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RIP Crystal...READ THIS and People, dont take life for granted!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by 90blzr, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    This turned into a longer post than I imagined. My main reason for posting all of this is just to get the point across that MANY of us (myself included) take to many things for granted, things like health, or being independant, etc. For those of you who whine about little things....broken parts, money, job, etc (and I am guilty of all of this too), read this and think how good you have it. Life isnt THAT bad. You have no idea how bad life can be. Dont take things for granted. Crystal was like a little sister to me and always stayed positive, always had a smile. At a hair over 5ft tall and about 100lbs she was small, but a HELL of a fighter.

    This is long, but READ IT, hopefully it will make you think twice next time you think you have it bad, or when you take the little things like health for granted.


    I wasnt gonna post up anything, but dayum. Sitting here doing searches on the internet for "Bilateral Jugular Vein Thrombosis" and "Endstage Renal Disease" and other medical terms, it really gets a person thinking. Its made me think for along time before I saw these words, but hopefully it will give some of you a reality check too and make you realize how 'lucky' you really are.



    Those medical terms I mentioned were on the Death Certificate I received yesterday for a good friend of mine Crystal Utley. I have known her for eight years now. Some of you know she has been fighting for her life for a long time. Since the age of 2 actually (1983).
    When she was two years old, she got very sick. Doctor kept saying it was a cold...over and over. Not to worry. Well after going to another doctor, it was found to be a urinary infection. It had spread and she had multiple blood infections basically caused one kidney to shut down and the other to barely work. They said she would not live more than a few years.

    She was in and out of doctors until the age of 12 I believe. At about 13 or 14, her other kidney failed all together. Then began dialysis. For those that dont know what that is, you basically get hooked up to a machine and they filter all of your blood, they usually take about 3 liters of fluid out. She had this 3-4 times a week. These days you feel like crap. You cannot do dialysis for ever. It is risky, but when your kidneys arent functioning, you have no choice. If you dont do it, toxins build up (what would normally come out in your urine), you swell up and can get VERY sick and you will die.

    She then went on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Lived at the Ronald McDonald House and Childrens Hospital more than she was at home. Doing test, etc.

    You basically you get a pager and if you get a page and they tell you they have a match kidney, you drop everything and HAUL ASS to the hospital. I remember one time, she got a page while we were all kicking back. She was SOOOOOO HAPPY!! FINALLY a transplant. Well they then got a call about 20minutes later with an apology that it was a mistake and it wasnt a match. She was devistated.

    Anyways, through the next couple of years on dialysis, she was in and out of the hospital, taking LOTS of meds, at one time she was taking 52 pills a DAY. Try that for even a week.

    She got her transplant finally at about 16. Her mom gave her one of hers. FINALLY!! Everything was going great. Kidney was doing fine, she was living life again.
    At about 20 years old, her body rejected the kidney and it was back to square one again. Back to pills, back to catheders, back to being a human pin cushion.

    In late 2003 she went back into the hospital. A total of 4 months this time. While she was in there she had multiple infections, etc. She began to get blood clots. They gave her blood thinner. Well, SOMEHOW, they gave it to her for WAY to long and caused a hematoma (a clot/growth of some kind) on her brain. They said she would not make it out of the hospital alive. They ordered emergency brain surgery and got the best brain doctor around. She made it. They split her head fron forhead to back down behind her ear. But she made it.

    Throughout 2004 she had multiple seizures and was in and out. Her body was getting tired. She was tired of the meds, and tired of dialysis. Since she had been bed ridden in the hospital and lost so much weight. She was not able to walk around for any distance, she was depening on family for most things. She hated it.

    Dec. 4, 2004 she had another seizure. This time is was major. She had died for a total of 7 minutes on the way to the hospital (closest hospital is 20 miles away). She ended up having a stroke the next day. Basically in a coma. Doctors said she would not make it more than a few days.

