Monday, May 02, 2005


Nechama Liba was 5 years old when she was diagnosed. It was just around the time of her birthday and she was taken for a routine checkup. My wife called me on my cell to tell me that the doctor heard a murmur and suggested that we see a cardiologist. A Friend told me not to worry considering that many people have harmless heart murmers. I took her to the cardiologist for an echo and an ekg. And heard the news that every parent dreads. "Mr. Holman, your daughter is very sick. She has pulmonary hypertension." Pulmonary Hypertension is a rare heart-lung condition affecting 1 in 2 million. Extreme lung pressure builds up resisting the blood flow to the lungs eventually causing heart failure. What followed were 6 years of pain and crisis. What might be shocking is that in all the years Nechama never complained, except when she was bored. She smiled almost all the time. She suffered but her warm bright smiled concealed to the world how sick she was. Her demeanor led even my wife and I to believe that she did not understand how sick she was. We learned only after she passed away, from a confidant of hers, that she knew that she would die young and she sought to protect us from knowing that she knew. During that time, she survived beyond what anyone in her condition had ever gone through. Three days before she turned 11, on the 18th of av, August 5th 2004, she died after 5 weeks on a respirator in the ICU. During those 5 weeks, hundreds, if not thousands of people davened, learned and increased their mitzos on her behalf. The Far Rockaway community was turned on its side. We owe them our debt that can only be repaid by Hashem. In her quiet unassuming way, she inspired the masses and taught how to suffer bAhavah.


Blogger torontopearl said...

Glen, isn't it fascinating, yet sometimes sad, how children become the teachers and parents become the students.

Such a young child showing such sensitivity, wanting to protect her family from her "secret knowledge."

Like I said in my comment to your last post, your daughter's name, Nechama Liba, says it all. She tried to be a comfort to you, in not showing what she knew would be her ultimate end.

I have close family living in Far Rockaway, and I understand that it is a tight community. Thank G-d you have had that, at least.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Mom of 3 said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. No parent should ever have to bury their child. I lost my dear son Malachi at 31 weeks of pregnancy. I miss him every day, I cannot imagine your pain to have your beautiful daughter with you for 11 years and then lose her. I also have two living daughters, one of whom is Malachi's twin.

10:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

My Goal is to post at least 2x per week on Sunday and Wednesday.