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Danny Baran
December 25, 1988--February 11, 2000

Danny was born on 12/25/88. He had spina bifida, a shunt, trach, g-tube. He was a joy to us all. Despite all his challenges, he always had a smile on his face. He gave hugs to everyone and he loved everyone.

On 2/9/00, Danny went down for a nap. He never woke up. I rushed him to the childrens' hospital in Hartford. The MD told me he had suffered a stroke, which left him in a deep coma, with irreversible brain damage, and was brain dead. I was in shock. This was very sudden and totally unexpected. I had to make the horrible decision to stop life support. This was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

On 2/11/00 I went to the hospital and rocked Danny for a long time. I stroked his soft hair and whispered "I love you's" in his ear. I felt his soft warm cheek next to mine. My cheeks were streaked with tears. After a while, I nodded to the MD to turn the ventilator off. I continued to rock Danny. He was in no distress or discomfort. As I had requested the MD had given him a shot of morphine. He checked a couple of times, and Danny's heart kept beating. I looked up at the MD and said "I told you he had a good heart". The MD's eyes filled up. A few minutes later, I could feel Danny's warm cheek turning cooler. The MD checked again and pronounced him dead.

The second most difficult thing I have ever had to do was to stop rocking Danny and put his lifeless body back into the bed. I didn't want to let go of him. My other 4 children, ages 8, 13, 16 and 17 then came in to say their last goodbyes. After a while, I had no choice but to leave my baby and go home without him.

I was devasted when my husband died, but the pain of losing Danny is 1000 times worse. I don't understand. My world has stopped, has come to an end. Yet, I see everyone else going their merry way off to work, etc. I feel like I'm in limbo.

This may sound really stupid, but I still sleep in Danny's room. I can't leave him. I sleep with his favorite blanket. I carry his hairbrush in my purse. I am having such a hard time letting go.

I know he is a little angel in heaven now, but it hurts so much. It feels like my heart has been ripped to pieces.

I have tried to "be strong" for the other kids, but I have not been able to.

How can I go on without him? I find myself wanting to be with him, but I know I can't yet because I have the other kids to take care of. I'm not suicidal, I just want to be with Danny. I want to see his smile once more. I want to feel his gigantic hugs.

I am struggling, and fumbling to cope with this pain. but it is so unbearable.

I am crying too much now. My sorrow is so intense.

Ann Baran mother of Danny