Before my brother's aneurysm, a Japanese toddler in Singapore was declared brain dead after a swimming pool accident. I felt pain for the parents.
On August 2013, the decision to authorize removal of life support on my brother fell upon me. So how does one decide to remove life support on a loved one?
I struggled between being a loving sister who wanted my brother to live and that of a practical person who understood that the medical odds were against recovery.
I made my decisions based on the following:
1) People have recovered from coma in the past...
Personally, I met two people who recovered from coma. Though the statistics given was 97% mortality rate for the first 30 days. I pinned my hope that my brother belongs to the 3% who would survive.
2) Supplements help the body to heal...
I experienced this myself. I had to give it a try to find out if my brother would respond to nutrition at the medical state that he was in. The GCS improved from 2+T to 8 in 9 days. In another 10 days, my brother became conscious.
3) The family should decide...
The doctor wanted authorization to remove life support in 48 hours. As a sister, I negotiated for 8 days. The doctor repeatedly asked for a decision in 48 hours. I had to insist on my decision. At stake is the life of a loved one. In the event of loss, the family will have to deal with it.
4) Miracles do happen...
Medically, a GCS of 2+T is almost dead with no hope for survival. But there is a God who is the Giver of life. To people who ask in prayers and believe, God does grant a miracle for His glory.
5) The Chinese Ghost Month could be real.
Upon learning of my brother's stroke on 7 August 2013, I checked the Chinese calendar. The Chinese Ghost Month just started. My grandmother used to tell me that even though I did not believe, I should not go against practices and beliefs. I had to postpone the tracheostomy procedure for 2 days just to avoid it being done within the ghost month. Doing so, my brother avoided the procedure.
When I was going through the experience, I had no idea how things would turn out. My brother can now eat, drink, breathe and talk. What started out as a very unpleasant chapter in my life turned me into a person who is just grateful of God's amazing grace and mercy. May glory be unto God. ~Faith