On April 24th 2014, Oscar’s bed was surrounded by doctors and nurses. They were pumping him full of medications and fluids, trying to stabilise them. I was sat by the wall at the corner of his cubicle. I told them to stop.
They kept working, while one of the doctors came to talk to me. To ensure I really knew what I was saying. I was clear, they needed to stop. Oscar had fought enough, he had given us more time than we ever imagined, but that time was up.
If the doctors had kept working on Oscar and managed to bring him back, there is a very high chance he would have had brain damage or a stroke. He would not have been the same Oscar. And then? He still wouldn’t have been able to breathe without that ventilator. His lungs were still unable to work, his heart was still only half a heart. If the doctors had got Oscar back that day, yes, we would have had a little more precious time, but we would still have had to make the decision to remove that ventilator. Maybe hours later, maybe a day later but it would still have had to happen.
If Oscar had any chance at all, I would have never have asked them to stop. I would have fought forever for him, but that wasn’t an option.
The option was fighting for a different ending. Asking the doctors to stop, to fight for Oscar’s final moments being as peaceful as possible. For them being then, on the afternoon of April 24th.
I’ve written that when I held Oscar that final time, he was free from all his tubes and wires. That wasn’t strictly true. When he was placed in my arms he was still attached to most of them. The doctors (or maybe nurses?) removed those remaining tubes and wires while I was holding him. As they took away the things (barely) keeping him alive, he was completely surrounded by love. The only one that remained was his pain relief (morphine I think?) that they increased the dose on a lot.
If we had planned letting him go, I imagine things would have been less rushed, but I know that would have given me a lot more time to thing and worry and obsess over every detail.
When I said stop, to when he was placed in my arms was probably only five minutes. There was no time to second guess a decision, or talk it over. It had to happen in that moment.
Every other decision regarding Oscar we made was discussed, disected and analysed. I don’t doubt a single one of them was the right one.
That decision to stop? That was the right one as well. And never for a second have I believed that we gave up. There was no other choice. It was the only option left.
Before Oscar was born, when we got the diagnosis I started writing my original blog. It was called “a moment in time.” That decision to say stop was just that: a single moment in time. I had no idea when I created that blog, just how much the title would end up reflecting Oscar’s life.
While this blog is now and will always be “Oscar’s Story”, I think the “moment in time” title is very fitting as well. When I named the blog, I thought we would only have moments with Oscar. We did. We just had many more moments than I ever imagined. And I wouldn’t give up a single one of them.