    Well she fought and fought. That is all she knows how to do. She is not a quiter. She was on life support and had numerous infections. She would start getting better all of the sudden...be 'fine' for a few days, then 5 more things would pop up. Came to the point where in order for her to even have a remote chance she had to have a trech put in (where the cut your throat so you can breath out of that instead of your mouth/nose) Then better, than another infection. This went on for a few months until Feb. 16th. Her jugulars were clogged. Blood going up to the brain, but not coming back down, a couple veins in her brain were clogged etc.

    The time had come. The doctors all got together and finally said, there was NOTHING else they could do. Nothing they were doing was helping. Doctors from UCLA concured.
    This was it. We all sat in a room with the doctors and agreed to take her off of life support.
    They said she would pass in a few hours. They moved her out of CCU and into her own room where we could be with her 24 hours a day. She moved into her room Feb. 16th2005 at 2pm.

    No ventilator, no meds, nothing. Well Crystal fought like she always did. Proved the doctors wrong as she always did. Everytime the nurses came through to take her vitals...heart rate was good, oxygen level was good, she was breathing on her own.
    This lasted until Friday Feb. 18th. at about 5pm. Her body was shutting down.

    The longest days of my life. Sitting there by her bedside, wiping the sweat off of her head, etc. From about 5pm until about 3:30am saturday morning she fought and fought.

    If you have never sat at someones bedside and watched and waited for them to die before, it is an experience I wish no one go through. But I was there as I know she would have been there for me. I dont regret it one bit.

    She fought and fought and fought. At about 3:45am Feb.19th 2005 Crystal passed away.
    NO more pain, no more pills, no more needles, no more hospitals. She is in a better place now.

    I dont know how to post a picture, so here is the one from the Obituary:

    http://obits.venturacountystar.com/02-20-05/utley.shtml

    RIP Crystal:frown1:

    Also, one more thing...not sure how many of you know about the different charities, etc out there...but if you ever have a chance to donate or help out The Ronald McDonald House http://www.rmhc.com/mission/index.html or http://www.larmh.org/ or the Make-A-Wish Foundation http://www.wish.org/.....they truely kick ass. :saweet:

    Crystal actually qualified for the make-a-wish foundation and they sent her and all of her family (5) to Hawaii when she was 16...ALL expenses paid!!!!
     
  2. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    I don't know why some people's lot in life is to suffer. I think it might be because they're strong enough to take it, and it helps everyone else to appreciate what they have. I'm sorry for your loss.:frown1:
     
  3. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    Excellent post, thanks for sharing her story.
     
  4. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss Mike, I remember her story from your older post when she slipped into a coma. You're a great friend for sticking by Crystal and her family, you can all rest a little easier (if that's possible) knowing she's not suffering anymore and she's in a better place.

    If you need anything you know where I am. :thumb:

    RIP Crystal Utley, God Bless her and her family.
     
  5. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry for your loss. From what I read, she was truly a fighter. My thoughts and prayers go out to her, her family and friends.

    John
     
  6. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

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    Man, that was great post. I'm sorry for your loss, but I have to commend you. It takes a really big man to stick by someone through those kinds of trials. She sounded like a real fighter.
     
  7. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    She gave you a rare gift mike.... not many are conscious enough to receive...

    She will live on through people like you... who will never forget her....

    cam
     
  8. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

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    I remember seeing your post about her before.

    I truely am sorry for the loss of your friend. :(
     
  9. blazd88

    blazd88 1/2 ton status

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    thank you for reminding us how precious life is. you sound like a great guy hopes and prayers to you and her family.
     
  10. wasted wages

    wasted wages 3/4 ton status

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    RIP Crystal

    Mike, I remember your story from a while back about Crystal,her ability to fight against all of her problems must have come from the love and strength of her family and friends like you.You will surely miss her in your life,but she is only as far away as your closest memory. God's peace be with you and her family for all you did for her in her time of need. Thanks for sharing your story with us,,,

    Frank
     
  11. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    My condolences Mike. :frown1:

    I sat with my Father as his body was shutting down and was holding his hand when he passed away. I don't regret it either, and will never forget it. So many times in life we say the words "They're in a better place now" without too much thought. To see a loved one suffer and finally be released from thier suffering really gives meaning to that phrase though

    My Father fought like hell too, his fortune was that he never knew what had been growing inside him for 18 years.

