Racheal started coming to the PH message boards and chat room a few years ago, newly diagnosed and scared as to what was next. She was going to be put on Flolan, and had so many questions. Her husband, Shannon, often came with her to chat in the beginning, and I think it was a comfort to them both to have so many people willing to offer help and suggestions as they began this tough journey of ups and downs with living with PH. Over the next few years, Rach offered help to any newbie who came into the room or posted on the board. Many times, I know she gave her phone number and said she'd love to talk to the new person who had so many questions like she did when she started out. She'd give her number to anyone, really. She was an incredibly kind soul, someone who wanted to help anyone at any given time. She never seemed to have too many complaints, and when she did, she sort of minimized them because she felt someone else was in more need than she was. Everyone just loved her spirit. She was a true phriend to us all.
Rach died last night. She had thrown a blood clot, which traveled to her brain and caused an aneurysm. She lost consciousness, and during surgery, they couldn't stop the bleeding, and she was gone. Just like that. Rach didn't die from PH, but having this damned disease didn't help her any. The pressures were a problem, and because she was on a blood thinner to prevent more clots (which obviously didn't help), the bleeding was a problem. It's just a shock that she has vanished from everyone's lives in the blink of an eye. It's really rocked so many of us off our feet. The questions arise from tragedy like this: Why did this happen? How did it happen? Why did it happen to Rach?? Who's next?
Every loss of a phriend hits home, especially when that phriend was a pretty close one. The last time I talked to Rach was a little over a week ago. She was telling me about taking care of her FIL, and how taxing it was, and I was really trying to make her see that she needed time to take care of herself. But, as much as she understood that, Rach just wasn't the kind of person who saw it that way. She wanted to take care of everyone! Now that she's gone, I think she will be always watching over her loved ones, and especially Shannon and their two children. They are going to miss her terribly, and I don't have to wonder why. I will miss her just as much. She truly was a wonderful phriend. RIP Rach. And please tell Mason how much I miss him.