That evening my ex-in-laws, who were visiting from out of town came for dinner as well as my oldest son Arthur.
After dinner Arthur, Samuel and Gabriel went fishing.The boys came home awhile later and after visiting with us a bit longer
my in-laws, Art and Shirley headed back to the RV Park. Arthur left soon after his grandparents and I began to start on the
I told the boys “if you’ve got homework you better get cracking on it now” and I said Gabe? He said “yes,
not that much” and I said “Samuel?” That was when it dawned on me we had to get moving on Samuel’s
science project that was due and I had put off gathering the finishing touches for it. It was already after 9:00 and I hummed
and hawed on whether or not go over to my friends house and get the last specimen from his daughters hair (yes, project Sam
was doing was going to be ‘The effectiveness of Lice Shampoo on Lice in Paradise’) and to see if he had any left
over bottles of shampoo that I could soak the labels off of for Sam’s display.
I went into my room and put away some laundry and decided if I was going to go I better go now. Usually I ask the boys
if they want to go with me but it was already late and I was just going to make a quick dart there and back. I told the boy’s
“I love you”; I’ll be right back and left. I ended up visiting for a little bit, saw a pc monitor that
was not being used and asked my friends ex wife if I could use it. She said yes and I loaded it up.
I got home about 10:40 ish or so (not really sure, but I remember looking at the clock on my dashboard on the way home
calculating how long I was gone as I felt bad for telling the boys I would just be ‘right there and back.) I figured
I was gone about 40 or 45 minutes. I grabbed the pc monitor from the back seat of my car and walked into the apt. Sam was
sitting on the couch watching TV and asked ‘what’s that?” as I walked toward my bedroom with the monitor.
When I got to my bedroom door it was ajar and I hollered, “who’s been in my room”? No answer, as I sat
the monitor down I said “Sam?” and he said,” we were”. I then said “Gabe?” and then
hollered, “What were you guys doing”? Sam said, “ We were watching TV”. I said “oh, ok,
and then something like “Gabe, how come you’re not answering me?” as I bent to hook the monitor up to the
pc. I started towards my bedroom door two different times to see what was up with Gabe, but turned back to adjust the monitor,
thinking that Gabriel must be sleeping.
After finishing hooking up the monitor, probably 15 minutes or so after I got home I went out to the car, got the science
specimen and the shampoo bottles then went into the kitchen. Sam and I talked for a little bit as I started soaking the labels
and cleaning up the last of the dinner mess. I told Samuel “hey, it’s late and you need to get in bed”;
Samuel said “yea, I know”.
Sam got up, came over to me, talked for a couple of minutes more, then gave me a hug and a kiss goodnight. I think I said
something like “ your brother must have crapped out, I’ll be in there in a second to say goodnight.” Sam
I turned back to the shampoo bottles and was about to turn on the water when I heard Samuel say “Gabe” in a
voice and tone that told me something was very wrong; I was already starting to run to their bedroom when Samuel started screaming
“MOM”. I got to the room, Samuel was behind his brother trying to hold him up under his arm pits and screaming
“get him get him”!
As I reached them I put my fingers between the rope and Gabriel’s neck and the rope fell away. I screamed call 911
and started CPR on Gabe, screaming his name over and over. When I blew a breath into him a horrible deflating squeak, moaning
sound came from him. I couldn’t feel a pulse, I could not see his chest rise; I could not see life in his eyes when
I opened his eyelids.
The police arrived, an officer asked, “what happened” I screamed “oh my God” over and over as I
continued to do CPR; the police said, “Ma’am, you need to move”: I kept doing the CPR and he said it again
and again. I remember looking at him and screaming, “I can’t stop! You can’t stop compressions! Then you
do it!” He said “ I can’t until you move” and I said “ I’m not moving until you put your
hands on him” at which point he did.
The paramedics arrived, the cop kept saying Ma’am, come on out of here, (this whole time Samuel is retching and gagging
in the kitchen, living room, hallway) I told him NO. I can’t leave my boy and just kept saying oh my God over and over in
between yelling Gabriel’s name; The EMT’s seemed so slow; I kept asking“is he breathing?” (the cop
still trying to get away) “Do you have a heartbeat?” No answers.
They got the ‘defibrillator’ out and shocked him; I heard Samuel and turned to grab him, and hold him; He retched
again and went to the kitchen; I followed him so he would not be alone with a stranger (another cop) but I couldn’t
leave Gabe and I went back towards the room. They were getting ready to put him on the stretcher to go to the hospital and
still would not tell me if he was breathing or if he had a heartbeat. I could not ask them if he was dead.
Sam and I began praying ‘ the Lord’s prayer’ as they loaded him on the stretcher. The first cop asked
if we had a way to the hospital, I said, “ We can’t go with Gabe?” Then turned to Sam and said you have
to go get some clothes on. Sam said noooo, I said you have too, I can’t leave you here alone, we have to go.
Samuel ran in and some how got dressed. My neighbor drove us to the hospital behind the ambulance. They would not let us
in. I took Sam’s hand and we headed for the chapel. As we started to walk past the corridor that leads into the back
part of the ER exam areas I couldn’t walk away. Sam and I stood looking through a small window at curtains and feet
until a lab tech that was headed out went and told the Dr. we were there and he let us in.
Gabriel was defibbed many, many times; Sam and I prayed at his side and at his feet; The doctor said when an adolescent
flat lines they rarely ever come back. Gabe was on a ventilator, and his heart rate would go way down then way up over 200.
At about 3:00 am Gabriel was transported by ambulance to a town about 30 minutes away so he could be flown down to Sacramento.
My beautiful precious son died in my arms, with his father, his sister Elizabeth, his brothers Arthur and Samuel, his grandmother,
all of my sisters, his cousin Jamie Lynn and a close family friend around him on Friday, May 6, 2005 at about 3:20
pm. He never regained consciousness