What do you think of when you see this? The Best Damn Band in the Land? Football Royalty? Crazy fans? Central Ohio? Overrated? World class hospital? You might think of all of these things.
I went to Ohio State. I live in central Ohio. I love listening to the marching band. I have shouted at football games. I have been a crazy fan. I have been to the hospital. I told my mom to go to The James Cancer Hospital at OSU when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
But that hospital brings bad memories for me. It always will. I am not sure if I could step foot in that hospital again. There is too much trauma associated with that place.
You see, Sloane was taken to that hospital for radiation. There isn't a radiation facility at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The closest one is at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. The next closest was in Cincinnati, two hours away.
Her tumor started growing again. The decision had been made to start radiation to see if it would shrink the tumor. This wasn't supposed to be a "Hail Mary". We had to transport her to Ohio State for radiation. On the morning of September 14, 2021 she left Nationwide in an ambulance to do her radiation simulation. While there, she coded on the table and they had to do CPR. We weren't told any of this until after they revived her. We weren't even told she coded. Just that they had to "bag her" to force oxygen into her lungs because her lungs had "clamped down". The decision was made to transport her back to Nationwide instead of keeping her at Ohio State. We said we loved her and gave her a kiss before they took her away in the elevator and put her in the ambulance. We aren't sure she could even hear us. We couldn't ride with her because the medical team needed to transport her was too big. We didn't know how serious it was. No one told us.
When we got to Nationwide, we got in the elevator to meet her in her room. Instead we got a call to "go to the ED as fast as possible". We ran in to see a doctor sitting on top of her preforming chest compressions. She had died in the ambulance.
Had we known that she would have died that day, we might have made a different decision. We wanted our baby to live. To fight this tumor. We thought this would work. We didn't know it would be the last day of her life. We didn't know that we wouldn't get to say goodbye. We didn't know this was going to happen.
I have a very different view of THE Ohio State University now. It isn't about football anymore. Or the band, or crazy fans. It is now a place that holds some of the most awful memories of my life. September 14 started out with so much promise of shrinking the tumor. It ended with the death of Sloane. Do I blame them. Yes, at times I do. I should have pushed to keep her there. To make sure she was strong enough to transport. I have to remind myself though that the tumor is to blame. Because if I don't, I will never be able to set foot on that campus again.
I don't write this to bad-mouth Ohio State or Nationwide. I write this because this is our lived experience. This is our story. It is what has shaped me into who I am today. It is the trauma I have, we have, experienced. I just wish we had a different story, a different outcome. I wish Sloane was still with us today and I could praise the hospitals for saving her life. I just want you to understand that though the Block O means one thing to most, it doesn't mean it for all.