Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
Timeline
 
1986

Born in Plano, Texas on April 22, 1986.



As a young girl Stephanie lived in Issaquah, Washington for a short time.  During that time she was able to feel the fresh snow fall on her face, she was able to zoom down the hills of snow on her little disk and smile as she watched others play in the winter wonderland.



She traveled up the coast of California, into Oregon, Washington and Canada.



She spent time in Colorado climbing the mountains, experiencing the cool purity of waters that run from the mountains melting snow, and seeing the animals in their natural environments amidst the mountain trees.  She took a turtle high above the tree line in Colorado Springs just to visit.



She spent time in Arkansas, riding a horse, canoeing down a vicious river, camping with friends, soaking in a hot tub on a cabin patio among the tall trees, and watched Mom "off-road" in the hills and rivers.



Stephanie spent time in Mexico, experiencing the natives, the language, the gorgeous emerald green waters, snorkeling among the coral reefs, trying different foods, drinking coke with a paper straw, and bargaining for her treasures.  Stephanie's fondest memory was of the "Pirate Ship" an excursion with pirates, battles, music, festivities and dancing with the ships pirates and their mates.  Her last writing for college was about this experience, an incredible writing that truly made you experience it as she did.



Stephanie spent numerous vacations in Destin, FL, enjoying the white sandy beaches, Jet Skiing, ocean canoeing among the jelly fish, experiencing the salt water in her mouth and looking for sea shells. 



She went tubing down the Guadeloupe River and strolled the River Walk in San Antonio, she stayed in a room with a view of the Alamo.  Stephanie was romantically taken on a horse drawn carriage ride through the city, and dined high above Lake Travis in Austin.


Stephanie vacationed in Florida, more than once, experiencing Disney, Universal, Mickey Mouse, and creating a true love of the state.


Every year of her life a new adventure!

 





 

 
2000 - 2003
While attending school Stephanie spent her "free" time very busy.  She was working either at Stonebriar Mall, Frisco or Collin Creek Mall, Plano  (Geppeddo, Surf City Squeeze, Java City, Santa's Helper and even BEING the Easter Bunny)

She was a faithful supporter of the Plano Rugby Club and attended every game and tournament throughout the state. 

She was running to her Hip-hop classes several nights a week.

Attending her voice lessons with private instructor

Taking night classes and summer school at Plano Senior High to get ahead.

And of course, Stephanie was madly in love with Charles Angles, they were inseperable, they went and did everything together until the day she left this earth.
 
2003, May
Stephanie Graduated from Plano Senior High School in Plano, Texas
 
2003, August
Stephanie left Texas for Orlando, FL to attend college
 
2003 - 2004
Stephanie was attending Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida, where she was taking her basic courses toward a nursing degree.  Her goal was to transfer to the University of Florida in Gainesville to ultimately become a Physician's Assistant.

Stephanie obtained a job at GNC when arriving in Florida then later obtained a Management position with Barnies Coffee & Tea.  She worked up until the day that she was admitted to the hospital, and was working on her college work the evening prior to her surgery.

We, her parents, are so very proud of the dedication she gave to LIFE.
 
2004, March 1st
Stephanie checked into the hospital for 6 days of test.

She then went home for 3 days to spend time with her Dad.

 
2004, March 10th
Stephanie had her 1st surgery
 
2004, March 24th

Stephanie passed away at 9:29 am, 1 month from her 18th birthday.

As time passes, and to avoid speculation, we feel that it is time everyone knows the truth about what took Stephanie from us.

Seeking a specialist for Stephanie's lack of energy and her becoming out of breath upon mild exercise is where our shock began.  After several years of hearing, "she is a teenager, she needs more exercise", after an erroneous diagnosis of asthma and treatment, and numerous oversights by numerous doctors, it was a pulmonary specialist who determined her problem.  A hole in her heart so large it was never heard by stethoscope (atrial septal defect), a hole that she had since birth.  (We were told that a small hole will make a "swooshing" sound, but a large hole is undetected by standard listening by physicians during routine physical examination.)

