Just 8 month ago, Cristina’s mom passed away…the hardest and biggest loss she has ever suffered. Because of Corona Virus, she had to wait almost 2 months to lay her mom to rest. That was 6 months ago. Three months ago, Cristina started to not feel so well. She tested for the Corona Virus but that was not the cause. I watched my friend slowly become sicker and sicker as did Rick, her daughter and her friends. She didn’t go to the doctor for several reasons…but her biggest were having to be alone and afraid of never coming out. Even not feeling her best, she went into work and put on that happy face and laughed, she attended her zooms, sometimes multiple ones a day. I asked her several time to just take a day off, to just rest, but she didn’t want to let anyone down and pushed on. She continued to work because she wanted to continue to help provide for her family because they had just moved to a bigger place this past Spring.
On December 3rd, my friend went to the emergency room. Her husband was able to be with her in the emergency room. Cristina made Rick promise not to leave her there, and he said yes because he loved her so much and would do almost anything she asked. Well, the doctor informed them both that she has heart and kidney failure and would have to be admitted. Even after hearing that she said “no” because of her fears. Days later, after being released from the ICU, she would retell this story to me during our facetime chat, and tell me that she was there because Rick loved her so much, and with tears in his eye he told her he was breaking his promise to her and leaving her there. She cried while telling me this. We talked for over 2 hours about everything she had gone through and I caught her up on everything else. Of course, we laughed a lot!!
During her 20 days in the hospital she found out she would need a kidney replacement. She began dialysis treatments where in the first 2 sessions they removed 8 liters of water from her body. On the first attempt to input a permanent stent, her heart stopped three times, so it didn’t happen. Instead, she was put into hyperthermia and sedated, where she remained for 3 days so that her body could rest and recuperate. While in this state they were able to remove an additional 17 liters of water from her body. It took 2 days for her body to warm back up and 1 additional day for her to come out of the sedation. A couple of days later, she called and FaceTime again. She was looking so much better, I couldn’t believe it. We caught up and laughed for 2 hours. This past Wednesday they finally were successful with the procedure for her stent…YAY! The bigger news was that she was coming home. YAY again!!! Rick got her home around 11:30 Wednesday evening. This story ends on Friday morning at 1:42am. A little over 24 hours having been at home, my friend passed away in her sleep. Devastated….no words. I received this call at 1:45am from her daughter Caitlyn.
During all of this, Rick would text me daily and let me know what was happening with my friend because I couldn’t speak with her…and her phone died (sad face).
I am starting this Go Fund Me not only for my friend but the extended family that I gained from us being friends. Cristina’s death was completely unexpected and a shock to us all. She was not supposed to go, but she did. This is all to help Rick and Caitlyn through this very , very difficult time as they begin to figure out how to navigate their new path of life without Cristina. Looking back over the past couple of days and talking with Rick, it has become clear that she did it her way, as usual. She desperately wanted to be home with her family and she desperately wanted another Christmas with her mother and in the saddest way possible, she got both.
My dear friend Cristina, I will miss you immensely, and you will always be in my thoughts and in my heart. Lots of love and hugs, Mo
- Dar, Emma, Josh, Pam Tejano
- Rachele, Neil, Michelle & Lizelle Hilario
- Bill Ross
- Daniel Fraijo
Organizer and beneficiary
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