was lovingly created by Nathan's 6 year old sister and is a depiction of her beloved
brother. It hung in our kitchen for many years after Nathan's birth.
Ten years later at the age of 16 she wrote the following:
The Worst Day of My
The worst day of my life was
the day that my younger brother, Nathan was born. Nathan had Vasa
Previa, a condition that causes babies to bleed to death when their
motherís water breaks. Nathan bled nearly to death before my mother went
to the hospital. He died the next day. This day has haunted me since.
My mother woke up with blood on her one morning. She did not know
what the problem was, but she knew that it was serious so she was driven
to the hospital by my father. There, she had to get an emergency
C-Section to deliver the baby. Nathan was born but he had to be
resuscitated. He had major blood transfusions and the doctors said that
he was brain-dead. He would probably die within the next twenty-four
My parents brought me and my older brothers to the hospital. I was
only six years old and did not really know what was going on. I was only
told that I now had a baby brother and he was very sick. I did not know
the full extent of his sickness. We went into a private room with Nathan
and held him and took pictures. My grandparents and aunts arrived and
held him as well. I did not hold him; I was scared to do so, so I just
We were there all night. Nathan died the next day, in my motherís
arms. His major organs had shut down, such as his kidneys. He was
cremated and his ashes were spread in the Atlantic.
Nathan had Vasa Previa, a condition which the baby develops while in
the womb. The cordís blood vessels are tangled, so when the birthing
process begins, the pressure breaks these blood vessels and the babies
bleed to death while still in their mothers. The only cure for Vasa
Previa is to be scanned for it while pregnant and if they have it, have
a C-Section before labor begins. The baby is completely healthy when it
is born if it has a pre-labor C-Section.
Doctors usually do not scan for this condition. They only need to do
one more test, but they do not. There are even risk factors for Vasa
Previa, such as multiple births. Doctors are often not educated on this
condition, which has near a one hundred percent mortality rate if not
detected before labor. The doctors need to scan for it.
The worst day of my life made me realize how short life is. One has
to live life to the most because they never know when death is coming.
It made me a better person because it made think about other people and
how they feel. I usually think things through before I do them, just to
make sure that I am not hurting anyone else. It made me care about
helping other people. My mother started a foundation for Vasa Previa and
I like to help with that by making more people aware of this condition.
It has made me a better person overall, despite the sorrow.
My little brotherís death hurt me very much. However, it opened up
another door, an opportunity to become a better person. It made me think
about people and understand all that they are going through. I miss
Nathan very much and now I remember his memory by helping my mother
teach others about Vasa Previa so eventually, Vasa Previa does not kill