    Rene
     
  12. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, she was strong, stronger than anyone I know. She touched alot of people. Especially at the Ronald McDonald house. Little kids going having cancer and going through radiation and worse, she would be there making them smile. Alot of times we say 'I know how you feel', but we really dont. With these kids, she would say it and mean it! She really did know how they felt. I think that gave alot of them comfort, knowing there are other people going throug the same thing. Something most people dont ever think about.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Thank you everyone for the kind words. Just appreciate what you have.
     
  13. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Rene, thanks.
    You are right, you dont ever forget something like that. Something you have no concept of until you experience it. A series of things that happen over the last few hours, its unreal. Some would say its gross, but when you are in the moment, you realize you are a part of this person, you are there until the end. Alot of people say it, few follow through with it. It is something that I will never forget.
    Like you said, to see a loved one suffer and then be released. Its an amazing thing. What the most insane part about all of this was, is that we had all been up for days without sleep watching, waiting. Wanting to be there for her last breath.
    There was always a time when one or two of us were awake, you tend to nod off every few minutes when you've been up that long. There was a period of about 5 minutes, maybe less where all of us had dosed off. That is when she passed. It was as if she was waiting for that moment so none of us would have to see her take her last breath. At that same moment as everyone jumped up, it started thundering and lightening like crazy.
    After she passed, the swelling was gone, the struggle was gone. It was the first time she looked to be at peace in months.

    Some have said that it sucks she lost the fight....she didnt lose at all. She wasnt supposed to live past 7 years old. She has been winning for the last 16 years!!!!!! She beat the odds MANY times, proved the doctors wrong MANY times....that is not someone who lost....that is a FIGHTER and a WINNER!!!!!!

    She will be missed.
     
  14. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Very sorry to hear about your loss..
    About 10 years ago when i was 12 i had an anyurism in my brain.. had a seizure all of a sudden one day and went to the hospital, had a cat scan and they could see my brain was swelling and i had a busted blood vessel. I bareley remember a period of about 2 or 3 days... then i came to and felt back to normal... about a month later after 2 or 3 second opinions researching and talking to different brain surgeons, i went to UCSF and had surgery where they cut a hole about the size of a baseball in the back right of my skull and took out the blood vessel.
    I was completely recovered a couple of weeks later... and every day i wake up and count my blessings.. its kind of a constant reminder of how precious life is and how lucky each of us are.
    Thanks for sharing the story to help remind all of us.
     
  15. unclematty

    unclematty 1/2 ton status

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    Really touching. These kind of things make it easier for the rest of us to go on, Thanx:)
     
  16. scrappyk5

    scrappyk5 1/2 ton status

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    rip crystal , may god be with you and your family.

    sorry for your loss.
     
  17. boggerless

    boggerless 1 ton status Premium Member

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    man dude i had to wipe tears twice to finish reading.what a beutiful girl, you guys are lucky to have known her.when i read the part about all of you finally sleeping at the same time i thought of my mom. i went to visit her one day, not unusual we were best friends. but i guess that same day both my brothers visited that same day. not at the same time though.we did not know the others even went to see her. my older and younger brothers hardly ever went to see mom. anyway some how we all went on the same day and that night my mom died.she was 59 and in great health.we haven't all been in her house at the same time in 18 years. and then somehow we all decide to visit the same day. my gramma (who lived with her) said she was so happy that all of us were there.i miss my mom , she was my best friend,we could talk about anything. and i took her wheeling, boating, etc. she was so cool.:) :) anyway i'm sorry to hear about your loss. may GOD be with you all.
     
  18. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all of the replies and thoughts guys, really appreciate it.
    She is missed:frown1:
     

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