A Tragic Loss

Essay by streethooligan101 January 2008

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A tragic loss

The rain had been pouring hard on the outside furniture for quite some time and the baby blanket left forgetfully outside, was soaked. Small droplets of water had been running down the windows, all, except for the room where Devan once slept. Inside the room sat John and Lucy Stein in opposite corners, avoiding any eye contact with each other.

When early spring began, the sombre atmosphere was lifted from the Stein residence. John was painting Devan's room candy pink for Lizzy, their newborn baby, and Lucy had gone back to her passionate hobby. Surrounded by the fresh aroma of moist soil and a rainbow of roses, Lucy felt at ease. The familiar sound of the doves coorring while watching her pruning the round bushes, reminded her of Devan, their first-born, who used to imitate the birds until he wasn't able to anymore.

On Lizzy's first birthday there was a little accident.

The Steins immediately rushed Lizzy to the nearest pediatrician, fearing the worst.

"She collapsed in my arms", Lucy told Doctor Ruth, "and the other day her leg muscles stiffened and twitched."

"Lizzy also finds it difficult to pick up her toys", John continued Lucy's sentence.

"If you don't mind waiting, I would like to do some tests on Lizzy. I'm also going to do a test for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), because Devan had it and it's a genetic motor neuron disease. Unfortunately the chances aren't that slim that Lizzy might have it", said Doctor Ruth.

The days felt like months. Still the Steins have not gotten the test results.

"I can't go through this again! Seeing one child suffer so much tore me inside. I've had enough of all the treatments, surgeries and therapy. I refuse to go down the same road with Lizzy!", Lucy told her husband. John agreed. Something had to be done.

When Lucy got home the following day, a police car stood outside the house. Inside, John was being questioned about the murder of Lizzy Stein.

"I confess! I left Lizzy in the back of my car intentionally for a few hours. I gave her mild cough syrup this morning so she would fall asleep and die a peacefully. I couldn't let my second child also suffer from SMA. Spinal Muscular Atrophy is what Devan had, type 2. It's a neuromuscular illness that attacks the nerve cells of the spinal cord and causes skeletal muscles to waste away. It's a deadly and incurable disease. Now, ask yourself if you would let your child be unable to walk, move and eventually breathe." Were the words of John Stein before he was arrested for the murder of his one-year-old daughter, Lizzy.

Tring, tring. Tring, tring.

Lucy ran to the phone with the hope that John might be calling her from jail. To her surprise, she heard the deep hoarse voice of Doctor Ruth on the line. Lucy slowly walked outside and took a seat on one of the pool chairs. Clutching Lizzy's old baby blanket tightly, Lucy nervously asked what the test results revealed.

"Lucy, I'm very sorry", Said the doctor, "Lizzy merely had a shortage of essential minerals and vitamins like calcium and magnesium. That's why her muscles and nervous system did not function correctly. The test results for SMA was in fact negative. You're husband killed a healthy child."

(490 words)