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  her story... (in the words of her mother)  

On the morning of December 23, 2005, I got out of the shower and I went to get Maya out of my bed. I heard her making a noise and was excited to wake her up because in two days it was Christmas! When I jumped on my bed to stir her awake she did not respond. Which is so unlike her. I saw that she gasped for air. But her eyes were closed. I shook her a bit. She was not breathing. I called my parents and told them to come over now. (They live next door) It was about 7:40am at this time.

Meanwhile I called 911. My parents got there and started CPR on her immediately as I stayed on the phone with 911. I kept asking, "How much longer will it be until they get here! " They said someone would be there shortly. I believe it took about 15 minutes for them to arrive. It seemed like a life time. When they arrived I met the paramedics at the door and took them back to my room. They lifted Maya up off the bed and took her into my living room and put her right next to my Christmas tree and started to work on her. While they were doing this they asked me a million questions. I remember specifically one paramedic said, " Enough of this…there is not enough time!" To get them to stop questioning me. They lifted her up wrapped her in her Tigger blanket and rushed to the ambulance. I came with them and sat in the front. I could not breathe. I called a couple of people from the ambulance to tell them to get to the hospital. Maya was not breathing and I did not know why.

My parents and I got to the ER. They did not let me see her or be with her. They put me in the quiet room. Finally a doctor came in. He asked me question after question about what she ate, chemical she was exposed to and what we did the night before. I answered the questions as calmly as I could. Because I knew that this was a good sign that he was in there talking to me and asking me questions rather then breaking the bad news to me that she passed. He left for a minute he came and thought of a few more questions and I patiently answered them. Then I said, "Is she going to be ok?" he said nothing, he continued to ask me questions about her health. I repeated myself and got no answer. Then I said in a panic,:" Is she dead? " He continued to question me…then he said, "Yes" Continued through whatever paperwork he was filling out with out even a pause for me to catch my breath that he just told me my only daughter was dead. I was in shock, confused. Quickly he told me the coroner was with her and he wanted me to go in and talk to her. She questioned me. I had such little time with Maya. That makes me sick to think about now. If I could change anything I would have laid with her. Hugged her and had my alone time. I was not given that. It was not suggested. I was too busy being accused for killing Maya. I had to leave my daughter.

Go home. When we pulled up we found several police cars there. Going through my house. Taking photographs. For 6 months I had no answers about Maya's death. I have a journal full of all the ways the coroners office treated the situation poorly. They told me they would get me some answers in six weeks. Six weeks seems like entirely too long. Imagine six months!. And the only reason I found out after 6 months is because the funeral home which was wonderfully compassionate had been calling on my behalf to tell them Mother's day was coming up…could they not come up with any answers for me.

So finally the report came back. She had Wilms Tumor. Which spread the Tumor Embolism into her heart and lungs. She had Neuroblastoma. She had Cancer! I would have never even thought cancer. She had been to the doctor exactly 3 months previous to her death for constipation. They sent her for xrays and they said it showed she was compacted in her small and large intestine and throughout her colon. The doctor thought nothing of it. I did not think it was right. But I was not a doctor and I trusted what he kept saying was ok. Six days before she died, she went to a party for her best friend. She looked tired and dark circles under her eyes. That night she and I had the flu bug. So I thought nothing of that. Then the day before she passed away she took a nap at daycare which was so unlike her. But no big warning signs. It was winter time, we had gotten over being sick and so busy with the holidays.

Fast-forward to now….I am left with so many questions why no one caught this sooner. There has to be some sort of negligence here…no? She had been x-rayed once in November of 2004 and again in the Fall of 2005…Three months before she died!! They saw nothing?

- Jennifer