Payton Katherine Forian
August 21, 2004 - January 9, 2010
And so my story begins...
My baby girl died on January 9, 2010. That was the day that my life changed forever. She had a mild stomach bug two days prior but no fever, I had called her pediatrician and they said it was probably a virus and to let her get plenty of rest. Her heart was beating a little fast but they also said that was normal when we have a virus. Friday night she was playing games with me and her brother and sister and said she was feeling better. She was still really tired though. Around 10pm she and I snuggled up on the couch together and she asked me to sleep with her and I said ok. Andy came home from work around 10:30pm and told us to go into the bedroom and sleep and that he would sleep on the couch. Payton and I curled up in bed together and fell asleep. At around 3:30am I woke up after Payton had wet the bed, which is not normal for her and as she got up she said "Mama, you forget to tell me to go potty" I told her it was ok and to go into the bathroom and that I would get her all cleaned up. I woke up Andy and as he went into the bathroom to help her she fell down. As we held her she said I'm ok, and then had what looked like a seizure. Immediately we called my parents to come over to watch our other children and they were there in less than 5 minutes. We drove her to the closest hospital and explained to them what had happened. They took a very relaxed approach to everything and even one of the nurses told us we should have just went to the children's hospital. We then said that we wanted to leave and they told us we could not.
We drove there to get her immediate help, we lived only 2 miles from that hospital and it was snowing outside. After about 1 1/2 hours the doctor came into the room and told us that Payton was severely anemic, I immediately asked for blood. He responded that he would get her over to the children's hospital and that they would start it there. They did a spinal tap on her because they kept telling me that she looked like she had meningitis, even though she had been vaccinated for it. One of the last things she said to me was "can I go home now" and as I sat there next to her holding her I told her "yes baby, were going home." I can't help the feeling that I failed her because I did not take her to the children's hospital first, and I still feel like I should have walked out of there with her and brought her myself. As a mother I can only tell you that I feel that I failed her, and I cry everyday because of the decisions that I made. The physician failed to make that call to the children's hospital and let them know that it was an emergency, in the recorded conversation he never even mentions that Payton was severely Anemic or that her Hematocrit level was 12. He also failed to ask the ambulance service for an immediate/emergent transfer, so now we find out that the call was held in a cue because it was only called for a non emergency transfer. After hours of us asking where the ambulance was it finally arrived at 8:45 am. Immediately the paramedics started asking us questions, I rode in the ambulance with her and while still in the hospital parking lot she had another seizure. They drove as fast as they could with lights and sirens. We arrived at University Hospital at approximately 9am. She was rushed into a room and there were many doctors and nurses starting to work on her. I was holding her hand and her heart stopped...they rushed me out of the room and as Andy and I stood just inside the doorway we watched as they tried to resuscitate her for 25 minutes. I remember running down the hallway because I thought I was in a bad dream and needed to get out of there. As I sat on the floor screaming I looked up to see my parents running in the door, and watched as my father collapsed on the floor. My worst nightmare had come true. We stayed at the hospital for hours rocking her and we cut locks of her hair and got her footprints and handprints one more time. I was never away from Payton for even one day of her life, she was my first born and my best friend. I love her more than anything in this world and now she is gone. Every night when I close my eyes I just think that its "One Day" closer to being with her again.
In the months since I do anything I can to keep busy, we waited for 2 months for the medical examiner to come back with an answer for us. He finally ruled that it was Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, we have been told that it came on very sudden most likely within hours. So I began to research and learn about Hemolytic Anemia and autoimmune diseases. I have started this foundation and called it:
The Payton Forian "One Day" Foundation
Finding a cure for Autoimmune Diseases One at a Time...
This foundation with focus on research, awareness, education and helping families that have sick children with travel expenses. Another area that we raise money for is the outdoor classroom project. These classrooms with have art, music, science and physical fitness built into one area that children can learn while having fun.
**This is her eulogy that I wrote and also read at her funeral, as hard as it was no one knows her better than me.
5 years, 4 months, 19 days, 9 hours and 21 minutes. That is how long we had our baby girl. It is such a short time to most, but for us our memories are very long. Today we want to share some of those with you.
