Gabby's CaringBridge site was created to keep you up to date on her progess, and continues now as part of her legacy. .
The messages of encouragement and support are invaluable to us. We thank everyone of you who has prayed for and continues to pray for our family's healing. Thank you- Joan & Pete
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Gabriella was diagnosed with an extremely rare congenital disease called Neurocutaneous Melanosis. There is little known about it and there is no known cure. The disease attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and has a very poor prognosis once neurological symptoms begin.
In November of 2007 Gabby underwent two shunt surgerys for hydrocephalus, which is a major neurological symptom of this disease that doctors were unaware she had. In February of this year she was diagnosed with NCM and underwent an extensive surgery that included a shunt revision, external drain for her subdural hematoma (caused by the shunt failure), and a procedure to drain the tumor that was compressing her spine.
The surgery revealed that the disease had consumed her entire spinal cord which was causeing her to have radiating pain throughout her body, as well as a regression in her ability to walk. In addition, she experienced neuropathic pain and seizures that required different medications to control.
In her last month she was quadriplegic, but her smile shined through the frustation. In her last days she was blind, mute, quadriplegic, and in her final hours unconscience.
Thank you to HOSPICE of Saratoga for your support so Gabriella could be home and surrounded by her family, friends, and all things familiar. Gabriella passed on Wednesday May 28th in her own bed during prayers. We rejoice in her victory!
The bushes clustered along the knoll in the backyard are about to burst open with brilliant white flowers. Enduring the harsh, prolonged winter and the cold, rain-plagued spring, these bushes are ready to receive the reward only summer sun can faithfully deliver.
Of course, these aromatic blooms mean it's that time of the year again: Gabby's Angelversary.
Three years ago today, almost to the minute as I write, Gabriella took her last labored breath in our living room here before she began to freely breathe in all the fragrances of heaven when the angles brought her face-to-face with Jesus.
We spent today enjoying the beautiful sunshine and the multitude of butterflies that floated around. Starting the day off, Pete and Sam made the traditional Saturday morning pancakes that Gabby was always eager to help create. Later we picked out flowers for the Special Place. This year it was a family effort to plant. Samantha assisted with all the stages. We think she liked being included in such a special task today. The remainder of the day was low-key and quiet; just the three of us hanging out in the warm of the sun with our favorite memories of Gabriella.
Our Dear Gabby-Gabs,
We are so thankful for your life. On your third angelversary we celebrate all you were and all you continue to be. You out-lived your life Littlest Lady.
Bask in the Son, and know we love you and miss you beyond what we could ever express.