Jesse Tuck sat in the hospital room, tears pouring silently down her face. Her doctor had just left the room to fetch her family from the lobby so they could discuss the options.
Discuss the options. The teen was so sick of hearing that phrase. For all the times they’d discussed the options, what had it done for her? Sent her under the knife more times than she could count. Put her on a cocktail of drugs to try and ease the pressure on her heart. All these options, only to have every single one fail.
Jess had come in for a check up after the Septal myectomy surgery. The family had been hoping to hear that removing some of the thickened tissue had been the miracle they’d all prayed for. Sure that the news would be good and the visit short, Jesse had gone into the room alone. As such, she’d received the news alone.
The surgery had failed. The doctors were out of ideas, out of their so called options. Jesse was dying, and at this point the only thing that might save her was a heart transplant. Blinking her eyes, the girl felt a sense of numbness wash over her. She should have known. The disease had already taken her sister. Now it was going to take her too.
Abigail… Jesse never even knew her. She’d died before she got the chance. Sure, the death certificate said her cause of death was because of their shared heart condition. But deep down, Jess always knew it was her fault. She’d been born to help Abigail, to save her. And she had failed. Failed because she had the same condition. Because her heart was not healthy and could not be donated to her older sister. Abigail had died because of her.
Looking down at her hands, footsteps told her that a family member had come. But she didn’t have the energy to look them in the eye. She couldn’t bear the disappointment and the guilt anymore. Ma, Pa, and Miles had never said they blamed her for Abigail’s death. But they didn’t have to. Jesse felt it.
“The surgery didn’t work.” She stated. No emotion, no more tears. No fear or anger. Just cold, hard fact.
I was born with VSD(Ventricular Septal Defect or hole in the heart) very similar to, if not exactly what the little baby had in 4x07 of Call The Midwife. Unlike the baby, I never had surgery to repair the hole. My pulmonary pressure was so high that the doctors thought my lungs would explode if the hole was closed. Also, I had a cousin that died from the same surgery 5 years before and my parents didn’t want to go through that again.
If the people that are reading this didn’t know, I was born in Vietnam and was adopted when I was 22 months old. As soon as I got off the airplane on May 27th 1993, I was taken straight to the doctor’s office. My parents knew I had heart problems but didn’t know how severe they were because the people at the orphanage didn’t know either. After I got to the doctor’s office, I was rushed to Children’s Hospital where the cardiologists told my parents I wouldn’t make it through the night. Obviously I did and everybody was shocked. After staying in the hospital for 3 days, the doctors said that there was nothing they could do for me and that I wouldn’t live past the age of 5. My mother tells people this story occasionally and she always ends it with, “We took our train wreck home and loved her everyday til she died.”
I’ve lived 20 years longer than I should have and there are days where I wonder why I’m still alive. I haven’t accomplished anything and I haven’t found the love of my life. My mom said the other day to someone, “She lived longer than her dad.” That was the first time in my life that I felt guilty to be alive. Even though my father has passed, I continue to live my life like he would want me to. The last thing he told me before he was too weak to stay awake and communicate was, “Be happy” and I’ve never been happier.
I feel like I’ve shared my life story a lot on here, but most of the time, it’s to remind myself that there’s a reason I’m still alive, I just haven’t found it yet.
Thanks to whomever took the time to read this long post!
✧ NAME: Lidija Eriksen ✧ AGE: 35 ✧ GENDER: Female ✧ LOCATION: Faubourg Marigny ✧ TIME IN NOLA: Ten years ✧ OCCUPATION: Social worker
Born to a mentally unstable mother and an unknown father in Macedonia, Lidija was put up for adoption the minute she left her mother’s womb. Possessing a heart murmur as a result of a ventricular septal defect, she was deemed less attractive to local families and stayed in the system till she was 15 months old. Fortunately, that made her eligible for international adoption, and after a little more than a year she was placed in the care of Heather and James Eriksen, a nearly middle aged American couple who longed for a child but couldn’t have one on their own. Undergoing a minor surgery to solve her heart condition and receiving two loving parents who showered her with endless affection, the girl was excited to begin her life as someone’s daughter.
