This memorial page is written in memory of our Dear Sweet Daughter Brittany M Jenkins
She was born in Maryland on August 26, 1994
Our Angel passed away on January 20, 2003 at the age of eight.
We will miss you B-Bug forever…
And Love You Always!
We will carry you with us where ever we go right here in our HEARTS..
Love Mommy, Daddy And All Your Sisters
This is Brittany’s story as told by her mother Lisa:
“Brittany was born at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore MD on August 26th 1994.
How ever we were not Blessed to have met her on that wonderful day. For the women that gave birth to Brittany walked out of the hospital and left her behind…
And that is where it all started, for us her real Mommy and Daddy!!!
Brittany was transfered to Mount Washington Hospital in Baltimore MD where all children and babies go with medical problems or have been left behind. In Brittanys case it was both. Brittany was born with Congenital Neuphroutic Syndrome: A disease that is caused by someone having syphillis and not being treated for it and is passed on to the baby at time of birth. It affected Brittany’s kidneys. This is where we met our ANGEL……
Brittany had no one. And we were Foster Parents, the same foster parents who had the wonderful privilege of already adopting her two older sisters! Julena and Lisa. We did not meet Brittany untill December, 4 months after she was born. We walked into her room in the hospital and saw this little tiny four pound baby all rolled up in a pink blanket!! She was just laying there no one holding her, no one doing any thing with her. I picked her up and I felt so special! I fell in Love with her at that minute I felt as if I just gave birth to her!!! I handed her to my husband and all he could say was “Aw,Aw,Aw”… he just became a Daddy again ! We knew that we would be taking her home right then and there ! Medical problems or not she was going to be ours!!
We took Brittany home the second week of December 1994. She was four months old.
It was so nice to have a baby in our house again! Her sister Julena was five at that time and Lisa was two and Peggy our only biological daughter was thirteen. Peggy was the only child I could have she was born in 1981 and in 1985 I had to have a total hysterectomy because I had cancer. When we brought Brittany home she was on a heart monitor, tube feeds and alot of medications for her kidneys. We were told that when Brittany was an adult she would have to have a transplant. To keep close eyes on her kidneys she had to have sonograms done every 3 months.
B-Bug was growing and doing all the things that normal babies do. She was so Happy and she made our whole family shine with love and peace, she became our ROCK! She was eatting some, crawling , trying to pull herself up every where. And in May her adoption was final !!
Before we knew it she was one year old! She was still on tube feeds so when we gave her the birthday cake all she wanted to do was play in it!!! I put some on her lips and she screamed at me and spit it out! Thats what I get!!
It seemed as though from that day on there was nothing going to stop her from doing any thing. She started talking and driving her sisters crazy!! Her first words of course was “Da Da”!! and “dissy” for “sissy”. She picked that up off of her sisters Julena and Lisa, they call her Sissy. She even started eatting a little more. And when her sister Lisa who was also being tube fed saw her eating, she decided she was going to eat too. After a while they both were eating again.
I was amazed!
Everyone loved Brittany, she gave hugs and kisses to every one she met, especially men she was a flirt! Brittany started walking late: she took her first steps with out holding on when she was seventeen months old. That was when she went for one of her routine kidney sonograms. It was about a week or so after that when I received a phone call from her doctor that changed our Sweet Angels life forever…..
I could tell she had been crying, Britts doctor had become a family friend as well as her doctor. She told me that Britt had a tumor on her kidnyes and I needed to get her to Johns Hopkins Hospital right away. I fell to the floor crying and held Britt in my arms. Her sisters started crying too and they wanted to know what was wrong with mommy? The doctor settled me down and I tried to call my husband at work but they told me that he had left. I was happy for that because I knew he would be home soon. I called my dear parents and all I got out was “I need you” and my mom said “we are on our way”. My parents arrived and right after them my husband got home. I had to tell him the news about his little baby girl that I knew would rip his heart out. I could hardly talk for crying. He held me and Britt and we just cried there was nothing else we could do. My parents stayed with our other girls and we grabbed what we thought we might need and left for the hospital. I think we cried most of the way there an hour and a half away. Trying to make sense of how a baby could have cancer…….
And pray to our Dear Lord asking Him to save our baby…
We got to the hospital. We went to the ER and told them why we were there. We knew the hospital because Britt had been going there to see her renal doctors every month. We sat in an ER room for what seemed to be days then finally two new doctors came in and confirmed that our Angel did have cancer… They also told us that she would lose at least one kidney…I cried and my husband stood strong I don’t know how he did it.
They admitted Brittany and the next day January 5th 1996 Brittany went into surgery and had one kidney removed. She went through the operation fine. We were not ready when we saw her come out she was hooked up to a lot of machines . We had never seen anything like it ever…. The next day January 6th Brittany had to go back into the OR because the kidney they thought was ok wasn’t, it was damaged and was causing her blood pressure to go sky high, so they said they needed to get it out or it would damage her heart. So she went in again and had the second kidney removed. She went through it well. She was then started on Chemo. We cried this toxic stuff was being put into our daughter and there was nothing we could do as this was our only hope for her life.