Before Payton was born Andy and I often worried if we were going to be good parents, will she love us, will we be able to take care of her. And in an instant our love for her was enormous. The second we laid eyes on her we fell in love and from that day forward I never took my eyes off her. I remember the first time we gave her a cookie, her eyes lite up like a firecracker and she loved it, it only took her 10 minutes to eat the cookie but took us a half an hour to clean it up. Payton never crawled like most babies, she just scooted on her butt, we had more fun just watching her make her way around the house. She finally began to walk around 15 months and our lives went into fast forward from then on. She loved to be chased and be tickled. We spent most of our time in the summer playing outdoors. Payton loved riding around on my parents golf cart, swinging, riding her motorcycle and swimming in the pool. In most peoples homes the center of there homes is there kitchen for us it seemed to be the bathroom. Everyday we all would gather in the bathroom not really caring who was using it. When Payton was real small she would always come in with us and read books if we were in the shower or just going to the bathroom, one day she gathered up her books looked at Andy and said " Daddy you stink" and left the room. That did not stop her from coming in with us and even as she got older Reagan and Gage came in with us also, just a couple of weeks ago I told her to go to the bathroom and get ready for bed, she turned to Reagan and said go pick out a book and I read it to you while I poop, Reagan said "ok". She also loved to run around naked before and after her baths, a couple of months ago after her bath her Daddy asked her if she wanted to run around naked and she just simply said " I don't want anyone to see my nudie" we loved that, but it also meant for us that our little baby was growing up. I remember one morning that she came in our room to snuggle as she did most mornings, and she saw me rubbing my eyes and asked me what I was doing, I told her that I had sleep in my eyes, she starting rubbing her own eyes looked at them and said " oh, I have french fries in mine" About a year ago after we had put her to bed she came running into our room and when we asked her what was the matter and she said " the monsters in my room are freaking me out" and just climbed into bed with us. Last spring as the weather got nice Payton asked if she could go out and drive her motorcycle and we said sure, after a half hour of her driving around the house in the same path she began to leave a track around our house, most days it was hard to get Payton to come inside. She loved being outside and this past summer she was old enough to run over to Papa and Ramma's on her own as long as someone was watching her. She loved to play over at Papa's house she would help my mother clean, or help in the garden she just loved being with them. She also loved my family's camp on Sandy pond. This is a place that I spent almost every weekend of my childhood and now we began to spend a lot of time with our kids there. this summer she caught her first fish and was so excited, but when I asked her what her favorite part was she would tell me the bumpy beds, which was really the bunk beds. We would come home on Sunday and by Monday she was asking when we were going back.
I wrote to Payton on her first birthday, " this is page one in your book of life- write an amazing book baby" I just never thought her book would be so short, but in that short time she wrote an amazing story. she touched the lives of so many people. I was told a story of her on the playground at school and she was playing with her friends. There was a little girl crying and Payton was the only one to go to her and take her hand and tell her to come play with them. That's the kind of child Payton was.
I received another letter from a grandmother of a fellow student of Payton's, she said that every time she would ask her grand daughter how her day was she responded with a story that always included Payton. She wanted us to know that Payton was her grand daughter's first real friend and that she would be missed very much. I also have received another letter from the custodian at Rockwell School, he said that Payton one day asked him if he liked to clean up and he said yes and right away she said "it's a good thing" He said that many children pass by and he doesn't remember them but not Payton, he said that she would come in everyday and catch his eye and always say "hi Mr. Fenner" she always had a smile for him and when he was having a rotten day there was Payton with a smile and a wave. That was our baby girl.
