March 15, 2000 to June 17, 2006
This is the story of a precious little boy. A boy who could read at 4, wrote his Christmas list on Word when he was 5, loved his little sister more than life, could master any new computer or play station game at 6 and was beloved by all who met him. He always had time to help – his grandpa put up the garage door opener, his mommy make cookies, his sister with her babies, with friends at school with their games. My son’s name was Nicholas – “Nic” to all those who new him.
On June 16th, I went to pick him up at his daycare when they told me that he was feeling warm. He walked out and got into the car and just said he was tired. Like millions of mothers everyday, I gave him a fever reducer and put him to bed. Throughout the night, he called to me every couple of hours for drinks, a little snack, to go to the bathroom. Not lethargic, just sleepy. The fever broke and the next day was Saturday – a day full of plans. A birthday gift card that had to be used on a new game, a visit to the park, maybe this will be the night that mommy would order pizza. To me, questions were already answered – do you have a headache? No. Does your neck hurt? No. How do you feel? Better mommy, I love you. Sleep tight little man. Get some rest. You will be better in the morning.
At 7:00 am June 17th, when he called out to me to tell me that he was thirsty, I saw a rash – a purple rash? What is that? It wasn’t there at 4:30 am when I changed his pj top. I ran to the computer and typed in purple rash. Meningitis? – No, I already asked those questions. We arrived at the hospital and I could see, without words spoken, that his illness was more serious than I wanted it to be. By 9:00am they were doing a spinal test as my little man cried out for a soda. Yes, little man, I promise one when the doctor says its ok.
When the doctors tell you that your child is very, very ill, what does a parent do or think? Very, very ill meant to me that he would be in the hospital for awhile, not death. My son could never die. He was good and kind and loved. Then there was a seizure and recessitation and a small heart beat again. He was no longer talking or moving. Where did my son go? Quietly I talked in his ear about love and hope and dreams. He was going to get to fly in a helicopter, what fun that would be. One of your life’s dreams little man.
He was transferred to a bigger hospital, with infectious disease specialists, all the tests were done and the medicine to help him was administered. I could hear the doctors telling me IF this works, he could loose his hands or feet or both – fine, fine, just bring him back to me. IF this works, he will have to be on dialysis starting tomorrow – yes, yes, just bring him back to me. IF this works, we will have to go through all the organs to see what was damaged – ok, ok, just bring him back to me. Dear Lord, I don’t care how you give him back to me, just give him back to me.
At 9:15pm, June 17, 2006, my little man was too week to endure anymore. With the Chaplin, the doctors, nurses and a room full of support staff, they all said goodbye. I couldn’t say goodbye because this doesn’t happen to little children who are good, and kind and loved. As I live day to day, I have learned that I am saying goodbye in my own time and my own way.
Nicholas Selwyn Pradia, my gift from God, age 6, passed away from Meningococcal septicemia.