My little sister Emelvee, whom my parents nicknamed “bing-bing”, passed away on March 31st 2005. I can’t even fully describe her because she was a person that was indescribable. There was something about her that draws people to her and love her the instant that they meet her.
She was the most adorable child, my mom would always say that as a baby she would always hug everybody. I loved being with my little sister. Her company was just something that you look forward to.
Emelvee was born on January 14, 1986. The summer of 2004, we celebrated her 18th birthday and had a huge party, similar to a cotillion. Being the oldest of five kids and four years older than her, it was in my nature to make sure that everything would be perfect for her. She was like a life-size Barbie doll to my twin sister and me. Throughout her high school years, my twin sister and I would always make sure that she would be the most beautiful girl at her dances, and she was. She was our baby girl, someone who we would do anything for.
The two years prior to her death, Emelvee would always have episodes of chest pains. Cardiologists were called to look at her, but all her EKGs would come up negative. Knowing this, every time she would have her chest pains, we would think of it as nothing serious and she would just take some aspirin.
On Easter Sunday of this year, at my apartment, Emelvee woke up early from partying the night before, and was laughing, reminiscing what had happened at the party with my cousin and her friend. I remember thinking that they were being so loud and there were still people sleeping. Then, two hours after she woke up, she collapsed in the bathroom. My twin sister and I got to her first and at that time she was still breathing but she told us that she was having a hard time. I pushed back her long hair from her face and her lips were just blue.
Paramedics were called but before they got there, I felt my little sister’s heart stop while I was cradling her in my arms. She was coded and came back, but it didn’t happen more than once.
At the hospital, she was coded again and again, and they revived her. When they finally stabilized her rapid heart rate, we got the chance to see her. I really thought that she would be fine. I apologized to my parents because she was under my care when this had happened.
A few hours after she was admitted to the hospital, she started having seizures. The seizures lasted for several hours with only two seconds of break in between. She was given the strongest dose of anti-seizures medicine and that finally calmed her down.
Emelvee stayed with us for four more days. During those days, our hopes for miracles slowly diminished. She was declared brain dead on Thursday 31st March.
We were fortunate enough to fulfill Emelvee’s wishes. On that following Saturday, we escorted her, along with nurses that were touched by her, to the Operating room for organ donation. Before entering the room, my siblings and I kissed her and told her that she was beautiful and that we’ll be seeing her again.
We found out from the doctors that Emelvee was born with a congenital disease called Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, which lead her to have ventricular fibrillation that caused her to have a cardiac arrest. From then on, my family began to concentrate on studying this disease, and my siblings and I were tested to see if we have it too.
Her passing made us realize how we all take life for granted. My little sister was a strong advocate of life. She wanted to be a nurse and she would schedule herself to donate her blood from time to time. When she got her driver’s license, she would preach to her friends about becoming an organ donor. I am very proud of her.
She was truly an angel, she saved the lives of three people and she made us aware that my siblings and I might have this cruel killer in our bodies. She touched a lot of people, that it is just overwhelming how many. She is missed and she will be in our hearts and minds forever.