Disclaimer: This video is exclusively managed by Caters News. To license or use in a commercial player please contact email@example.com or call +44 121 616 1100 / +1 646 380 1615
Revenue from this video will help my sister through Community College as she continues her nursing career.
My mother, Patty, was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in November 2016. At that time, she was also diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Dermatomyositis. Before September, there were no signs that my mother was sick. The symptoms first appeared as a rash on her face, then moved down her body. Then everything hit all at once, like a tidal wave, and the progression declined rapidly over the next 6 months. She went through extensive testing, chemotherapy, and had a total mastectomy. Not one day went by when she was not weak, uncomfortable, in pain, itching, feverish, sore, tired, and/or depressed. To top it all off, her son (my brother) passed away on March 5th, 2017 from an accidental overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl.
At the end of April 2017, we discovered the cancer had metastasized to her spine bone. In a last attempt, we visited the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, but to no avail. As our mother got sicker and sicker, my younger sister worried our mom would not be able to see her graduate. It meant a lot to my sister. Our mom's health continued to spiral out of control, and on June 5th she was admitted to the hospital when she exhibited symptoms of psychosis and delirium.
Some of my sister's favorite high school teachers from Saranac High School and CV-Tech arranged for a small graduation ceremony to take place in my mom's hospital room at the University of Vermont Medical Center, Shepardson 4. We were all very nervous that it would not work out because of mom's psychosis and inability to stay awake. In the video you can see her fight to watch her daughter graduate. It was a miracle in every sense of the word. We couldn't have asked for it to go any better. Sam's father, my stepfather, Todd Parrotte, is also seen in the video at my mom's side. He now has the treasured memory of them watching their daughter receive her diploma together.
This video was taken on June 7th, less than 48 hours before my mom passed away. Before this video, my mother was in and out of consciousness, and her psychosis made her very paranoid. Sometimes she didn't even want to be around her family because of the paranoia. But for these few minutes, my mother found the strength to come back to herself. It was such an immense relief and just an incredible amazement that she pulled it together for the ceremony. You can see how tired she was.
Immediately after this video, my mother went unconscious and didn't wake up again. It was a miracle that she was able to wake up enough for the ceremony before falling into a permanent state of unconsciousness and ultimately passing away. It was a miracle that she was able to find herself and come back to us for that occasion. We truly had our mom back for that brief amount of time. She passed away on the morning of June 9th, just one day before a town-wide benefit event called "Pace for Patty" was scheduled to take place. The benefit was a huge success and the community raised over $5000, which has helped to pay for her funeral expenses.
There is so much to be said about what my mom went through these last 10 months, including a bad judgement call from her cancer doctor, which could have saved my mom from having to go through the mastectomy. It is highly likely that the autoimmune disease she developed was paraneoplastic. Dermatomyositis, and Myositis in general, is an extremely debilitating disease. I would love to bring more awareness to it. Until the very end of her sickness, it was the DM that was affecting mom more than the cancer itself. And she battled it every. single. day.
My sister wants to share this video to help bring awareness to the sicknesses our mother fought through. Nobody should have to suffer as she did. And I'm excited to share this movie because it is a true, legit miracle. MIRACLES HAPPEN. Nobody in the room will ever forget this incredible moment, and we want to share it with the world. In this video, witness the strength and fortitude of a woman who suffered every day for the past 10 months, but refused to miss her youngest child's graduation.
Witness the undying love of a mother. ❤
- Dorothy Donahue
(Patty's daughter & Sam's big sister)