So as many of you may know, we lost our baby girl Rochelle on January 7, 2015. Not only did we not expect that going to the hospital would be the last place Rochelle would be, but we did not anticipate having to say good-bye to her so early in her journey through life.
In the moments after we said our good-byes to her body knowing her spirit was already with God, we were walking out of the hospital with all of our family and friends and Shane and I looked at each other and said “now what”? We didn’t know how to act, what we were suppose to do, or who do we call to let notify of the tragedy.. We were sort of just at a loss for words. It quickly dawned on me that Rochelle had so many appointments coming up, and a lot of things I personally was in charge of dealing with that I had to handle.
First, was the phone calls to the doctors. A child with special needs does not just have one doctor, they have many. Rochelle had a cardiologist, GI specialist, a primary care physician, eye doctor, and I was looking into setting her up with an endocrinologist. I had to call each doctor, cancel the appointments and say “Rochelle passed away on January 7th” again and again it felt like painful needles stabbing into my heart as I sobbed those words to each and every doctors office I spoke to.
Then, was her supply company. Not only were they expected to be at our house delivering a new oxygen concentrator machine that day that Rochelle passed away, I was trying to make plans for someone to be there so they would meet them at our house. It was so hard having to make that call saying that we no longer needed any more supplies from their company. These people helped my child live each and every day with their supplies they provided to us and I had to call and tell them she passed away. It was probably the hardest phone I had to make. My parents had offered to take all of Rochelle’s supplies from our house to the DME company, regardless if we had paid for them or not I wanted all of it gone.
Then comes the insurance and the people on the side who were there to help us if we needed anything. The insurance company provided me with a pump so I was able to nourish my baby girl and they were always available if I needed something and the supply company was taking a while to bring it to us. They would overnight anything. I truly appreciated every single thing they helped with us along the way.
Lastly was the social security office, who I didn’t even think about calling at first, until we got a letter in the mail saying that we got approved to have social security assistance. This assistance would have allowed me to stay home full time with Rochelle and take care of her. I had to call and tell them we no longer needed assistance, and that I would be returning back to work.
While it never got any easier saying those words, it helped us get past such a dark period in our life. I appreciate every single person who helped us during those couple of weeks after her passing. Bringing us food, helping babysit Brielle, just giving us alone time when we needed it and giving us space is just what needed to get through this. She will forever be our baby girl, no matter what. I thank God each and every day for giving us those 2 months and 1 day with her, allowing us to know her scent, know her cries and what makes her happy, and just show her truly how much she was loved by so many for only being here for such a short amount of time.
Rest In Peace our baby girl Rochelle Elaine Johnson