The Vonnie Project
Organized by: Vernisha Waters
The Faces of Sepsis
Shavonne Waters - tribute
by Vernisha Waters (Shavonne's sister)
The year of 2011 my sister was diagnosed with several things: high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. She was in and out of the hospital over the years, not knowing what's going on - from passing out to low blood pressure, from pain in her belly, to finding out about a kidney stone.
As Shavonne’s health began to decline in March 2014, at her last hospital visit, they declared that her heart was bad off, saying, I quote: "5%". She was then put on an IV drip that she had to live with every day. She couldn’t take an shower, drive, or anything.
In April we made an visit to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for an lvad (pump to help the heart) evaluation. April 22, 2014, my sister was admitted to Jefferson. From there the roll coaster began, from the wait for tests to waiting for a date for the procedure, to them needing to clear a UTI.
On May 7, a procedure was done to remove her kidney stone first, before the lvad. Everything went downhill. When Shavonne got back she was still out of it but by 8:30pm she didn't produce any urine and her blood pressure was being checked every 20 minutes. From there we knew something was wrong. They took her straight to the ICU.
That night we went back to Delaware. I went to work as usual, then about 1 pm I got an call from mom, saying that my sister wasn’t doing well. I got off at 3 pm and did all my motherly duties. I decided to call hospital they told me that any family that can make it back to Jefferson needed to come asap. That was about 9 pm. We got all the family together and we where there by 11 pm. It’s about an hour and half drive.
When we got there, Shavonne was unable to close her eyes, her face was swollen. She was on a ventilator, had IVs everywhere. She was on dialysis. In the mist of it all I must of miss the reason on what made her so sick with this infection. She was responsive and squeezing hands. They kept saying she’ss very sick and it’s up to her to fight. That Thursday night we slept in the waiting room with no issues. That Friday, everything was the same. When time for us to rest, we were kicked out of the hospital. Unfortunately we weren’t informed that 5-year-olds couldn't stay in waiting room after 8 pm. There was a big fallout and we went to stay at Gift of Life family house.
That next morning, which was Saturday, we got a call saying we almost lost my sister. Her blood pressure dropped so low. When we got there, we came to find out the nurse arguing with us gave my sister two of the same medications. From then she was no longer responsive. Her hands where cold - just no life. I still didn't understand what could have caused this. I still was missing something. Her blood was infected, her kidneys weren’t working, her body was poisoning itself. She was slowly slipping away.
That night my other sister and kids and I went back to Delaware and mother stayed at Gift of Life. That morning my phone was off. I immediately called my mom she said your sister blood pressure has dropped again and there is nothing else they can do.
I called everyone up and was getting ready. My daughter, who was still sleeping, let out an small whine. I was on the phone with my girlfriend. I said let me call you back. I think my sister gone. I called mom and she said they said they would call back. It was about 8:30 am. Two minutes later they called back and said she was gone. On Mother’s day, to be exact.
This whole time they keep saying this word but I didn't know – I just thought it was another word for infection. Come to find out May 21, I was looking up kidney stones and found this word sepsis. I never heard of it. But now I do and that’s what my sister died from. I’m glad I found this website because I couldn't believe how my sister died till now!
My sister's name is Shavonne Waters of Dover, Delaware. She is a mother of two daughters: Daija, 15, and Makayla, 13. A wonderful aunt to her only two nieces. A beautiful daughter and a caring sister. She was soft spoken never like to smile but very pleasant person.
While her family keep the faith, we need the prayers and support for all family and friends. We are not just looking for money, we just want everyone to hear her story! YOU are welcome to donate thanks for your support
THE VONNIE PROJECT