Too Little Too Late, Alcoholism Still Took My Mom's Life

I am 28 years old and just lost my mother who was 54 from liver and kidney failure due to her 20 year battle with alcoholism. My story has a heart-breaking twist though. My mother drank heavy most of my life. I didn't have the best childhood, but after 20 years my mother had spent the last 2 years attempting to remain sober and change her life. We thought she was lucky that so far she hadn't managed to have any serious health or medical problems from drinking and we thought she was especially in the clear considering she hadn't drank in two years. I was enjoying getting to know the mother I didn't have in childhood. Life was good for a little while. One day several months ago, I was at my mothers house and we were talking and getting ready to go shopping for the afternoon and when my mom went to grab her purse from the other room she suddenly fell to the floor. I ran to her and saw blood dripping out of her nose and mouth, her eyes were rolled back in her head and she was barely breathing, she wouldn't respond to me. I called 911 and she was rushed to the hospital and put on life support in the ICU. We found out she had liver and kidney failure due to her 20 years of alcoholism and even though she had stopped drinking, she had done so much damage, that her liver had been slowly shutting down for a while and we just didn't know. She spent months in a coma in the ICU and we were told she wouldn't survive. Somehow, she pulled threw and woke up. We were told in order to survive she would have to receive a liver transplant as soon as possible and that until then she'd be put on dialysis to flush out her body like her liver and kidneys were suppose to do. We quickly realized she wouldn't survive being placed on a liver transplant list so I decided to be a live liver donor for her. Because she had been sober for 2 years and had changed her life and received therapy/treatment for her alcoholism I was willing to have a piece of my liver removed and given to her. I went through months of testing while she remained in the hospital on dialysis but finally I was cleared to donate and I was a match. 2 weeks prior to the date planned for the actual transplant surgery, I was visiting my mom in her hospital room and was talking to her while she was hooked up to the dialysis machine and in mid-sentence she suddenly flopped over and once again blood was running from her nose and mouth and a series of loud beeps and noises began to sound off all the monitors she was hooked up to. I was frozen in shock.Her heart had stopped. Nurses and doctors ran in and started trying to resuscitate her. They managed to regain a heartbeat and she was placed on full life support but went into a coma and never woke up again. We found out even with dialysis, at that very moment, she had completely lost any and all function in her liver or kidneys and since your liver is what creates the enzymes that make the blood clot, she began leaking blood from her nose, mouth, ears, eyes, everywhere. She was bleeding to death internally and mainly at the injection site of the dialysis tube. They tried to keep transfusing blood in as fast as it was leaking out, they tried to give her plasma and medicines to attempt to get her blood to clot, but it failed. She lived another 8 hours on life support, enough time to alert family and everyone to come see her to say their goodbyes. We had been so close to possibly giving her a new lease on life. It was too little too late. I had done everything to try and save her and at the last minute she passed anyway. I have tried to accept I did everything on my part I could. I have tried to remember, she caused it on herself with her poor choices that spanned over 20 years but its hard to get past she really had tried to change but all the trying in the world just couldn't undo all the damage she had done to her poor body. It just gave out. So she didn't die in vain, all I can do is break the cycle and not follow in her footsteps. I never want my own child to live with what I've been through. Never. But I do hope my mother, where ever she's gone to, has found the peace she just couldn't seem to find here on earth. I hope now she's free from her pain.
melissa84ga melissa84ga
26-30, F
2 Responses Sep 7, 2012

I’m sorry for your loss, sounds like that was really difficult for you to experience. I hope you’re ok.
My mum is 54 too and has been an alcoholic for about 15 – 20 years, I’m not sure of how long she’s been an alcoholic, but the first memory I have of her being drunk is when I was in kindergarten (I’m 22 now). It’s hard to watch her do this to herself, it’s like some kind of slow suicide. She won’t even admit that she’s an alcoholic, she still comes up with excuses for why she drinks. We live in a very conservative community, where there is a lot of stigma for mental illness, so alcoholism is looked at as a bad habit & a choice here. I wish I could help her, but how do you help someone who doesn’t want to be helped?

I'm so sorry about your loss. Take care x