I had been following the story of this little girl for some time. She had a condition called omphalocele, where your intestines and in some cases (including Adalynn's), all of the abdominal organs are outside of the stomach. It's a rare condition that has a surprisingly high recovery rate. This girl spend most of her life in a hospital, but went home for the holidays. There hadn't been any follow up stories. I had long thought about writing something about her and her condition, so I googled her name today...only to find an obituary. There were no follow up stories, so I don't know how she died, but it probably was an infection, if I had to guess. She'd had several. Her heart stopped twice. Anyway, here's what I wrote for Adalynn.
Adalynn decides its time to go
You were supposed to make a full recovery.
No one ever expected this.
Now you get to be two and a half forever.
You never had the chance to try peanut butter
on bread, in chocolate, on your fingers as you
unscrew the top of the jar while your parents
are asleep in their beds, the tasty spread
stuck under your little fingernails.
Never had the opportunity to experience the
exhilaration of riding a tricycle, your feet
pedaling quickly, the wind whipping around
your pink helmet and blowing the tassels on
your handlebars, making them look like streamers
in the hot Texas summer air.
All that remains are numbers.
288 days in a hospital.
28 surgeries, several infections.
3 times, your heart stopped.
On the last one, you'd had enough.