Condemned to Die is Brenna’s valiant journey to recover from her sudden, medically unexplained anoxic brain injury. After sixteen months, she joined hands with Jesus and was restored to health in his kingdom. She passed along the baton to her mother, to give voice to the deficiencies in our health care system for all patients who suffer anoxic brain injuries. In her honor, this is her story. To God be the glory.
One last time, I cuddled my daughter. I put my head on her shoulder. I talked to her about her new journey, one I could not travel with her. I talked to her about the family members who were waiting to welcome her. I told her about the new body God had for her, a body with no pain, no diabetes, no osteoporosis, no heart problems, and a healed brain.
Dr. Clifford withdrew the tube from Brenna’s mouth. She gurgled. I cleaned her little rosebud mouth one last time and held her close to me. I leaned over her and sang.
Always and ever, your mama loves you. Always and ever, your mama loves you. I love you always, Forever I do. Always and ever, your mama loves you.
Always and ever, your mama loves you. Always and ever, your mama loves you. Join hands with Jesus, that’s what you must do. In the blink of God’s eye, Mom will be there with you.
I heard Dr. Clifford say, “Mother, she has passed.”
I kissed her again and said, “Brenna, Mom forgot to tell you. You get new teeth.”
Condemned to Die: Ask me how. Tell me why. is the story of my daughter Brenna’s valiant fight to recover from her brain injury.
I am her proud mother. I spent over six thousand hours in sixteen months by her side. I am a widow and Brenna was my only child, the child of my heart. She was not a burden. Taking care of her was never a sacrifice, and I am no hero. Along her journey, we experienced the underbelly of today’s health care system, but along the way, God gave us strength for each day.
Before Brenna’s illness, she always reminded me that God had a plan for her life. I thought the voice people heard would be hers. She passed away on October 1, 2011 of a sudden cardiac arrest at twenty-eight. She passed the baton to me. Her voice, her story, resulted in this book. She would expect nothing less from her mother.
Along with writing her story and my reflections of the journey, in Brenna’s honor, I plan to advocate for changes in the health care system for patients who suffer anoxic brain injuries. Her last sixteen months must count for something. Her life cannot be in vain.
Proceeds from this book will establish Brenna’s Hope Foundation, with the focus on research in rehabilitation of patients with anoxic brain injury.