She was a serious one, no doubt about that. And a perfectionist to a fault, even as a child; behaving properly at all times and maintaining a reputation of a top student, Lidija was the perfect daughter. Despite her parents’ obvious love for her, she had an ongoing fear that she doesn’t deserve this treatment, and if she’ll be anything less than flawless she’ll be sent back to Macedonia. Two years after her arrival, the parents welcomed another family member; Noah, a seven years old former foster kid. He was a handful, exceptionally troublesome and annoyed her to no end, but that didn’t keep her from adoring him. Secretly, of course. In addition, seeing how her parents didn’t gave up on him even when he misbehaved, reassured Lidija that her spot is guaranteed. She can mess up all she wanted and her parents would still back her up.
That’s why when Heather found her death due to a fatal car accident, Lidija fell into massive grief. The mortality of the kind woman who gave her a home out of personal choice was devastating, and the girl felt like the universe is laughing at her face, like its saying she’s not worthy all this goodness after all. This made the woman to become even more strict, responsible and serious; she strived to be good, and in order to do that she needed to better herself. Taking the motherly role from now on, she watched her own brother fall into life of aimlessness and misdemeanors, and decided to enroll as a social work major in college, in hopes of helping people to manage on their own.
Lidija had her heart set on working with troubled youth, assisting in the process of starting their lives and overcoming obstacles. In her job, not only she was able to help others but to herself as well; she finally formed some confidence in herself, finding her existence to be useful and of worth. Due to her tendency to overwork herself and get emotionally involved in the cases under her care, she’s an excellent and successful social worker, but is quite lonely. She never lets mundane things like friends or relationships to distract her from her real purpose in life, despite her great need for some companions in her life. The only people she has makes time for are her family members; she calls her father everyday and tried to stay in touch with Noah into adulthood, including paying him weekly visits during the recent 18 months he was imprisoned for kidnapping a dog.
However, she wanted something more, which led her to her more recent decision; adopting a child of her own as a single mother. Lidija has been longing for a kid, and considering she’s not getting any younger she thinks finding a boy or a girl who needs a home and give it to them is a wonderful solution to her problem. The woman knows this won’t be an easy process, but once she sets herself a goal there’s nothing that can hold her back- unless, maybe, it’s her brother, Noah. Freshly out of prison and in her apartment, the man is staying with her till he gets his life back on track. Problem is, the odds of this ever happening are a complete zero.
Focused, future oriented and inhibited, Lidija seems to have her own unique worldview. More often than not she can seem a bit removed from real life, more inclined to take a theoretical route over a sensible one. That isn’t to say she’s not intelligent, responsible or hardworking; quite the opposite. It’s just that sometimes she forgets to experience the present and prefers to avoid reckless deeds. She’s self controlled, serious and reliable, and determined to not get involved in silly quarrels. However, despite her somewhat icy exterior the woman possesses a strong sense of purpose and a need for goodness, and is always willing to lend a hand whenever it’s needed. Problem is, when she carries her work into her personal life her kind actions could be misread as a forceful and controlling. That’s not her intention at all, but sadly she tends to be slightly too intense, rigid, stubborn and critical (of others, but mostly herself) for her own good. Achieving perfection isn’t as easy as it may seem, and even though she’s not a little girl anymore she can’t shake away the feeling that she’ll never be good enough to deserve all the good she’s been given.
LIDIJA’S FACECLAIM IS STANA KATIC AND IS PORTRAYED BYJORDAN.
an easy shrug rolls off his shoulders, scans that he was going to hand to her falling to his side. a kid — brenton rogers — came in presenting with symptoms of asymmetrical septal hypertrophy. while this is by no means a good thing, he thought cristina would appreciate the chance to perform the surgery. ❛ fine, ❜ alex lilts unfazed. it’s not like he expected anything else from her, and he knows exactly how to pique her interest. ❛i’ll just give it to russell, tell him you refused. ❜
with that, he turns on his heel and makes to walk away.
it’s enough to CHANGE cristina’s whole tune almost immediately. surgery is her LIFELINE, it’s the very thing she RELIES upon to get through the day. if karev has one, if he’s STUPID enough to hand it over to someone else, why shouldn’t that SOMEONE be her?
❛ you have a surgery? ❜ just like that, she’s STEPPING quickly after him, making sure he can’t get anywhere NEAR russell. there’s no way she’s letting THIS one slip through her fingers, even though she should be ASHAMED at how easy it is to grab her attention.
A septa… myotis… what? Katey frowned and would have groaned, but she felt like she needed to say yes. Maybe Sergeant Major could use the good company. She answered him meekly, “Yes, Sergeant Major… sure sounds like fun… I’ll go with you. We oughta get a bunch of Marines to go together.”