On July 2, 2015, a single mother went to wake her son. He neither moved or responded. Diagnosed with meningitis, her 12 year-old son suffered two strokes and was admitted to CHEO in Ottawa, where he remains to this day.
The day I interviewed you, you kept saying, “Why my child?” When I went home, I cried, and worried about the ordeal your son Jeffrey is dealing with now. Sometimes as a mother you pour your heart and soul out— caring for, tending to, and opening your heart every day to your children. There is never one minute in a day that you would not trade places with them so they wouldn’t have to suffer.
I know it’s hard on you and how angry you must feel seeing Jeffrey like this. I don’t know much about meningitis- and I am sure at the time you didn’t either. Meningitis often happens when an infection somewhere else in the body spreads through the blood and into the cerebrospinal fluid (fluid in and around the brain and spinal cord). The fact that anyone can get meningitis at any age scares me to death. Anyone can be a parent- but to be faced with these challenges as a single mother says a lot about who you are.
Your body and mind must ache after practically living in a hospital all these months. I can’t even imagine how painful it must be seeing every medical trick tried —yet Jeffery’s recovery is slow. My heart hurts knowing you are replaying and rethinking the day he fell ill. In your mind you are trying to figure out what you could have done better every second of the day. You have to remember there wasn’t a darn thing you could have done to prevent this.
I know you cry a lot— in the hallways of the hospital, in the car, in the shower when you get home. I can’t imagine how many days and nights you have to pull yourself together when you go home to your own children. I didn’t choose this world, and neither did you. You are so strong to share this publicly while you go through the pain and struggle. When you talked to me a few weeks ago I was struck so deeply with the realization of what it means to have one of your own in such a terrible situation.
Lisa, you are literally saving and changing Jeffery’s life in your own way by giving yourself as your son ventures on the challenging road before him. His silence must be deafening as you hold his hand and care for him. I know you can’t look to the future right now– but your child needs all our help to bring him home.
This is a difficult and tiring situation, and you want your son better. The tide will change as I know how much people care and want to help you. As a mom I am grateful that we are surrounded by compassionate people everywhere we look. All of us can make a difference, and we will stand by you and get you through this part of your journey.
Being a parent we never forget the pain, the tears, and cries of our children. Lisa, we will bring Jeffrey home.
Jeffrey’s Journey Home Facebook Page
A Carleton Place Mom’s plea—Help me bring my son home
Why My Child? The Story of Lisa Barrie of Carleton Place
Thank you to Meningitis Research Foundation News for spreading our story. Please keep sharing. Together we can make a difference.