Most of my family knows that I keep journals for each of our kids, on January 20, 2007 I wrote to Payton. you are now potty trained (yeah), you have also decided that you no longer want to sleep in your bed but rather in ours or on the couch. Today you made me laugh when you pooped in your pants and started running around the house screaming "I have a tail" I love you today and always mommy. April 15, 2007. today grandma t. came over and her face was peeling from her vacation and you kept looking at her and finally just said "Ramma, your all messed up" One day as we drove down the road there was a big ginger bread man sign up and you thought it was cute, well a couple of days later it was gone and you shouted out to us "oh no, maybe he ran away we better go catch him" Andy would always ask Payton if she was Daddy's girl and she would just say yes with a big grin. She always had a hug for us for no reason, or she would just call us from across the room, she would say 'mama, when I answered yes baby, and she would just say "I love you"; it was like she knew that we needed to hear that. When Reagan was born you came to the hospital to see us and pretty much right away you told me to give her back. When Gage was born, you walked into our room and with the biggest smile on your face came right over and gave me a big giant kiss and told me you loved me. Then you went over climbed into a big chair and clapped your hands twice and said " cmere, I'm ready" you couldn't wait to hold him. We went to Disney world last year and I am so happy we took them, Payton has never really stopped talking about it, and recently we were planning a trip back this year and she kept asking me how many days? and finally I just told her it was going to be a long time, now I wished I had taken her back sooner. A few years ago Payton was a flower girl in a wedding, well I just hung her dress in her closet and didn't really think about it. About a year later, she and I were in her closet looking for something to wear when Payton saw the flower girl dress and she shouts out" I got married?, when did I get married.?, I couldn't stop laughing and she started to cry and say I don't want to be married. February 2009 Payton went to her first Father/daughter valentine ball to benefit the children's hospital. We bought her a fancy pink dress and new shoes, and when she saw her Daddy come out of our room all dressed up she said "my daddy, you look so handsome" When she got home from the ball even though it was late and she was tired, she couldn't wait to tell me to tell me everything, later Andy told me that she was playing with another little girl there and dancing with her, he said that the little girls father looked nervous and when he saw the little girls face he then knew why. she had down syndrome and while some kids might have just stared at the little girl or not known how to approach her Payton just knew how to be a friend and dance. I truly believe that Payton had this amazing gift to see people on the inside and never judge them on the outside. One of my favorite stories of Payton was last year she had a cold, and Reagan had a fever, when I told Payton that Reagan had a fever she just said Oh my gosh, later that night as she spoke to my parents on the phone she said to my mother with such excitement " Reagan had a fever of 10 miles a day" Oh how she made us laugh.
At night time Andy and I both have our ways of saying goodnight to the kids and for Andy he would tuck Payton in tight and give her a whole bunch of kisses, for me I usually stayed to rub her head, kiss her nose and we would say to each other "good night my angel" and "good night my ponypie" and then I love you. We will truly miss our goodnight's with Payton.
And to my little Princess Payton:
"How many times have my wishes and my dreams and my prayers for you hidden beneath my breath? How many times have I looked at you, heart in my throat, hands in my pockets, a smile on my face just wanting to say.."I hope you never lose your sense of wonder". What is hope? to want? to Desire? To expect that what's envisioned may indeed happen? yes to all the above. Is hope that gut feeling that it's worth holding out and hanging on for just a little longer? absolutely. Is hope the core of the human condition? Certainly; just the thought that there's something bigger, something truer, something totally surprising out there waiting for us is Priceless. What does it take to hope? EVERYTHING..
You often asked me what heaven is and here is the best description I can give you, Heaven is a place somewhere high above the clouds, yet deep in side your soul; a place of complete peace, of total and utter happiness; a place that is greater than the sum of everything you will ever be or could ever imagine to be; a place we all want to get to, but just not yet.. We never prepared for you to go to Heaven so soon, we always thought we would go before you. We wanted to see you grow and graduate, go to college, get married and have your own babies. I wanted to be the one there for you the first time you got your heart broken, and I wanted to be the first one there the day you became a mommy. Daddy and I can't tell you how much you made our lives complete, we are missing a huge hole in our hearts and in our home. Reagan and Gage miss you dearly and we will keep your spirit alive and always make sure to talk about you so they to will remember their big sister and their best friend. We want to tell you to come see us in our dreams, come and play anytime. We will see you again and I cant wait to see you run to me and into my arms for the biggest hug and kiss there ever was. We will miss you everyday, but I am so grateful that we had you for the time that we did. We love you so much, sweet dreams my angel......
xoxo Mommy, Daddy, Reagan & Gage