Macy Alana Allen was born on November 1, 1992. She would have turned 30 fall of this year. Macy is the youngest child born to Gina Beth Allen and Mark Anthony Allen. She is survived by both of her parents, her stepmother Missy Allen, her older half brother Jonathon Allen, her sister Kathryn Gardner and brother in law Philip Gardner, her stepbrothers Chad Gafford and Cody Gafford, and her daughter Hartley Sean Allen along with uncles, aunts, cousins, and nephew.
Everyone who knew Macy loved her. She had an infectious personality with a way of connecting with people from the moment she met them. She had a huge heart and would always check on and keep up with people she met along her path. She improved the world we live in by encouraging others despite her own personal pain and battles she was facing. She was strong willed and a fighter every step of the way. She fought long and hard against her demons and wanted so badly to kick the addiction for sweet Hartley. She loved Hartley with all her heart and soul. She stole the hearts of all she encountered with her beautiful smile, bubbly laugh, and free spirited approach to life. Her energy was contagious. She was talkative once you got to know her, imaginative, and just a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Macy was simply out of this world.
Macy viewed the world through rose colored glasses. She saw it different than a lot of people did with endless optimism and positivity. A true dreamer she enjoyed astrology, stargazing, and meditating. She believed in the power of nature, energy, and the universe. She was so connected to it that one day while visiting with friends she noticed a deer in the yard. She started walking towards it and was surprised when it didn’t run away. She continued to move closer to the deer and reach out her hand to pet the deer. It let her and she ended up being able to feed it corn. She was captivated by her connection with the deer that day. It speaks volumes of her gentle, loving demeanor. Her motto for life inspired by her childhood love of The Lion King was tattooed on her foot.
What a wonderful phrase
Ain't no passing craze
It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It's our problem-free philosophy
Macy had many hobbies and passions. From a young age, she was always up for an adventure taking walks, riding her bike, and exploring new paths. She loved to capture her perspective and channel her creativity through photography. Music was her escape. She used songs and their lyrics to cope with what she was going through and how she was feeling. When she was younger, she loved playing softball and was so good at it. She could hit it out of the park every time. It was so joyful to watch her play and hear our Granny cheer her on with a loud “HOT DOG!!” with the crack of the bat to the ball. She was always humble and a team player, even when she was recognized and got the team ball after a game. She loved to travel, sightsee, and fish. She had a knack for always catching the big fish in the pond. She was an animal lover, but cats and horses were her favorite. Horses matched her personality and she loved to go riding in Ft. Campbell with her Grandaddy.
Upon learning of what happened, Macy had a few friends that reached out to check on her. We were able to talk with them some Tuesday night when they came to visit her in the hospital. They shared fond memories of Macy in recovery and how there were a lot of people praying for her. They talked about how Macy had gotten around some bad people, but that she had found a lot of good ones too during her time living in Lousiana. They shared that Macy was loved by so many in the community. They remembered Macy talking about how much love she had for her family, especially her Granny and Grandaddy. They spoke of her beautiful smile, contagious laugh, and upbeat personality that lifted up everyone around her. They brought pictures of Hartley to put in her room. They were able to witness the love Macy had for her. Hartley was her pride and joy. Everyone thought that if anyone could pull through for their child, it would be Macy. She fought as hard as she could against it, but the disease was just too powerful.
In the early hours of Monday morning, Macy overdosed and someone called 911. We don’t know where she was, who she was with, or when 911 was called at this time. We know it was sometime between 2 am and 5 am on May 30th. She had no pulse when the EMTs arrived. They did CPR for 8 minutes to bring a pulse back. They administered 2 doses of Narcan & epinephrine, but it was too late for the opioid reversal medicine to work. We do not know how long she was out and without oxygen before 911 was called and the EMTs got there. She arrived at the hospital at 5 am. The emergency room doctor determined she suffered an anoxic brain injury due to oxygen deprivation. She was intubated & on a ventilator. She came in with 104 temperature, likely as a result of the brain injury and infection from pneumonia. She was showing signs of seizure so she was given anti-epileptics and sedatives to prevent further injury to her brain. She did not move or respond to touch or pain. She did not have several other brain stem reflexes. She likely experienced a heart injury as well due to cardiac arrest & oxygen deprivation. Her heart was at 20% function. The ICU administered antibiotics for the pneumonia likely caused from aspiration due to the overdose. With an opioid overdose such as this, respiration stops first, with brain damage occurring at that point, and then cardiac arrest happens.
Macy had high levels of acidity as well, but it was cleared overnight Monday evening. She was on a cooling machine to keep her temperature regulated and to prevent further injury to her brain. She was sedated to prevent the seizing for the same reason. The first 72 hours are the most critical, but all they could do was treat and wait. The ICU team could not confirm the severity of the brain damage while she was sedated. They could not take her off of sedation unless they confirmed there were no seizures. They did an EEG test to confirm on Tuesday and the results came back on Wednesday showing no seizures, but severe brain injury. Sedation was stopped Wednesday morning. Another CT was completed sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday that showed significant swelling of her brain and severe injury from the time she arrived on Monday to Wednesday. She was still breathing on her own over the ventilator on Wednesday, but her pupils were no longer dilating as they were on Monday. Her breaths were further apart and labored. Her blood pressure fluctuated from very high to very low overnight Wednesday and she suffered herniation of her brain. When we arrived to the hospital Thursday morning, the ICU nurse practitioner informed us that another bedside exam had been completed that confirmed loss of all brain stem functions. A final measure of due diligence was completed called an apnea test. Blood was taken and her levels regulated before she was removed from the ventilator for about ten minutes to confirm she did not breathe on her own followed by another blood panel.
We waited while this was completed and then they brought us in to tell us that the test confirmed our sweet Macy had lost all brain stem function and was declared deceased at that time. We were able to come together with the chaplain to pray and be with Macy as a family. We are comforted in our belief that Macy was never in any pain and left us spiritually before she ever arrived at the hospital.
The silver lining to our grief came when we were informed that Macy is a registered organ donor. Because of the way she passed, it allowed the doctors to preserve her and all of her organs for donation. Even though her brain is no longer functioning, the doctors are able to keep her breathing and her heart pumping with the machines. This makes her the best candidate to donate organs, something only about 1% of registered donors are able to do.
After our time with Macy, we sat with the family support team to answer a series of questions about her medical and social history. During this time, we also received information about Macy’s wishes and how her organs would be used to help others. Macy is a hero giving the most selfless gift that one can give to another. One of the most moving things we learned is that Macy’s gift would be used in research to develop non-addictive pain medication. This was an overwhelmingly positive part of a tragic loss and sorrowful time because addictive prescription pain medication was the beginning of Macy’s long battle with addiction. We are hopeful that through this Macy will have an impact towards finding solutions to save lives and stop this horrible disease from hurting others and their families.
Macy was loved so much by her family and friends, and we do not want her to be forgotten. She wouldn’t want her story to be a sad one despite her struggles. She would want it to encourage others to know that God has a plan for us all. We are asking friends and relatives to contribute to a fund established to assist with funeral expenses related to transporting her body from Louisiana to Tennessee, where she will be buried near her family members.
Macy leaves her beautiful, happy 10 month old baby girl. Beyond funeral expenses, donations will go towards an investment account to support her mental, emotional, and physical health as well as her future education as she grows older to help provide all the support she needs.