The hole needed to be repaired, so we then began our research to find the best care for Stephanie's medical condition......A hospital rated 3rd best in the country for open-heart surgery, "world-class" cardiovascular surgeons, writeups year after year in a prominate and highly respected national magazine, an impressive Cardiovascular Care/Intensive Care Unit, nurses that are some of the best in the country for this type of convelesance, and her surgeon who had over 20 years experience doing this exact type of surgery.   The risk factor for her surgery was 4% according to her surgeon.

After 6 days prior in the hospital for testing, review by numerous doctors, and knowing that there had been many advancements in open-heart surgery over the years.  We were confident that this would be a procedure that would give her relief from her ailments.  We were also told that because of her age, her recovery should go very well.

An incorrect diagnosis, and an incorrect surgery took Stephanie's life.  The doctors did not look for additional anomalies after finding the large hole in her heart, but rather they stopped and failed to check the surrounding areas of her heart.  What they didn't see was that her lungs were also not connected to her heart in a normal fashion, in fact they were not connected at all!  (total anomalous pulmonary venous connection). The hole was actually what kept Stephanie alive.  During her elective surgery, they closed the hole, and her body tried to adjust, she tried to be strong but the change they made to her body after almost 18 years, without diagnosing or considering the totallity of her condition, was impossible for her to overcome, and was in fact killing her.

12 hours following her 1st open-heart surgery, Stephanie was in trouble and was rushed in for an emergency 2nd open-heart surgery which is where the oversight, was determined, but in retrospect, by then it was too late, the damage done was irreversable.

For 2 weeks following her 1st surgery Stephanie fought to stay here on this earth, she fought to see her family and friends again, and most of all she fought to be with Charles again.

Charles who was with her in mind, body and spirit 24/7 was her most valuable will to live.  He did everything he could, including making sure they prayed together every night.  Although he could not see her eyes, or hear words from her, he was there to comfort and love her.  Every time Charles would walk into her room, and she would hear his voice, although in a medically induced sedation/paralysis, her monitors showed her excitement, her frustration and her will to live.

The stress on her lungs, her allergy to heparin, the blood thinner standardly used during open-heart surgery, and the shock on her heart took Stephanie.

A horrible loss of a loving, valuable and inspiring human being, a horrible devistating loss of our beautiful and loving child.

We were notified that we had less than 5 minutes to say Good-bye to our precious little girl.  At the moments following her passing, her sister Ashley screamed in pain and disbelief, very angry at the doctors, her brother was not even there, something he will always regret.  Charles flew down the highway in his car at an ungodly speed to gather all of the precious gems he had bought for Stephanie over the years to place upon her body out of love.  Her Dad and I could not even begin to bear the pain. 

The doctors told us that the healing process was long, no one in the family knew Stephanie was not going to make it.  No one knew that the actual procedure performed was in fact the procedure that would ultimately take her life.   

How can the multitude of doctors sleep at night knowing that their errors took an angel from this earth?

Her young body was "built" different than the rest of us.  It functioned differently than the rest of us, it was that anomally that kept Stephanie with us for almost 18 years.  It was with her ultimate determination that she was able to function and even excel in everything she did even though her little body was existing on a much lower oxygen level than the rest of us.  Although rare, her condition was repairable and should have been determined prior to surgery.

So many valuable moments with Stephanie lost by all.  

A medical mistake, so large that it is incomprehensible, inconceivable, and totally devastating to all that love her.  Her 4% surgical risk factor was in actuality a death sentence that she could not overcome.

It was Stephanie's wishes to be cremated rather than buried.  Her remains are kept with the family in a beautiful "Angel" urn. So for those of you that have asked where you can go to pay respect and visit Stephanie, we say, according to our spiritual beliefs and wishes, that you speak to her in that moment of rememberance, where ever you may be and trust that she will hear your words and greatly appreciate the love that you send her. 

 
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