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
“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