Friday, December 19, 2008

Calling All You Angels

It's been a while since I wrote on this's not that I haven't had anything to say but I think Ponsawan has kept you all up to date since Ada has been home more than I ever could. There are many nights I have wanted to contribute to the blog but couldn't find the words to really help you to see into Ada's world. These past few months have brought many new aspects to Ada's life and the reality that the brain is very slow to heal. She is physically doing better because of the wonderful and loving care that Ponsawan provides every hour of the day. Ponsawan has begun to pick up on the signs that Ada displays and then knows how to give her comfort. I see more expression in Ada's eyes these days...sometimes I swear she's picking up on what is being said.....and wants to tell those around her what's on her mind. She has a way of lifting up an eyebrow that brings a smile to my face.
Today the driver of the car that struck Ada plead guilty and was sentenced. Ponsawan spoke from the bottom of her heart as to what it is like to see her beautiful Ada live like this each and every day. She spoke of the tears she sheds every night before she goes to sleep and how each morning she wakes up hoping it was just a nightmare. When she told the court why Ada was out so late that night... a friend had called her to pick him up because he had been drinking, you could hear the air being sucked out of the room.
I also spoke... for all of you and I decided I would include my words in this blog tonight...

"What I remember most about Ada is her beautiful smile. When she walked into a room all eyes were on her. Because of this tragedy her family has been waiting ten months to see even a slight smile come across her beautiful face. As a mother who has stood by this family all these months I am in awe of how they go about their daily living with Ada. It is not in our realm of comprehension to know their pain. Ada was the light of their lives, she was the one who guided them through life, who was there with the quick hugs and of course her infectious smile. She worked hard and dreamed big. Ada has two younger brothers who adore their big sister. She was supportive, they told her all the secrets that you don't tell your parents. Now there are only one-sided conversations with her. Ada's family is still coping with the realities of her injuries...the endless therapies, doctor visits, the feeding tubes, the bills, the anger, the sadness, and the dreams lost. The battle goes on hour by hour waiting for some sign that she understands her surroundings. This was the girl who was two credits shy from an IU diploma, who volunteered during spring break to help Katrina victims. Today we sit and wait for her to move her head to the left...believe me that is a big deal. Ada we are here today to be your voice and to be supportive of the family you love. Do you know the words we say? Do you know where you are? We pray everyday that you do and that some day the connections will come. I hope this court takes into consideration not only the life that has been altered but all the lives that have been changed because of the selfishness of one man. "
There was one voice that could not be heard in that courtroom...Adas'. But she was there sitting next to the prosecutor with her father by her side and her presence was like a 1000 voices. You could see the tears well up in the eyes of even the court room personnel. I don't believe that Ada's family has wanted retribution... because no amount of jail time brings their Ada back as she once was. What they always wanted was for the driver to admit his guilt and for he and his family to see Ada and to know what a beautiful girl inside and out Ada was and what he had stolen from her that night. Ada being there accomplished this... the punishment was up to the judge. He has been sentenced to some jail time, community service, and future restitution. Hopefully the family can put the burden of court room appearances behind them and continue to focus on Ada's care.

Now for the angels part in all of many of you well know the costs of taking care of Ada continues to grow. More therapies and equipment will be needed in the near future and much of it will not be covered by Medicaid. Like most insurance if they don't see quick progress they abandon the treatment. The brain is not a broken bone...there is no time frame on it's ability to heal itself. It will still be months before any settlement comes from the insurance company and even then Indiana law favors the defendant and the insurance company. I realize this time of year there are many requests for your help but if now or in the future.... please send what you can... the family is most grateful for your help and your prayers. This road is very long and most of the time they travel it alone. Let them know they have many friends around the world during this holiday season...send them your best wishes.

