Angelica Grace Designs Blog

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


There are no words. No words this morning that will even remotely describe what I have been feeling over the past 12 hours or so. The only way to help you understand is to take you to what I stumbled upon yesterday afternoon that left me a complete train wreck ever since. I told Brent last night - after sobbing for two straight hours - that I felt it necessary to post this family's story here on my blog in an effort to raise awareness to the possibilities or the "fact" that this could happen to any one of us. This woman's blog has changed me and the way I do things forever. I pray it will all of you as well.
I was researching some photography blogs over the past few weeks and ran across this woman's photography blog. In every few posts, around all of the gorgeous shots she would take of weddings, clients, etc., she would mention the loss of her daughter, Ava. Her writings were gut wrenching and so transparent. I could tell that the loss must be extremely recent and that it was not expected. I was at a loss though on how she actually lost her child. I decided to go back into her old posts. Into her archives. I dug and dug back through all of her old blog updates until I found the explanation regarding what she kept mentioning. It was basically a year ago. To get an instant wake up call in life, read this link on her blog post first....then come back here to mine.
As I read her blog post for that day last year and finally found the reasons surrounding her beautiful daughter's death, I was crushed. As I am sure all of you are as well. I couldn't even see my computer screen anymore through all of the tears. It was a downpour of tears at that. Here is this woman, blogging along each day about her gorgeous family, her love of photography, etc., and then BAM! Life takes a tragic turn and you are never the same again. There is a loss that is like no other. A part of her and their family is gone forever. I'm still sick to my stomach over it all. They live in Australia where it is hot year round. Thus, the quick damage done in such a short time the child climbed into their car.
I post this here today because I too am guilty of leaving my car doors unlocked. Whether our vehicles are in the garage or in the driveway, they are always unlocked. Brennen of course would know how to get out of a car. Kenidi however - would not. With her medical condition, I can't ever fathom that we'd let her roam about without us like you would a normal 3 or 4 year old. However, you can never say never. Life takes only seconds to pass - to change in an instant - forever. Thus, why I wanted to post this family's story here today. I'm sure there are so many of us who have young ones that would have never thought about something like this. We are quickly approaching summer - when temperatures are the hottest here in the United States. Please lock your car doors from this day forward whenever you exit them. I can't bare the thought of this happening to another innocent family.
Here is a brief rundown, in the Mother's own words, of what exactly happened on the day of her daughter's accident. You can view this and many other things from the family in regards to Ava on her memorial website at the following link:
Ava's accident....
The week before the accident, I had been in hospital with kidney surgery. I had been away from Ava before but this time she really missed me..I could hear it in her voice when I spoke to her on the phone. I was so glad to get home on the Wednesday and she was absolutely thrilled to see me. I spent the next few days recovering so didn't get to do a lot with her but by the Saturday I was well enough to spend the whole morning just hanging out with her, watching TV and looking through toy catalogues. At 10.30 am I went next door to Grandads to use the computer there and she came with me. She sat right beside me while I proofed some photos and at midday Luca asked if we could do some rearranging in his bedroom. I turned the computer off and I took the three children back to my place but on the way Ava started to pest for something she'd left behind. I said I wasn't going back and said for her to go get it and then come home again. It's only about 10 meters to his door and we have one big wall around both properties so the kids can roam from one house to the other all day.. She went back to Grandads and I went upstairs with the boys and Crayton to do what Luca had asked. We spent an hour there and it did cross my mind a few times that Ava wasn't there helping but I knew she was at Grandads and just assumed she was watching something on TV and having lunch.When we came downstairs, Crayton went next door to get something and I heard him call out to the boys to ask if they knew where Ava was. Immediately I felt alarmed that she wasn't where I'd assumed so I got up and went out the front of our house where Grandad was standing. I said "where's Ava?" and he said "I don't know..she said she was going to the car" and before he could finish his sentence, which was to say "and then to your house", I turned and ran to the car which was only parked a few steps away. I immediately found her inside and I knew instantly that it was very bad. I had seen only a few days previously a story about children in hot cars and how little time it takes for serious damage to occur. She had been in the car up to 30 minutes - all the while Grandad thought she had come to my house and I still believed her to be with him. We never park on the driveway normally and the car had been locked but one of the children had got something out of it that morning and not relocked it. We believe she had gone in to get lollies and shut the door to hide.The next thirty minutes were absolutely chaotic while we desperately tried to cool Ava down with water and waited for an ambulance. It seemed to take forever and to make matters so much worse, one of the boys had plugged a phone into a point upstairs in the hour before rendering our cordless phones inoperable. I could not figure out why I couldn't dial out and had to yell to neighbours to call for us. Ava was still breathing but not conscious and we all felt very, very scared. When the police arrived with the ambulance, it was like a reinforcement that it really was as bad as I thought. Ava was taken to the local hospital where they put her on life support and cooled her body right down in an attempt to limit brain damage. I honestly felt like I was in the worst nightmare, I simply could not process what had happened and when we were told there was a reasonable chance she could die, I felt my World collapse. She was taken up to the Mater PICU later that night and placed in an induced coma. We were told she would stay like that for a few days and then they would start to raise her body temperature 1 degree at a time and bring her out of the coma. We had to just wait and see just how much damage she had suffered and I can't describe the agony that we endured wondering just how our little girl would be. We had excellent support from the Mater, they were amazing, but at the end of the day, no-one could tell us whether Ava would live or die and whether she'd be anything like the Ava we knew. Over the next two days, her statistics improved slightly and we were told there was a good chance she would survive. On Monday we drove down to the Gold Coast to see the boys and Ivy. I was unsure about going home but Angie was going to remain with Ava the whole time and the nursing staff were confident it was fine to leave. Only 2 hours later, while we were home the hospital rang to say she had become unstable. It felt so unfair that we had been by her side all that time and the moment we left, she deteriorated. We live an hour from the hospital and whilst frantically driving up the highway, we got a call to say she had suffered a heart attack. I knew in that moment there was no hope and by the time we got to her, she had already passed away. There was no clear cause as to why Ava died except the doctor believes she did suffer extensive brain damage which ultimately stopped her ability to control her blood pressure. We are still waiting for the coroners report. She did not suffer a heat attack as the doctors believed at the time.I'm sure to some people it would sound terrible that we could not be right with Ava through her last hour but to me, it is a direct gift from her that we were not. I only got to see one minute of them working on her and it was unbearable. I thank God and Ava that circumstances turned out the way they did - Ava died with her Aunty Angie holding her, never leaving her side, whispering into her ear and staying calm. I can never thank my sister for what she did for us through that 48 hours and what she did for Ava in her last moments. Angie helped Ava into this World and she guided her out, with absolute love and tenderness. There are no words for what that means to us. It's so hard to try to imagine a life and a family without Ava. As the months pass, I've pondered long and hard just what made her so amazing. She was a beautiful soul who totally enchanted those who met her. She was confident but not precocious. She was the happiest child who knew she was so loved. She never had an unhappy day or experienced anything other than security, tenderness and affection. Every single day we struggle to fathom what has happened. How could our perfectly normal day in our perfectly happy life could turn so tragically into our very worst nightmare? That we could lose one of our most treasured possessions in the blink of an eye? Our World is completely altered without her, nothing will ever fill the void she has left and our hearts will forever ache with missing her. My darling baby girl, IloveYOUsomuch.

