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Mattie Grace Ayers


1919 / Class of '02 / Dx post-mortem / Died 6-9-02

Hello. My name is Cindy and I'm from Eastern North Carolina. This story is about my Granny, who passed away on June 8, 2002. This has been, by far, one of the hardest things to come in my life.

My Granny was a CNA for the local hospital...she worked for over 40 years (her last scheduled day at work was May 21, 2002...which happened to be my thirty-first birthday). She was scheduled some days after this, but due to a low number of patients she was "called-out." She served as a CNA in the ER, pediatric ward, and most recently in labor/delivery. She was there when I was born as well as when my two children were born. Such special memories now!

Granny was not a woman to complain and always found a kind word to say about everyone (even those that others found hard to get along with). Granny was a great teacher, doctor, marriage counselor, babysitter, best friend, family cornerstone, and a great woman of God.

Since mid-Feb. Granny had been complaining about hurting in her joints. The family all felt she was probably starting to wear out (after all, she was 82 and still nursing three days a week at 12 hours a day). Granny didn't complain too much so we thought she was doing fine or at least better. Finally, we had decided it was time to take Granny to the doctor (now she would always tell us "don't you think it's time to see the doctor?" but she would never take herself). My mom took her on June 4, 2002 and lots of blood work was done. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at this visit. Around 5:00pm the FNP came by my Granny's house and said one of the test indicated that her kidneys were beginning to shut down and she needed to get to the hospital. I believe that Granny knew she wasn't coming back home. Once we got to the hospital she was sent for a CAT scan, x-ray, and an EKG. All test came back fine. Around midnight she was moved to a regular room where they started her on something for her kidneys. She seemed to be in good spirits and rested well. Wednesday morning she was laughing and talking with the nurses and telling them that she just wanted to see what it was like to be a patient instead of the nurse.

By Thursday night late my Granny began looking like she was 182 instead of 82 (which nobody believed she was that old because of how well she got around and all). Friday morning around 3:30am her breathing got really bad. She was moved to the Intensive Care Unit around 8:00am. The doctor told us there was a lot going on but no reason to believe she wouldn't make a complete turn around, after all, Granny had NEVER been in the hospital in 82 years of life! While the doctor was talking to us there was the much dreaded page heard "CODE BLUE 541" we all thought it was someone else, certainly not Granny. Much to our sorrow it had been Granny. There were two L&D doctors with her at this moment and they were able to bring her back. Within 10 min. there was another CODE BLUE 541...that's right, Granny!

After this she got stable but was totally unconscious. We all continued to go in to see her at every opportunity we got and nobody left the hospital that night. Nurses from all the floors came to check on her and they were so saddened to see Granny... the life of the hospital, laying there on her death bed.

Saturday morning, June 8, 2002 the weekend-doctor suggested we have her transferred to another local hospital for dialysis. We all knew that Granny wouldn't really want this but we were hanging on for hope. She was transferred to a near-by hospital (about 20 min away). Once there the doctor said we would have to make some really hard decisions the next morning (June 9, 2002); however, while he was telling us this, my Granny passed away!

We still didn't have any answers from the blood work that had been done on the Tuesday before all of this happened. We couldn't figure out what had gone one with our beloved Granny. Such a shocking time for our entire family. Anyone would have thought Granny would live to be 100 without giving it much thought.

The following Thursday we found out that the blood work had shown signs of MM. I had never heard of this before and found it hard to believe. However, after much research and talking with the ACS I found the symptoms to be right in line with what my Granny complained of.

To make matters harder....Granny's birthday was July 1st. She would have been 83. She lived a full life and was able to enjoy her children, grandchildren and great-children to the fullest. Everyone we met at the hospital only had good things to say about Granny and they always mentioned how much they loved working with her.

My life is forever changed because Granny was my very best friend. I know she is in a better place now and I'm so thankful she didn't have to suffer any longer than she did.

To the ones that read this note and are dealing with MM, please know that you will be in the prayers of my family. Granny didn't have any treatments and she died not knowing what she was suffering from. Get information, get help, pray and trust in God.


Cindy (


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