. But the impact of this illness, apparently her most severe to date, has hit us like a ton of bricks. It feels simply unbearable to see her teetering on the edge like this. When I think what it could be like for our little boy (most fortunately his baby brother is too young to know) it fills me with utter sadness. For us as parents, it’s one thing to know your child will end her life in her childhood, but its another to realise that moment may be just around the corner.

Despite her bleak outlook we are treating Olivia appropriately by making her comfortable, and taking action to give her the best chance of recovery. The first antibiotics did not work so we have now switched to new ones. We won’t know the effectiveness of this for up to 48 hours. She is also receiving oxygen therapy to support her very laboured breathing. Her only real shot is that the antibiotics will work and allow the infection to ease, enabling the fluid in her lungs to clear.

Many of you will say how tough she is, how she has surprised us over the years, and maybe you are right but like a cat with nine lives, her chances will one day come to an end.

This painful waiting game continues.

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