Monday, June 22, 2009
In memory of a dear friend
I can't believe that I'm even writing this post because it really doesn't seem real. My dear friend and co-worker Dawn Patino is up in heaven. Dawn is right across the hall from me at school. We eat lunch together everyday, work out after school, we're constantly in-and-out of each other's classrooms throughout the day. I know I must have completely annoyed her the past two years coming into teaching and knowing NOTHING about what I was doing and asking her a million questions. She never showed anything but compassion and help whenever I needed it.
At the end of the school year, we had our annual kickball tournament: 5th grade vs. teachers. We were all having a great time but Dawn pulled her Achilles tendon. She went to the hospital and had to have surgery later that day and was put in a full leg cast. We laughed about how crazy it was that she was in a full leg cast for the summer after a harmless kickball game. Friday night, Dawn had a blood clot to her lung (a possibility after a surgery) and had a heart attack. She was in the hospital when she went into cardiac arrest, but it took them over 30 minutes to revive her. The doctors and nurses said that four minutes without oxygen to the brain can be devastating. Her family drove in from Iowa and later found out that there was no brain activity after several tests. After trying every possible test, her family had to make the unbearable decision to take her off life support. They are donating her organs and how appropriate for Dawn who would help anyone and everyone to save lives.
Tomorrow is her memorial service and I just can't believe this is happening. I don't think it will really set in until next year when I don't see her in her classroom or have lunch with her everyday. This is just another reminder how fragile life is and to live each day like it's your last. I love you Dawn and I will miss you terribly. What an impact she's made on so many lives and students! She may have only been 34 but what an amazing and self-sacrificing life she lived!