Michelle Suzanne Comeaux was born on Feb. 26, 1967. She was a healthy and happy baby in every way, or so we thought. For 10 months and 23 days she seemed to thrive. Then she came down with an upper respiratory infection. This was the first time she had gotten ill but I wasn't alarmed. I brought her in to the pediatrician and he put her on antibiotics but a day or so later everything went horribly wrong. I was home alone with Michelle and my 23 month old son, who was taking a nap. Michelle woke up from a nap and as I was changing her diaper, she began having a grand mal seizure. I was all of 20 years old and had never witnessed a seizure before in my life. Suddenly I realized that she was not breathing. I picked her up, slapped her on her back...nothing. I tried giving her mouth to mouth resuscitation...all I heard was a gurgling sound. Finally, I ran outside, screaming for help. One neighbor rushed us to the hospital, while another took care of my son. All the way to the hospital, I kept giving her mouth to mouth. This was 1968 and before the days of CPR. When we arrived at the hospital, the doctors took her from me. Now all I could do was to wait and pray.
My husband met me at the hospital. We were both numb with shock. We couldn't believe this was happening to us. I kept waiting to wake up and find that it was all a bad dream but it was no dream.
Our family members gathered and we all waited...for six long hours. When the doctor came out, I knew before he said a word, I just knew that my baby was gone. His words confirmed my worst fears, after that I don't think I heard another thing that he said. I felt like my insides were crumbling down to my feet and that my heart was being ripped from my chest. I cried, my husband cried...everyone cried. I was asked if I wanted to see my baby. I said that I did. My husband and I were taken into the back...there she was, so tiny on the big gurney...she looked so peaceful, just like she was sleeping. But then I reached out and touched her...she was cold! I never expected her to be cold. My legs buckled beneath me, I sat on the floor sobbing. It all felt so unreal. These kinds of things happened to other people, not to us!
The pediatrician told us that Michelle died of an acute adrenal deficiency. It seems that she was born with her adrenal glands one third the size they were suppose to be. Her heart couldn't handle the illness and she went into cardiac arrest.
Much of the funeral remains a blur but one thing stands out vividly. Michelle's casket was carried not in a hearse but in the front seat of our limousine. The funeral director said that children that young were put in the limousine with their parents...this was just too much for me to bear. To ride from the funeral home to the church and then from the church to the cemetery with my little girl in a casket on the front seat was asking too much. I couldn't bear to look towards the front of the car, so a sat staring out of the side window. While we were enroute to the cemetery, I kept looking out of that side window and one song kept running through my mind..."Don't They Know It's The End Of The World". That's how I felt...how could all of these other lives go on as usual when my whole world had just ended. To this day, whenever I hear that song, I see myself sitting in that limo, staring out of the window watching the world go on without my beautiful Michelle. I'll never understand why. I know they say God has His reasons but I just can't imagine what they might have been. All I know is that my only daughter died on January 19, 1968 and part of me died along with her.