Jason Eckrich passed away at 6:45am on Saturday, March 27th. His parents both at his side in the PICU at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The doctors and nurses said they believe it was heart and lung failure, although his kidneys and liver had been failing the week before. His body just could not fight after he got the blood infection a couple of weeks ago. A blood infection after a round of chemo is not a good combination.
Kyle talked to Jason's dad, Steve, today, and I talked to Jackie tonight. We have learned things about what happens when a child dies, that no one should ever have to experience. Jackie told us the PICU staff told them they would do CPR on Jason until they were comfortable enough to make the call to stop. Jackie said her and Steve struggled for 35 minutes before they could say those words. She also said the PICU staff had Jason cleaned up, wires out of him, etc., in less than 5 minutes, and gave Steve and Jackie all the time they wanted to just lay next to Jason and say their goodbyes. Then they called the nurse up from the 3rd floor that always gave Jason his baths, to give him his last bath. When the person came up to transport Jason to the morgue, he recognized that they weren't ready yet, and said he would wait outside until they were. He then offered for them to walk with him if they wanted, or he could take Jason away too.
They also learned that one of the funeral homes in town will do everything at cost, and offer their services for free. They will not be in the business of making money when children die. What a noble thing to do as a business.
The casket that was picked out for Jason, was made from wood that was blessed by Monks before the tree was even cut down. I think that is pretty special.
It just amazes me that Steve and Jackie had to make these decisions. Making these decisions about a loved one would be hard enough, but for a child that fought so hard, went through so much, and was at one time, so full of life, just doesn't make sense.
Tyler and I have talked about it some more tonight, and I think he might understand it more than I give him credit for sometimes. Tonight he told me, out of the blue, "Mommy, it isn't fair that kids have to die." Exactly.
Please keep the Eckrich family in your prayers.