Thank you for giving them your love and support,

Judgement day

I know you and your family didn’t know or ever had seen my daughter before, so I would like to tell everybody a little about her and why she was out in her car at 2 am. when the incident happened.
Almost 24 years ago, Ada was born at Ball Memorial hospital in Muncie. My husband and I were students at Ball State University at that time. She grew up like most American kids, went to school, joined the Girl Scouts, being a member of a Gymnastics team and competed at the State Championship level. During High School, she joined the dance team, Gymnastic team, cheerleader team and was a member of the show choir. On top of that, she was holding 2 jobs, volunteered at Wishard Hospital and was able to maintain a 3 point grade average.
Ada is daughter that any parent could be proud of. She is a good sister to her brothers and a good friend to many. One of her friends referred her as “A ray of sunshine”. She is a beautiful girl, outside and inside. She dares to dream; she had big plans for her life after she graduate from Indiana University.
On the night of the accident, March 3rd, 2008, Ada and her brother came home from work at 11 o’clock, showered and we piled up on my bed, talking. Then the phone rang and Ada’s friend wanted her to pick him up from Broad Ripple because he was drunk, but she did not make it to Broad Ripple. She had been his designated driver many times. That’s who she is, caring and worried about other people. Another example of her kindness was during the spring brake at IU, she had arranged to have a group of IU students went down to New Orleans to help clean up after hurricane Katrina.
This very same day last year, December 19, 2008, I dropped off my daughter at the airport. She was on her way to Paris, France. Standing on top of the Eiffel tower, she called me. “I am the luckiest girl in the whole world”. Life was good, for Ada.
She stayed in Paris for 2 months, then decided to come back to finish the last 2 classes at IU. She planned to go back to Paris in June. She did not go back to class. Instead, she spent 3 weeks in the critical care unit at Methodist hospital fighting for her life. The doctor did not think she was going to make it and had advised us to let her go. But she kept fighting and showed us the will to live. We spent 5 weeks in the hospital, 3 month in the nursing home, 2-3 trips to the emergency room each month, 2 month in the rehab hospital and now she is home with her family.
Forget about going back to Paris for now, with severe brain damage, she cannot talk, cannot walk, cannot communicate, she cannot eat or drink, can’t go to the bathroom by herself, can’t stand up on her own and confine to her wheelchair or her bed. She can’t tell us what she wants and how she feels.
A girl with a bright future who was on the go and loved by so many, what‘s in the future for her, or for her family. With the blink of an eye, unexpected thing happened that altered and changed our lives forever. Frankly, to tell me that it is lucky that she is still alive is like getting stab with a knife in my heart repeatedly. Every night, I cried myself to sleep, hoping that it was just a nightmare and when I wake up in the morning, she will be there smiling, giving me a hug and kisses and tell me how much she loves me.
It could be months, years, or never, who knows.

I did it and so darn proud of myself. I stood up in court and spoke on behalf of my daughter. My friend, Ankana always encourage me to join the Toast Master Club so I can learn to speak in front of people. Even when I was a President of Bead Society, I managed to avoid talking in front of people for the whole years. Angkana would be proud of me.
Many were crying , the judge admit that this is one the hardest case to judge. She asked me what would be a fair sentencing. I told her that it does not matter to me because it won't do any good for my daughter. It won't help her in any way.
The defendant is a nice young man, who had never get in trouble with the law, not even get a ticket. He works as a case manager for the Child Protection Agency. Both Ada and him were met at the wrong place, at the wrong time. He admit to all the charges, sincerely apologized.
I forgave him, I had to, just for my own sake, I can't keep getting angry at him, at the world. My heart sank watching him got his hands cuffed. I wish all of these didn't happened.
I am planning to visit him and tell him that I am not angry anymore. Now I feel sorry for him and his family.
I feel better, happier and know from the bottom of my heart, this is the right thing to do. This is what Ada would want me to do.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A special thanks to our friends

We had a few disasters last week. First, I left the pan of cooking oil on the stove and it was caught on fire. We managed to put out the fire and save the house but the stove, the hood and part of the cabinets was damaged and so did a few of my fingers. I still have all 5 of them but some with big blisters and puffiness. I called Abby and Katherine who said "I'll be right there" and showed up soon after to take Ada to the neighbor's house. Colleen and Larry and us had our houses built next to each other 20 years ago. Abby stayed with Ada's while Kat took me to the emergency room. The nurse was making fun of me because I had put egg white and toothpaste on my wound, but the doctor came in and said his mom did the same thing too. He is from Pakistan. It must be the Ancient Asian remedy. Abby and Kat had to changed Ada since I injured my right hand. I have never thought they have to do that but they did it anyway. Thank you girls.
That was Thursday night. The next day I had to called a few of my friends because I had a booth at Winter market at Eitlejorg Museum on Saturday. Bonnie came in the morning then Kathy and Ann came in the afternoon. We ended the Saturday evening in the ER again. Ada's feeding tube was pulled out so the doctor put the g-tube in and today we went back for the G-J tube replacement. We only stayed in the ER for a fwe hours this time. Tomorrow we have an appointment with Dr. Segal, then Wednesday with Dr. Lipson.
Ada is doing just fine through out these past weeks. She laughs a lot more and look people in their eyes more. Forgive me for not posting as often. First, my right hand is still messed up, and second, we have a court date on 19th of this month. It took a lot of energy to deal with the issue. I hope you understand.
Anyway, I had learn that I can do a lot of things with my left hand alone. I can even change Ada with no problem at all. I show her my right hand and she laugh at me. Good new is we will get a new stove or even a new kitchen.
Ada's friends, if you have a chance to come home for the Holiday, please stop by and say "Hi" to her. It means a lot to her and to us. Ardis had already dec her room with purple tree and wreath. Come check it out.