My Mom's Funeral & Our Future Expenses

On December 26th, 2019, my mother, Lerma Dayrit, suffered a cardiac arrest that led her to being rushed to the hospital and ultimately found herself in a comatosed state for 11 days. Even before the attack, she became really ill and actually tested positive for influenza and ran a fever. These complications became too much for her to combat as the doctors have explained that her health was already compromised even before being rushed to the hospital. Starting 2016, my mom got diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), leading her to be on hemodialysis for three years, having treatment three times a week MonWedFri with a chair time of 2PM-5:15PM. She then, within the next year got diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), which led to her needing insertion of two stents in her valves. A lot of people in her life never really knew her conditions under her skin as she has always done a great job masking any problems she might have had, whether it was with her health or with life in general. I, as her son, did the best I could to support her while trying to support myself as I try to hit a turning point in my life. That means having bills to pay, classes to study for, working almost 30-40 hrs a week all while prioritizing my mom's situation. I would take her to her dialysis treatments whenever 
I could but more recently if I could not, she would take an Uber home but that became a detriment financially for us. All she was receiving was Social Security Benefits and recently got reduced. I started college in 2015 as a Nursing major at UNLV and this past Fall semester, I ended up taking a break to work full-time in order to stay afloat with expenses. I didn't know which direction I wanted to take with my mom being sick and she would always tell me that she hopes that I finish school soon enough so that our quality of life would improve. Trust me, I tried my very best to do so and I always expressed to her that moving out and finding a place for her,  me, and my sister was an ultimate goal of mine. The most daunting part about this whole situation that really helped me grow immensely as a person is the fact that I have to be the decision maker due to my mother and father being divorced. The "next of kin" rule then comes into play with me being the eldest at 22. During the beginning of this ordeal, I found myself going to funeral homes and cemeteries with her family that came down from California. I asked myself multiple times if this situation was even real. I almost felt like I was in a simulation. A couple of days later, the neurologist (Dr. Dicamillo) and palliative nurse practitioner (Dr. Teri) gathered us in a conference room explaining the prognosis. When the news broke, I already had a feeling in the back of my mind that this wasn't going to end well. Ultimately, my mom suffered an anoxic brain injury (lack of oxygen) and also found progressive cerebral swelling. I was tasked with figuring out whether to go the comfort route (removing her off life support and letting nature take its course) or go aggressively (initiate a tracheostomy and insert a feeding tube in her intestines all while being unresponsive in hospice care).  In the middle of this, I was called by the nurse at the time saying that my mom was starting to code (become unstable) due to blood pressure and heart rate being elevated. They then gave me another scare asking whether or not I want to resuscitate if anything ever happens. In the end, I chose not to resuscitate because I did not want to see my mom in this state for a prolonged amount of time. A couple of days pass by and the last batch of my mom's family comes in and we have another conference (discussion of prognosis). This meeting went well and I had thought that I would just go home after but a blessing came upon me and a lady by the name of LeShelle Perez gave the opportunity for my mom to become a hero through organ donation. I immediately got heart-warmed, wide-eyed and was all smiles when she broke it down and I pounced on it. They ultimately looked at the liver and lungs as two possible organs to be harvested and that is all I could ever ask for. The possibility of saving two whole lives is something that is very endearing to me. I will eventually know who these survivors are and not only will I be able to be in contact with them and impact their lives, but my mom will also be able impact their families as well along with the generations to come. Surgery came about on January 7th, 2020. They ultimately just went with the liver to potentially be harvested but there was a caveat. That caveat was that she had to pass in 30 minutes in order for that organ to be eligible for transplant. They started extubation (removal of life support) at 9:45PM (21:45) and she ended up flatlining at 10:33PM (22:33). She unfortunately wasn't able to donate the liver that they were looking to take due to taking 48 minutes to pass but that was okay. It was okay because they were able to take something else and that is the gift of eyesight with her corneas. I was initially saddened but I knew that we gave it the best shot we could but being able to gift somebody with eyesight, especially my mom's, was very unreal. Now I will be able to look at this survivor in the eyes and see my mom in him/her. The toughest part of handling all of this, including funeral expenses, are the people trying to sway me one way or the other but I knew I had to remain steadfast in my approach and be firm with what I decided to do; I felt like I did that. Now, I have already decided a funeral date which will be on February 14th, 2020. Services altogether will run upwards of $12,000 but the $15,000 goal is just hope to receive a bit more just in case. The goal I am trying to reach is JUST for funeral expenses. I am currently out of a job and plan on going back into the workforce after about a month or so. I have a little sister, Maria, that is a graduating senior in high school so it's been my calling to be a role model and a father figure to her. I still have those bills that I have to pay as I mentioned when this situation first began and I will do my best to find a way to earn those funds. I have the utmost gratitude for many friends and family who have already helped and shown us support throughout this trying time but I know that eventually not everyone can support us proactively with them having families of their own. My thanks also go out to the ICU medical staff at St. Rose Hospital, Siena Campus for keeping my mother stable for 11 days on the ventilator. It hurt me seeing her hurting like that for so long. But now, I am at peace knowing that she is no longer suffering and in pain. Services DO NOT have to paid upfront but rather 48 hours prior to the funeral/burial which gives me until February 12th, 2020. Throughout the situation in its entirety, I want to express my appreciation for the ones who are taking the time to read and understand my personal situation. I am not here to beg anyone of anything. My sole purpose is to fulfill my mom's legacy and ultimately make her proud. She was my best friend and it hurts knowing that she will not be here anymore even though I try to be strong. I know I need to be the rock for my family and especially for my siblings. At the end of the day, I just want to be the change in the world and be an inspiration and to also provide hope for those in need. My message to them is to not give up and have faith in the man up above. He will take you through this roller coaster of life but will make sure you are staying on the right path. For me personally, the future is always in mind but it is also still a blur. My focus is on the now and on the short-term based on the fact that I will not have income for another good month or so. It is essential that I am proactively busy during this time because in reality, I cannot be a sitting duck. I've been doing my best to stay positive throughout all of this because any negativity that crosses my mind is already failing my mom and what she is all about. My mom was the most selfish, caring, giving, loving - I could go on and on about the legacy and the impact she had on us as her children and I thank her so much for raising a son like me. My job is now to be the beacon of light that the darkness of the world is encompassed in as of right now. I learned that this life is more than what it is at face value and I am now appreciating all the little things that this life does have to offer. As I have expressed to my mom, this is not a goodbye but a see you later. I know that whenever it is my time, she will be able to see the good I have done throughout my lifetime. Again, as long as this is, I want to thank all of those even thinking about reading what my situation is and I hope God will bestow all his blessings upon those that deserve it. It is all about love at this point and we all need to understand that. 

With all of that being said, I just want to say this is all for you mama. This decade and my life from this point forward is all for you. You only deserve the best and nothing less. I love and miss you so much mama.

<3

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Organizer

Mikhail Dayrit 
Organizer
Las Vegas, NV
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