I was an emergency department registered nurse for 16 yrs and have seen, been involved and witnessed an incredible amount of tragic situations. I am a really good e.r. nurse and think that my ability to feel anothers pain and grief (to empathize) is a contributor to my practice not a downfall as I initially worried.
When my sister called me at 4:30 AM I already had been engulfed by DREAD set the phone down and repeated over and over to John “its bad , its bad, I know it ‘s bad ” PICK UP THE PHONE AND FIND OUT” John said.
“OK Melanie, I’m ready . whats wrong?” and Melanie goes “huh?” cause when I had set the phone down my heart already knotting up and stretching out making a crying sound, melanie had been telling me that our beautiful 16 yr old neice (brooke) shot herself in the head and had died at Freeman hospital tonight. NNNNNNNNOOOOOOO. Oh My God NOOOOOOOOOO. wait wait wait , no no it cant be. omg she asked sadee 2 days ago if she could move in with her. she wanted sadee to go pick her up. I said no. they have plans for spring break. what if only sadee hadnt have asked me. i need a second chance. oh the pictures running thru my head. Wait , DEAD? are you sure??? what if shes just in ICU? A coma? Has to be. OH no . I wanted to sit with brooke and show her the hours of video tape I have of her. She would laugh her head off i am sure cause she wont remember any of the recorded times i have of when she was only 3 months 6 months, 1 yr old to 5 yr olds. and how adorable she is. and her voice and her eyes, and that angelic face. It is impossible to retell what horrible meltdown a person goes through when an event as this occurs.
THEN KEVIN CALLED. Kevin is my brother. He is Brookes father. He begins to tell me the rundown of events that take place from the time of finding Brooke at the park by their house unresponsive . ( She had “gone out for a run” but also took a gun. ) To the present time and we were on the phone together.
To tell you the truth my horrible grief and the feeling that I was somewhat to blame my horrible guilt of not letting my daughter go to Missouri to pick up Brooke and bring her to our house in Corpus Christi as she asked 2 days before. And I DIDNT EVEN CALL BROOKE MYSELF, I JUST SAID NO TO SADEE. AND SADEE HAD TO RELAY THE NO MESSAGE, I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO GO BACK AND MAKE UP FOR IT . PPPPLLLEEAASSEEE.
BUT KEVINS STORY OF WHAT HE AND BRANT (my nephew, Kevins son, Brooke’s brother) had went thru. OMG to the ninth degree!!!! My beautiful and as close to perfect as is possible sister in law, Julissa , Brooke’s mom is the one who was the first to find Brooke at the park, I knew I would never be able to speak to her over the phone but as Kevin was retelling me the story of what happened I couldnt quit picturing an image of Julissa just dissolving, being torn into pieces. I wanted to be able to pick her up carry her around and take everything away even for a minute.
Yes grief and deep sadness crashing BUT really a little bit of bewilderment and a feeling of disgust and to the point of rage actually took some of the darkness away. The paramedics and the Police officers of the Joplin Police Department are the recipients of this well deserved outrage I have / They should be reprimanded, suspended, and thoroughly ashamed of the series of events they initiated and the hell that they put my brother and family thru. BROOKE WAS DYING ON THE GROUND WHILE POLICE WERE PEPPER SPRAYING HANDCUFFING AND ARRESTING HER DAD AND BROTHER. BROOKE DIED AT THE HOSPITAL WHILE KEVIN AND BRANT WERE HANDCUFFED TO A BENCH AT THE POLICE DEPT. BROOKE WAS ALONE. JULISSA WAS PUSHED AWAY, ORDERED TO BACK OFF WHEN SHE WAS TRYING TO ADJUST BROOKES CLOTHING , SO SHE WASNT SO EXPOSED AND INAPPROPRIATELY DISPLAYED. SHE WANTED TO BE BY HER DAUGHTERS SIDE, “no” NOT ALLOWED IN THE AMBULANCE, ESCORTED TO MIDDLE OF STREET AND THE AMBULANCE DROVE AWAY. DROVE AWAY. WITH JULISSA STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET . HER DAUGHTER IN AN AMBULANCE THAT NOONE WOULD TELL HER WHERE THEY WERE GOING. HER HUSBAND AND SON TAKEN AWAY IN POLICE CARS.
BROOKE IS DEAD.
NO DO OVERS. NO SECOND CHANCES.
THEY WILL NEVER GET THAT TIME BACK. THEY MAY NEVER RECOVER.
I KNOW THAT SUSPENDING OR FIRING EVERY EMT/PARAMEDIC/AND JPD THAT WAS INVOLVED WONT BRING BROOKE BACK,,,,,,, BUT BELIEVE ME ITCOULD BE THE FIRST STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR ME TO FEEL BETTER. It would sound very christian like and politically correct for me to say ” I just don’t want to think that another family May Have to go thru the same experience unless we correct THIS situation. and I DONT want anyone to ever have to be so unjustly and cruelly treated. BUT I also dont want them to even have a second chance. I would love to think that brooke russell is the last patient that those paramedics let fall to the ground focusing their attention at reprimanding the family members. I would love for kevin and brant russell be the last falsly accused and wrongly arrested family members of a suicidal 16 yr old. for those jpd officers.