September 20,1975 - March 18, 1999
It has been 7 long lonely years without our daughter Suzanna I am still adjusting to the pain and trying to cope without having her around. This has been the worst time of my life and I am just able to now tell the story. I am still bitter and angry at the doctor´s because this should not have happened but it is still something I have to live with for the rest of my life. Guilt is not an easy thing to live with every day.
In December of 1997 there was an outbreak of Meningitis in Kitchener/Waterloo area a 19yr. old girl had died. My niece knew her from dance school. I know there was panic among parents to have their children vaccinated and the medical community was trying to calm everyone. I remember there was such a outcry from parents that they finally broke down and opened up school gyms to mass inoculate the children in this area. I was from Kitchener area and all my family still lives there. I was encouraged from my sister to have my daughter and son vaccine, since the girl that past away was my daughter´s age. We lived in Mississauga and I went to my family doctor to ask about the Meningitis Vaccine for my children. I was informed by her how rare an occurrence like this happens. The chances are One in a Million that they would ever contract this disease and she gave me the brush off that I was just panicking for nothing and talked me out of it. (MY HUSBAND HAS NEVER FORGIVEN ME FOR THIS).
My daughter Suzanna was getting her Degree in Special Education to work with Special Needs Children. She was as beautiful inside as she was out. On March 17, 1999 she was handing in her last assignment she was to graduate in June of that year. She was so happy she was dancing on her way out. Her last words to her brother and me was Tonight is the new beginning of my new life. Those words will always come back to haunt me I knew she meant school was now over and she was finally going to do what she loved and that was working with children. But to me it has double meaning.
She came home early from celebrating with a couple of friends and told me she was not feeling well. I told her to change and go to bed and I would bring her some tea. When I got upstairs she was curled up in a ball on her bed. She told me she had such pain in her neck and her left side of her face felt numb, lower back pain, knees and she felt very nauseas. I didn´t think twice this came on so sudden I was not going to wait till morning to see a doctor. My husband and I rush her to Credit Valley Hospital. When we arrived the waiting room was empty I told my daughter that this was her lucky night that she would not have to wait long to see a doctor. In fact we sighed her in and she was given a bed within 10 minutes. A nurse came over to ask general questions on her systems, shortly a doctor came to examine her.
We told him how she was feeling about the pain by this time her lower lips was purple in color and swollen. He asked if she had bitten her lip and we said no that this just started, she was in real discomfort they took a blood sample and urine. We were told her abdomen was very tender and they would keep her over night and have an ultrasound in the morning. They gave her demurral for her pain and something for the nausea. They told me I was a worry mom and that she would be okay in the morning. As the night went on to early morning she was burning up and could barely talk anymore. We tried to get their attention but they were busy changing shifts and we were told she was going to get an ultrasound soon. Gut feeling I knew it was more but know one would listen to me. She threw up and had severe diarrhea but still they would not take the time.
When the time came for her ultrasound we waited and when the doctor came out he said he could not fine anything wrong and they might do some more test. A few minutes later they brought out Suzanna she was covered in purple rash all over her face and hands she looked so swollen. My husband ran after the doctor and said look at her what is wrong, the doctor came back when he saw her he communicated to the nurses all of sudden they rushed her away we were running to keep up. We were told to wait outside and someone would come out to talk to us. Not long after a doctor came out and told us that Suzanna had Meningitis the worst kind and that she was in critical condition but we were lucky the Best Infectious Disease doctor was in the hospital and would be treating her.
They rushed her up to the Critical Care Unit and started giving her mass doses of antibiotics but she was not responding. It had already started to attack her organs and it was in her blood she was septic. I could barely recognize her, a few short hours later my Beautiful Suzanne died of cardiac arrest. That was the start of my nightmare and has continued since that day. Suzanne had Meningitis C and Septic. She was One in a Million alright.
To this day I question my doctor why she did not give her the Meningitis shot and I was told at that time it wasn´t necessary even at the hospital her symptoms were ignored. She didn´t stand a chance. She is deeply missed by her brother. father, mother and all her friends and family. Now I see that large print adds in Fall and Spring to encourage Parents to have their children vaccinated. I preach this to anyone who will listen, but how many children have had to die to get this message out. My Suzanna was not one of the Lucky Ones our pain continues to the day we die. Yesterday I went to the cemetary March 18th Seven Long Years without her.
To My Suzanna
I LOVE and Miss You With All My Heart
Beverly Jurisich (MOM)