If you are touched by this story, feel free to go and leave Ava's Mother a comment on her blog. She still blogs consistently - even a year after Ava's death. If you'd like to go back and read her writings as I have, they are all there. Like I said before, in every few blog updates, she mentions Ava and shares pictures of her gorgeous daughter. The child is nothing short of stunning and I mean that with every ounce of my being. Just last week, they went and viewed their daughter's headstone at the cemetery for the first time since it had been put in. Her words on that post take me to the rawest of raw emotions. It is her most recent post there on the blog itself. To get to her blog, click here:
In the meantime, won't you say a prayer for this family today? They have three other children that they need to live for - that they must go on for. Imagine having to pick yourself up and carry on after such a loss. How could you not though??? You have other children. Other children to cherish those moments with that you maybe once took advantage of. We are all guilty of it. The "it" being the thought that there is always tomorrow.
My truck doors are locked as my vehicle sits in the garage today. Are yours?


Blogger Sheye Rosemeyer said...

Dear Angie..
There have been many, many posts written about Ava over the last 15 months..Every single one, I am so grateful for but I am especially thankful for the amount of time and the heartfelt emotion you have poured into your post.. I know you will continue to spread the word about Ava's Rule and that means so much to me. Thankyou for thinking of us.
Love Sheye

4/22/2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Melissa Roark said...

Tears are streaming down my face for this wonderful mother and her family's sorrow. What a lesson. I will make sure our car doors are locked and will always remember this beautiful angel's face.

4/22/2008 11:53 AM  
Blogger kristen said...

You don't know me but I found you through Sheyes blog. I have been a daily follower of her blogging for some time now.
I have a very strange request that I'm wondering if you can help me with.
I'm still learning about the computer and wanted to ask how you cut the photos from a sight to place on your own. I've tried Control C but thought there would be no harm in asking. Hope you don't mind.
By the way that was absolutely beautiful what you wrote. It took me along time to get over reading Sheye's blog for the first time. So sad.
Thank you

4/23/2008 6:42 AM  
Blogger Scarlett said...

Thanks for writing this. RIP sweet Ava.

4/23/2008 11:24 AM  
Blogger Scarlett said...

Thanks for writing this. RIP sweet Ava.

4/23/2008 11:24 AM  
Blogger Katy S said...

Angie thank you so much for sharing this mothers story. Just this morning I was talking to a friend that had miscarried and you never know how to deal with lose. My husband and I say everyday how we don't know how parents get on with life after the lose of a child. Really I don't know but I do know it is something that God has a huge part in. This family is in my prayers and I can't even imagine this mothers sorrow. It is a great reminder of life and what is important. I will think of this little angel every time I lock the doors on my car. Bless this mother for sharing such a message.

4/23/2008 11:32 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Thank you Angie for sharing this! I had a talk with my daughter (who is a couple months older than Ava) last night about what to do if she was stuck in the car. I would have never thought to talk to her about this before now. God Bless you Sheye and your family! Your story touched me deeply and even more so as I realized our daughters were so close in age. Thank you!

4/24/2008 1:42 PM  
Blogger PamperingBeki said...

Oh goodness, how tragic!

God bless that family.

4/25/2008 12:12 AM  

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