It was a cold but sunny morning in London England on October 2nd 1994. I was there serving a three-year tour with the U.S. Navy, and at 10:19 A.M. my wife delivered a baby girl we named Lizette Alexandra, she had a head full of hair and looked just like daddy, she appeared to be as healthy as can be.
As Lizette grew we never missed a well-baby appointment and she received all her immunizations, when she was about 14 months we took a trip to South America to visit my family and have her Baptized and that's when they discovered something was wrong with her kidneys. Upon returning to London the Navy Clinic ran some tests on her and referred us to a local Renal Specialist, because the Navy did not have the facilities to treat her.
She was hospitalized for over a month receiving steroid treatments and a Renal Biopsy, which revealed that she had a rare kidney disease called "Misangel-sclerosis". By that time my wife and I wanted to come back to the States to continue her treatment, I had a gut feeling that here in the States they would save her life without requiring dialysis. Upon arriving at Andrews AFB, Lizette was in very bad shape, her blood pressure was high and she had trouble breathing, not to mention that we had just finished an 8-hour flight on a C-130. We finally arrived at Bethesda Naval Medical Center and they were able to stabilize her. We stayed there for three days, while they ran more tests. By now my daughter was scared to death of anybody that stepped into the room, this because she thought it was time for more shots and blood-draws.
After the third day we were referred to the Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia, where Civilian Doctors assumed her care. They told us that Lizette's kidneys were failing and she would need to be started on Dialysis ASAP. Within 15 days Lizette was on dialysis and ready to go home after my wife and I received some training on how to use the dialysis machine , so we could perform this at home.
Lizette started dialysis in April 1996. We were waiting for her to grow a little before she was able to receive a kidney transplant. In April 1997, we took her in for a regular appointment and had been telling her doctors that she was complaining of pains when we connected her to the dialysis machine at night. This time they decided to take a closer look and a CAT Scan revealed a growth from her left kidney.
She was hospitalized on April 15, 1997 and the Oncologist at Fairfax Hospital explained to us that Lizette had a Wilms Tumor, which was malignant, but that this type of tumor was very responsive to chemotherapy.
The next day they took her to surgery in order to remove the tumor, but were unable to because it was the size of a grapefruit and had attached itself to part of her colon. The Surgeon said that it would have to be treated with chemotherapy first in order to reduce it in size.
The next day they started her on chemotherapy and that's when everything went wrong with Lizette, her heart, lungs and liver took a big hit from the organisms released from the tumor due to the Chemo, Lizette had to be intubated and sedated and also, because they had attempted to extract the tumor just days before, she could not have regular dialysis and instead needed hemodialysis.
She lay like this in bed for two months. Mothers Day and Fathers Day went by and all we wanted was for our little baby to be back the way she was, but little by little she drifted away until on June 19, 1997 the Doctors could not do anything else to sustain her. "The Gates of Heaven" were now opening to receive her. At exactly 1:00 P.M. our little angel died in the arms of my wife. It is hard to continue on and almost seems impossible, but thanks to the WWW and sites like this we can share stories, our hurt and our sorrow and realize that people don't need to personally know you to care about you.
Take Care of yourselves and love one another.
We love you, Lizette.
You can send email to Daniel at: [email protected]
anniversary date 06-19-97
date of post 08-11-97