Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rest in Peace Sweet Angel

I am not sure if I ever mentioned them in this blog, but we have some good friends named the Olsen's. They are the sweetest family with 2 adorable girls. Mark and Tammy (parents) are probably about 10-15 years older than Phil and I, and Phil and Mark used to work together at Phil's current job. Mark took a better job out in Phoenix back in 2005. During that time also, Tammy was pregnant with their 3rd child, a girl they named Briannah. Well, Tammy's due date was right around the time Hurricane Rita came blowing through, so while they were evacuating, Tammy went into labor. Briannah was a beautiful little baby. Tammy and the girls finally made their way to Phoenix and they were all doing great. But several months later, in December, Tammy noticed Briannah was not hitting the typical baby milestones and was not gaining much weight. They took her in for some tests and found that she had an inoperable brain tumor that wrapped itself around her optic nerve. The news was devastating, but they vowed to help her any way they could. They heard about the controversial Burzynski clinic here in Houston and made an appointment. (This was after several other failed attempts of treatment.) The clinic offered some hope, but not a cure and started her on some powerful medications and treatment. For the next year and a half, Briannah made huge progress! The tumor started shrinking, she was gaining weight, she was starting to talk, she could finally sit up by herself, and lots of other things! We were all so hopeful that she would have some wonderful quality of life and be able to live with this tumor. One of the side effects though, was the medicine affected the sodium levels in her body and she didn't retain enough, but they were fixing that through medication. She was also having seizures, but was not having as many since being on the new medicines.
However, 3-4 nights ago, Tammy noticed Briannah was very lethargic and not her typical self. She immediately called 911 and an ambulance came to take her to the hospital. She died twice in the ambulance, but they resuscitated her back both times. When they go to the hospital though, she was not breathing on her own, so they immediately put her on life support. They found that now her body had way too much sodium and apparently that is much much worse than not having enough. Her kidneys started to fail and the situation was not looking good. However, on Friday Briannah started to breath on her own and she seemed to start improving just a little, but by Saturday morning, she got worse again. They tried to put her on dialysis, but couldn't get the tubes into her little body. Mark and Tammy made a gut-retching decision. They took her off life support. They didn't want her to suffer anymore. Our precious little Briannah went to be with the Lord at 6:30 pm, January 24th. Our thoughts and prayers are with our dear friends as they go through this terrible time.

If you would like to read their journey or send condolences, you can visit their website here:

Please pray for our sweet friends as they deal with this tragedy.
Mama G