“We have walked some places no others would want to walk. Things have changed in our lives.” – Becky R.
Rebecca was a first grader when she was admitted to the hospital with pancreatitis.
Her grandmother, Becky, focused on two things: healing for her granddaughter, and to walk along side her daughter and son-in-law, Christyn and Brian, during a very difficult time. She needed to be there for two generations of her family when it mattered most. This grandmother faced her role in a difficult journey with resolute faith and hope.
The Journey Begins
One evening Becky was helping her daughter Christyn at their family home. That night Rebecca had an attack that left her doubled over in pain.
Rebecca was admitted to the hospital with pancreatitis. She became sicker and sicker despite countless procedures, trips to numerous hospitals, handfuls of doctors and surgery upon surgery over the course of 5 years. Her parents had taken her everywhere and there seemed to be little more they could do.
“Half the world was praying for us at this time,” Becky recalls, “but all we were doing was buying her more time. We knew we couldn’t keep living like this.”
“CaringBridge Is the Way that We Survived”
Emotionally drained and exhausted, CaringBridge became a way for Becky to carry on in her role as mother and grandmother.
“CaringBridge is the way that we survived. I couldn’t answer the phone and say that Rebecca was doing worse one more time. I would hang up the phone and want to climb in bed. Everything had to be pared down to just the essentials to survive. Even my prayers were bare boned.”
CaringBridge became mission control to communicate with the outside world. A dear friend and nurse, Carol, helped write the medically focused posts, while her daughter Christyn used the journal as a way to write what she was thinking and feeling.
The Turning Point
The family decided to take a chance and revisit a procedure they had previously ruled out as too risky. The major surgery would remove five of Rebecca’s organs.
“Rebecca was down to 58 pounds,” Becky recalled, “having trouble walking and we didn’t have much time left. She was slipping away. But the procedure was a nightmare surgery and we didn’t know if she could even survive it.”
Rebecca did survive the intensive 20-hour surgery, and the grueling and almost insurmountable recovery.
A Grandmother’s Love
Special small moments happened along the way where a grandmother’s love would be just what Rebecca needed.
Moments like Rebecca asking Becky to watch movies with her in her hospital bed. “Rebecca would say ‘Yaya, climb on the bed and watch a movie with me’. We were all so tired that I thought this would be a great time to get some rest. But she was so smart. She would quiz me about all these movies. You would get stuck in that bed for four hours. But that’s what I did.”
Throughout the whole journey Becky and her family would hang on to CaringBridge because of the power in getting the story out. It served as the platform for their people to send them love, goodness, hope and prayers.
“Things Have Changed in Our Lives”
Ultimately, this grandmother has been changed.
“We have walked some places no others would want to walk. Things have changed in our lives. CaringBridge has been at the center of changing others’ lives as they have been through this very difficult journey with us.”
Rebecca continues to face each day with a joyful heart, and can return to experiencing sweet moments every 13 year old should, like decorating her very own locker as a seventh grader. And her Yaya is there to cheer her on every step of the way.
Here When You Need It
Are you or a loved one facing a health journey? If so, start a CaringBridge website, where you can share health updates and receive encouragement and support from your community.