Marla’s Painful Death
A Mother’s Anguished Story

BY DEBORAH CARDAMONE

    My daughter, Marla, was only 18 years old when she reluctantly decided to have an abortion at a prestigious women’s hospital. Originally, she had planned to put her baby up for adoption, but a medical social worker at the hospital strongly urged Marla to have an abortion.

    The social worker argued that Marla had damaged her baby because of anti-depressant medication she had taken, though
statistical evidence indicated a 92 percent chance that the baby was fine. Marla had a sonogram to determine the health of her baby. After the sonogram, the same social worker continued to pressure Marla to have an abortion. Finally, Marla gave in.

    On the day of Marla’s abortion, fears began to overwhelm me. Even though this was a leading women’s hospital, I was worried for her safety. Surely she was in the safest place possible. But I had no peace. My grandchild was about to die.

    At about 1:00 in the afternoon, a nurse walked Marla to an exam room where they inserted laminaria into her cervix and did the “instillation of urea” to start the abortion. At 11:00 PM, the abortion had still not been completed. I wanted to stay with Marla, but she insisted that I go home because it was getting so late. I kissed her goodnight, saying “I love you... see you in the
morning.” That was the last time I saw her alive. At 9:15 the next morning, I received a call from the intensive care unit (ICU). The nurse said...

“Something Went Wrong. It’s Very Serious!”

    I raced to the hospital and rushed into the ICU. Twice, a doctor came out to ask me questions about Marla. Each time I asked to see her, but I was turned away. Then the room suddenly became filled with white coats. A doctor sat in front of me
and held my hands. “My daughter is dead, isn’t she?” I asked. He nodded his head, “Yes.”

    “No! No! This can’t be!” My poor Marla. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I lost my breath as I was overcome by terror and helpless disbelief.

    Like a dagger, the shocking news sent piercing pains through my heart and sucked the life from my body.

Seeing Her Daughter’s Body – a Mother’s Worst Nightmare

    Finally, they allowed me to see Marla’s body. When I entered the room, I could hardly believe what I saw. There was my beautiful daughter so horribly disfigured that she was almost unrecognizable. A tube was still protruding from her mouth and I could see that her teeth and gums were covered with blood. Her eyes were half opened and the whites of her eyes were a dark
yellow. Her face was swollen and discolored a deep purple. The left side of her face looked like she had suffered a stroke. All I wanted was to hold her. I managed to get an arm around her and kissed her good-bye.

The Trail of Truth

    How could this have happened to my Marla? I was determined not to allow Marla’s death to become just another statistic. Ultimately, we discovered that Marla died from a botched abortion that caused her body to be invaded by a fast-acting blood infection called septicemia. It killed her within 24 hours.

    We also learned that the hospital social worker never saw Marla’s sonogram or discussed the results with her. Marla never saw the words on the sonogram report about her baby’s condition. They read: “No abnormalities detected.” Had Marla been
told this, she never would have considered having the abortion.

    I still look at Marla’s senior portrait from high school and wonder, “Why?” I look into her beautiful eyes and it just breaks my heart. It seems like only yesterday she was here smiling and laughing and full of life. Marla had such a kind and tender heart that she wanted to share with the world – but that will be no more.

    Marla’s life came to halt. We never saw this coming. All of a sudden, she was gone, and she was only 18. Looking back, I  wish I had taken other steps to prevent the abortion. I should have done more.
 

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