Stephanie Perez was Cammie’s nurse at M.D. Anderson (in Houston, where we go for chemo) and one of the most delightful nurses we have had. She delighted in delighting her patients. She was characterized by exuberance. She smiled a lot. She laughed freely. She was simply fun to be around.
She was, without doubt, a unique and special person.
She was 36 and single and grew up in a barrio over in Ft. Worth. She was the first in her family to make it through university and chose nursing. We met her on Cammie’s #1 chemo back in September and she was our nurse for every chemo since.
A little over two weeks ago I was down with Cammie. And while she was doing the infusion she told us she was going in for her own little surgery…nothing much, just some fibroids. In, cut cut, and out. Simple. That was on Tuesday. Her surgery was on Thursday the 6th of November.
As we got ready to leave, Cammie pulled out her little “evangicube”—a simple device for sharing the gospel that is in the form of a cube that folds out in different patterns, each one with a picture on it that visualizes a part of this gospel presentation. In two minutes she had shared the essence of what her faith was all about. Stephanie’s response was, “Cool. That is really neat. “ And she got Cammie to show that little evangicube to the rest of the nurses at the station just down the hall.
We left. Cammie told Stephanie she would pray for her and her surgery, as simple and straightforward as it might be.
Well, it wasn’t simple and straightforward. Oh, the surgery went fine. But after she woke up, they put her on pain medication. And that is when things went terribly wrong. It was either too much or she had a reaction and she stopped breathing. This was not caught for 15 minutes because, inexcusably, she was not hooked up to a monitor. By then it was too late, and although they got her breathing again she was brain dead and died several days later.
A shock. A tragedy. A reminder. Our lives are in God’s hand. In the book of James (4:14ff) we read: “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.””
If it is God’s will (and it is our prayer), He will continue to work in Cammie’s body and bring about His good pleasure.