I saw my dad die… I squeezed his hand hard as I begged him to hang on. I pleaded him to stay. I needed him and I was not ready nor did I want him to go. I began screaming frantically, “MY DAD IS DYING!” I scram. Until this day I don’t know how I managed to get those words out. The staff in the Emergency Room rushed over to get him settled in. “PLEASE HELP HIM!” I continued to yell. I kept asking them what was taking them so long. The staff asked me to please calm down, they told me that it was going to be okay. But, how could I calm down.. deep down I knew it wasn’t going to be okay.
His pupils has blown out and he wasn’t opening his eyes. He was unresponsive. The doctors asked my dad if they could intubate him… he didn’t answer- he couldn’t answer. He was hemorrhaging. The staff managed to get an interpreter in the phone, but my dad was still unresponsive. I started to get worked up, “Can’t you see that he can’t answer?! Please just do whatever you have to do to save him,” I wailed. The nurse asked me to step outside. I refused. “Thats my father in there, I am not leaving him alone,” I said.
“Where’s your mom sweetie?” asked the nurse. I had no idea. I had rode the ambulance with my dad and my mom was supposed to meet us at the hospital with my little sister. I ran outside to the waiting area to look for them. Our eyes locked. My mother and sister were a mess so I had to hold my composure. I hurried my mom to the room where my dad was and I informed her that she had to sign some papers. The nurse began to ask for her consent to operate and to perform other critical procedures, one of them was a blood transfusion. I knew she had no idea what she had just sign. In tears all she managed to say was “please save my husband.”
My little sister was unconsolable I wanted to assure her that everything was going to be okay, but I couldn’t…because I didn’t know that. Even though I wanted to tell myself that it was going to be okay.. a part of me knew that was a lie.
My dads medical team all came rushing in speaking in medical terms. They had to take him to the OR. We followed them immediately into the elevators. A female nurse was calling it in letting her colleagues know they needed to prep the OR. Until this day her words still haunt me… “we have a dying man coming in,” she said.
My heart sank and my world shattered. “Girls it’s time to say goodbye.” she said.
I was numb. I had a knot stuck in my throat, I couldn’t make out what was happening… “Goodbye?” I thought… that’s so final. That’s when I knew I had lost my best friend. My mentor. My father. “Adiós papá, te amo,” I said.
I broke down alongside my mother and sister. At 4am on Sunday April 27, 2014 the doctors came out of the OR. “We’ve done everything we can,” they said. This is it I thought. But they continued, “we just have to wait and see.”