That night they had found a place to stay for my husband and I, so we could get some sleep. As much as we did not want to leave Brittany for any reason we did need to try to sleep. So we went but did not do much sleeping. When we went into Britts room the next day very early in the morning we looked at our sweet baby and I yelled out “what is wrong with her what happened?” I remember every one turned to look at me like I was a crazy woman. We saw our baby and she was so swollen up that her little eyes could not open… And the side of her face that she was laying on was so full it hung down to her shoulder. We demanded to know what happened? After calming us down they explained that since they had to take the second kidney she was filling up with the fluids that her kidneys were no longer there to take out. We just cried and held her medical equipment and all we just wanted to hold our baby…… Then her doctors came in and told us that she was going to need dialysis. We did not even know what that was. We felt stupid but they explained it to us and told us not to feel bad as not many people know these things. Well I wanted to learn every thing I could about it and I did… I soon learned to do the dialysis machine all by my self.
At first the dialysis worked good. At one point they let her come home on it, since I learned how to work it and also my husband. Since she had to have dialysis 24/7 we had a nurse at night so we could get a few hours sleep but needless to say I did not sleep very much, I listened to every word and heard every sound that was made. Well after a few weeks the dialysis just was not helping her and her blood pressure was going up because there was not enough fluid off of her. So we had to take her back to the hospital and she had to go on hemo dialysis. That is where they put a tube in your neck that goes straight to your main artery and then she was hooked up to this machine that took her blood out and cleaned it and gave it back to her.
Brittany was so brave through all of this even when she would swell up like a little pumpkin she did not mind she still laughed and flirted with her doctors!! She loved to dance with them!! She love the song SUGAR-SUGAR she would do what we came to call the “butt dance”: she would sit in her bed with the doctors on the sides and wiggle her butt and snap her fingers to the music and the doctors would be dancing right beside her and she would smile and laugh so hard!!!!
Well for one whole year we stayed at Hopkins. Helping Brittany to hang on with every thing she had with in her weakening body. She was placed on the emergent transplant list. Every day was a worrie if she was going to catch something. She would get so sick and have to be on many, many antibiotics, that is when we started to see a big change in Brittany. She wasn’t her happy self and seemed to be withdrawing from every one. She stopped talking and only made a noise when trying to talk to us and the doctors. My husband and I noticed that she seemed to not even hear her music. But we all though it was because she was just getting weaker and weaker from not having her kidneys. She kept getting sick and there were many times the doctors would try to tell us that we were gonna lose Brittany. We wouldn’t listen. we would hold her and do the only thing we could do for her, let her know we Love her and pray to God not to take our baby but to make her better…..
We had other children at home so the whole time she was in Hopkins my husband and I took turns: one week I would be home and he would be at the hospital. Then every Friday we would switch. There were many times my husband would be down there and Brittany would take a turn for the worst. My husband would leave the hospital come home get me and drive right back to the Hospital… Brittany would always pull through and back on her feet. She excepted in her own little way that she was there in that hospital untill when ever… It became home to her.
The whole time she grew weaker and weaker. She even forgot how to walk and she couldn’t talk. She was like a new born baby again. Since she was now not talking or hearing her music the doctors agreed to check her hearing. Well we found out that Brittany was deaf now……. She would never hear our voices again. I cried and cried how will I tell her i love her? How will she tell me when she hurts? We had so many questions. The doctors said that the Chemo is what mad her lose her hearing.
It was almost Christmas 1996 I was at home Brittany and Daddy were at the houpital. I got a phone call that they found Brittany a kidney!!! I was in the middle of the market and I yelled “Thank You God!!” and started crying. Of course everyone was looking at me at that point, so I plainly said “my baby is getting a kidney” and I took my cart to the register and I told them that i had to leave right then and there that i had to get to the hospital, my daughter was getting a kidney transplant!!! And I left the store….
Brittany received her kidney it was from an adult woman and Brittany was only 18 months old. The doctors could not close her abdomen because the kidney was too big. So they put this mesh stuff over it and gradually new skin grew over it. This left Brittany with a very scared up abdomen.
Brittany did wonderfully for 6 years and thanksgiving 2002 came and Brittany got sick with a high fever: she had a bad cold and it settled way deep down in her lungs, she couldn’t fight it and everything got bad. They put her on ECMO and we waited. The doctors said this was our only chance at saving my baby girl.
On January 2nd 2003 they took her off ECMO. She did ok for a few hours but then all at once things got bad again. On January 3rd 2003 at 9:36 Am Brittany went home to be with Jesus. The doctors said that due to her transplant and rejection meds that Brittany’s system just could not fight the infection. And her little heart could take no more.
Our lives changed drastically that day, we are all left with a half of a heart because the other half went to heaven with our Sweet baby girl.”