That day, 10 years ago

I woke up at 4:45 am and my husband was racing to the bathroom, about to be sick.
Greeaat, the flu bug. Those are never any fun.

I dozed back to sleep but was woken back up to him asking if we had any Tylenol because he has a pounding headache. "No" I tell him, we had nothing.

I wake back up to him asking if I can run to the store and get something for his head.
"It really hurts", he says. "Like the ones I've had before"

Two times before, once while I was pregnant with Zachary, and once right after I had him, William had gotten these insanely bad headaches that he just went and slept off, waking in the morning feeling so much better.

Ok, I'm going to the quick stop down the street at 5:15 in the morning to get some Tylenol.
No argument, no "it's too early", nothing. I just went to get something for his headache.

I came home and gave him the Extra strength Excedrin... That's all they had.
He took two and was saying he hoped he could get some sleep and this would go away.
Yet he couldn't really leave bathroom because he thought he was going to throw up. 

Finally he came and sat back down on the bed next to me.
We talked for just a moment, about what, I have no memory of.

The next hours... days... months of my life are such a blur.

I remember his eyes rolling back into his head and him falling back onto the bed.
I thought he was joking until he didn't respond to me telling him he wasn't being funny.
He started to shake and I thought he was having a seizure.  
I grabbed the phone and called 911
It was ringing and ringing. Why was no one answering?
It felt like forever before someone was on the line asking me what my emergency was
and telling me they were on their way. I don't even remember what I told them
except that I thought he was having a seizure.

I remember trying to attempt CPR and that his jaw was locked, teeth clenched.
He was shaking so much that he fell off of the bed to the floor.
Right afterwards he started urinating and his body went limp.
I had no idea what was going on, but I knew it was bad, and he was gone.
The paramedics got to our house after what felt like forever.
They did CPR, tried to revive him, but it was too late. 

My husband, just 22 years old, passed away. 
I remember sitting in a chair in our front room, Zachary was in his play pen and our house was full of police officers, paramedics, etc. One of the officers was a friend of my husbands, and took down my dad's phone number and went to call him.
I was so numb. I couldn't think, I couldn't cry. I just remember sitting there, thinking that I must be having my worst nightmare.
William was a kidney transplant success story. True, he'd be on medication the rest of this life, but his body didn't reject the kidney that his brother gave him. And that was amazing in itself. 

That morning I was asked many times if maybe he took too many doses of his medication on accident. 
If he prepared his medicine or I helped him. What?
I know they were doing their job, but here I am, a 19 year old girl, being asked if my husband might have killed himself, or maybe I slipped my husband a little extra medication. I felt so sick. 
I told them he had not taken is medication yet that morning. He only had the Excedrin.

My life was flipped upside down in the matter of minutes.

His funeral service was held just a few short days later. Watching my 9 month old baby waving "bye bye" to his daddy for one last time was one of the most heart wrenching things I've ever witnessed.

And weeks later I found out that my 22 year old husband passed away from a massive heart attack.
(His 3rd heart attack, actually. Remember those headaches he had? Yep, those were actually heart attacks that he was having) 

January 28, 2003 is a day that I will never forget. It will live with me forever.


  1. So so sad. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I imagine its made you a stronger person and a better mother.

  2. I'm so sorry you went through this.

    I know they were just doing their job, but that would have made me so ANGRY if they hinted as suicide or that I may have done it.

    I had no idea a symptom of a heart attack could be a headache!

  3. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. I had no idea either that headaches could be a heart attack symptom. Sending love your way during this time of year.

  4. Wow, that is an amazingly sad story. I'm glad you had the strength to share it, though, because maybe someone else will recognize those symptoms as a possible sign of something worse. Just read your "about my family" page, and I'm glad you were able to find another great guy to spend your life with and grow your family. Sending hugs!

  5. How awful, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine going through that now at 25 let alone at 19 with a brand new baby.

    My SO's mom had a heart attack very young. I am so terrified of happening to my guy. Just a couple weeks ago he had a headache and a pain in his arm. I flipped out telling him he needed to find some aspirin and STAT. I'm often dismissed as being a worry wart but he's a daddy to 3 boys and a little girl on the way and I cannot imagine any of them or myself not having him in our lives.

    Your whole experience makes it just that more real.

    Keeping you in my thoughts!

  6. So sorry to hear about your loss, I can't imagine how incredibly difficult that was. I was 16 when my mom died and I try to cherish those I love each day because you never know when they'll be taken from you.


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