A lot of times people feel the urge to share their deepest emotions with complete strangers and soothe their soul. This way they feel like their pain is out there, free and walking out of their body, until they realize the naked truth that grief doesn’t just fade away. But, at least someone heard how harsh life was towards them.
One young mother shared her life story with Love What Matters and left many crying over her ordeal.
On that fateful day, nothing could prepare Angela Menci for what was coming. She was staying home with her kids when her husband Gare called her on the phone asking from her to go and pick him up. The 39-year-old dentist was in the middle of a procedure of a root canal when he felt “off.” He though he was experiencing a heart attack and made it clear the situation was urgent.
Angela quickly put her kids inside her car and headed towards her husband’s practice, praying nothing was really wrong with him. But luck wasn’t on her side on this one. They rushed to the hospital where he was admitted.
After spending hours waiting for some news on his condition, doctor’s finally informed her how he had a tear in his aorta. She remembers how they described his case as “catastrophic.”
This came as a shock to Angela who had to deliver the news of his state to her husband herself. She asked from a friend to come and pick her kids up and did her best to pull herself together before entering Gare’s room.
“My husband was conscious, I had to deliver the news to him. His job now was to remain calm and keep his heart rate from elevating. The more it pumped, the more he bled out. He couldn’t freak out but that didn’t stop me from falling to the floor and crying as hospital personnel walked around me.”
As doctors couldn’t do anything, they suggested he was transferred to a hospital in Portland.
“It was determined he would need to be life-flighted to a hospital in Portland, more equipped for the severity of his surgery. Sam, the life-flight nurse grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me straight in the eyes. He told me that his job was to keep Gary alive. He told me he was great at his job and he had confidence in delivering my husband safely to skilled surgeons that would fix him. He took my number and promised to update me from the flight.”
Both Angela and Gare were aware things didn’t look good. But there was always a spark of hope throughout the whole time.
After four hours on the road, Angela was about to arrive at the hospital. The life-nurse kept her updated as promised and even let her to talk to her husband and remind him how much she loved him. Sadly, that would be the last time she gets to say those words to Gare.
Once there, two nurses were getting out of Gare’s room crying. Angela’s heart broke into a million pieces. She feared the worst, but they told her how he was still in surgery. They couldn’t tell her for sure whether he would survive it or not.
Eight long hours that resembled eternity passed before she got some good news. But the joy didn’t last long.
“I pressed the nurses’ button and they came out to tell me that the surgery was successful and that they would be bringing him up to the ICU. I jumped up and down and cried tears of joy. He is okay! He is going to live!”
The surgeon came out and said what she feared the most. After they administered the anesthesia, his aorta tore completely and he spent 5 minutes without oxygen. Gare was brain-dead.
“The nurses tried to prepare me for what I would see when I entered the room. I appreciated their efforts but nothing can prepare you to see your sweet, loving husband laying there ventilated, swollen and unconscious. They told me that hearing is the last thing to go so to talk to him, tell him to keep fighting. I sat next to his lifeless body and encouraged him to keep fighting, that I would never be okay without him.”
The chain of bad events wasn’t about to end. Devastating news came from Angela’s mother. Her sister passed away.
“My mom showed up and she was hysterical. I thought to myself, ‘pull yourself together, I need you to be strong and support me.’ She immediately pulled me out into the hall and said, ‘Your sister died last night.’ What. It took a few minutes before my brain could register the words my mom was speaking. I walked back into the room and screamed ‘MY SISTER DIED!’ and I chucked a cup of water across the room. A wave of relief washed over me as I thought now that my sister is gone, there was no way God would take my husband too.”
Unfortunately, this woman lost two people she loved the most on the same day. Was this really happening?
“I went into the hospital room as the neurologist performed multiple tests to check for brain activity. Tears filled the neurologist’s eyes as I looked at him and said, ‘He is gone, isn’t he?’ Yes. He was gone and I had to sign paperwork to take him off life support.”
His kids were there, saying the last goodbye to their father. It was a heartbreaking moment that made everyone cry.
“The image of those final moments with my children and their Dad will never leave me. It was the most heart wrenching part of this whole experience. They said goodbye and left the hospital. I climbed up on the bed and stroked his hair as the nurses turned the machines off. He was gone within minutes.”
As if life wasn’t cruel enough, Angela and her kids spent her youngest son’s first birthday at the funeral home.
Angela’s other sister offered her and her children a home.
“I don’t know why my husband and sister had to die. All I can do is have trust that God is here with me and is molding me to be the woman he knows that I can be. He gave me a wonderful sister and brother-in-law who immediately called and said they were finishing their basement into an apartment for me. Not only would I be living with them but they have been helping me raise my children. We have made our own little tribe.”
It’s hard, and it looks as if it’s not getting any easier, but life moves on. She has to be strong for her kids. She’s doing her best to be the best mother for them.