I want to finish what I started. This will be my hardest post but I need to do this. I started this blog to share information with family and friends. Then I realized that it would be a great history to keep for Stephen. Then it became therapeutic for me. I had no idea how many people had begun following it and were praying, hoping, and pulling for Stephen. Now it is a way for me to pay tribute to Stephen and to share the truth of Eternal Life.
Wednesday the doctors placed a catheter in Stephen’s neck that they could use for dialysis. In order to do this they use a drug that paralyzes your body for 20 minutes or so. It is very important that the patient doesn’t move at all because of the proximity to vital pathways in the neck. After this was placed he slept peacefully. They finally started dialysis about 3 in the afternoon. During the dialysis the nurse continue to observe his unresponsiveness. He wouldn’t open his eyes when asked and wouldn’t squeeze her hand. The doctor had the dialysis machine stopped and they took him down for a CAT scan of his brain to make sure everything looked normal. We were so relieved that all was OK. That night I left the hospital for the first time in several days. I went home and slept and Jeff stayed with Stephen. Around midnight he became more alert and Jeff was able to talk with him a little. After that he seemed to be in a heavy sleep.
Thursday morning they started dialysis again. The doctors were hoping that removing the overload of drugs and waste from his blood would help the kidneys and wake him up. There was a freezing rain that morning and parts of the freeway were closed. Because of this I didn’t leave for the hospital until 11 am. While I was driving to the hospital with Jared, Maria Jose, and Josh, Stephen’s heart stopped. They were able to revive him somewhat stabilize his vital signs. I got to Stephen’s room as soon as possible. Jeff was so calm and peaceful. Many of the staff of ICU and East 8 helped us to understand what was happening and to help us and comfort us in any way. My sister and parents picked up Sarah, Jennie, and Nathan and brought them to the hospital. While they were en-route the doctor met with us and explained that the tests they just performed show that his liver was also failing and that there was little hope left that he could recover. When our children arrived we met with them in a room and explained what had happened. The director if ICU came in and told us that they couldn’t sustain Stephen’s life for much longer. We went into his room and we were all able to give him a kiss and tell him good bye. He passed away a few minutes later.
It was a very sacred and personal experience for our family. While it was a very difficult day, there were definitely many tender mercies from the Lord. It was a tender mercy that I went home and wasn’t there to witness his cardiac arrest. It would have been too difficult for me. Jeff was blessed to be calm and peaceful through the experience. It was a great blessing that Stephen was able to hold on long enough for his brothers and sisters to all say goodbye and be present with him. There are other sacred experiences as well but these I wanted to share.
I want to thank all of you who have become so close to us through this experience. Your faith and prayers have truly sustained us. Your faith, fasting and prayers that brought about our Christmas miracle gave our family the most beautiful time together. It was a time of happiness, peace and hope that we will treasure forever. While Stephen’s body lost the fight with cancer, he came out the victor because he endured to the end with complete faith and trust in God. He truly fought a great fight. As parents, we couldn’t be prouder of him. All of our children have been so valiant and have stood by his side and fought the fight with him. I pray that I can be strong enough to follow his great example and endure to the end in righteousness. We have no doubt that he is safe, happy, out of pain and with loved ones. We will see him soon and he will always be our son. I can’t wait to hug him again!
Visiting will be held on Monday, January 28th from 6-8 pm at the Warenski Funeral Home (1776 N 900 E AF, UT 84003) and Tuesday, January 29th from 9:30-10:30 am with Funeral Services to follow at 11:00 am at the Fort Canyon LDS Chapel (890 N Heritage Hills Dr, Alpine, UT 84004).