Edwarda O’Bara was a cheery high school student in 1970 when she suddenly fell ill, threw up her medicine and slipped into a diabetic coma.
But before she became comatose she turned to her mother and pleaded with her to ‘promise … you won’t leave me.’
Her mother stayed true to her word, enduring a grueling schedule to constantly stay near her daughter until the mother died five years ago and the woman’s sister became her primary care giver – until Edwarda passed away on Wednesday.
As a popular 16-year-old, Edwarda had a bright future ahead of her but then she became ill with a severe bout of pneumonia.
In the early hours of January 3 in 1970, she ‘woke up shaking and in great pain because the oral form of insulin she had been taking wasn’t reaching her blood stream,’ according to her family.
She was rushed to hospital and as she lay in her bed, she turned to her mother, Kaye O’Bara, and pleaded with her to stay near.
‘Promise me you won’t leave me,’ the teen begged her mother, according to the Miami Herald.
Terrified, O’Bara assured daughter, ‘Of course not. I would never leave you, darling,’ having no idea of the long ordeal ahead.
The mother kept that promise, taking care of her daughter, until Kaye O’Bara herself died five years ago.
For more than 35 years, Kaye O’Bara remained constantly by Edwarda’s bedside, enduring a grueling schedule to give her daughter around the clock care.
She would only sleep for 90 minutes at a time, so she would always be accessible to her daughter.
The devoted mother would not institutionalize Edwarda, even though the financial burden became a great challenge to the family.
Though Kaye died at the age of 80 on March 7, 2008, she never gave up hope that her daughter would one day wake up from her coma.
Edwarda’s father, Joe, had passed away in 1977. He died from a heart attack, believed to have been brought on by the strain of caring for his ailing daughter.
After their mother’s passing, Edwarda’s sister Colleen stepped in and continued the tradition to offer constant care to Edwarda at her home in Miami Gardens.
Colleen quit her previous job as a horse trainer to care full time for her sister.
‘I didn’t give it a second thought. She’s my sister,’ Colleen O’Bara said, ‘and I love her.’
As part of her care, her body was turned every two hours to keep away bedsores, she was given insulin and fed through a tube.
Colleen would also lovingly braid her sister’s grey hairs, suck the mucus from Edwarda’s throat to allow her to breath and constantly speak to her sister, assuming Edwarda was soaking up her every word.
She mixes baby food, milk, eggs, orange juice, Mazola oil, brewer’s yeast and a piece of white bread into a blender and then a wire mesh strainer, pouring the concoction into Edwarda’s feeding tube every two hours, day and night.
She suctions mucus from Edwarda’s throat, whispers endearments in her ear and braids her long gray hair.
Source: UK Mail